Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Bathroom Is Out of Bounds for a Phone Conversation

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am going to my husband's first Christmas party with his company. I have been informed that one of his employees thinks that he is the smartest person in the company and lets you know it at every opportunity.

Any suggestions for comebacks that are not immediately known as a letdown?

GENTLE READER: What a helpmate you must be to your husband. Does he also help you by deflating your colleagues or acquaintances?

Miss Manners' suggestion of a comeback to bragging is "How nice for you." As your husband is this person's employer, you might add, "I've heard so much about you," without consenting to elaborate.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)