It's funny, the habits you don't even know you have … or why.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Every time Red yawns when she's wearing her mask, she laughs at herself covering her mouth, thinking why does she even bother as it's already covered and then, in the next breath, remembers that her extremely pragmatic sister does the same thing.

After all, it's really just a habit. A good habit. One we were taught as kids, although not with as interesting an explanation as the supposed "real" reason described by Thrillist (we love the "bizarre" explanations of other routine traditions, too),

You do it now because it's courteous and hygienic, but way back when, people were shielding their mouths during a sneeze or yawn for very different reasons. Ancient cultures believe that when you sneezed, you left an empty void inside that could be filled with evil spirits, and that yawning left you susceptible to demons entering through your mouth.

Of course, Black was curious about "why" (her favorite word) we yawn and was surprised to find an interesting analysis on the Library of Congress website (we know that yawning's contagious, but just the pictures of people and animals yawning, made her yawn). She also found an article with a simple table on the causes and a "yawning test".

Red's reaction?

Just the topic of yawning makes me yawn. But covering my mouth – with or without a mask – is a comforting part of the process.

Want good customer service? Good behavior is a good start.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We grew up hearing the expression "the customer is always right," and Red certainly agreed with it; and while Black understood the customer service aspect of it, she did question its impact on employees (why would you "automatically" side with a customer over an employee without knowing the details). And that was before the pandemic changed everything, but especially customer behavior.

Until recently, Red didn't think much about why the customer was "always right," but it reminded her of years ago when Black shared her amusing (or, at least, to Red) version of the Golden Rule, "He who has the gold, rules. "So, wouldn't that also apply to customers? Wouldn't a happy customer be a loyal customer?

Keep Reading ... Show less

Normally, you shred important papers before trashing them … not expensive art after selling it.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red will admit that she's never been into art, except for the Tudor paintings section of the National Portrait Gallery in London, but that's because she loves Tudor history. And although she's been to plenty of art museums, they were more to "tick off" places on her tourist "to do" list than a genuine desire to see the art. That even includes the Mona Lisa at The Louvre in Paris! (When in Paris, Black was content to go to the Louvre-Rivoli Metro station as the platforms themselves were decorated with art replicas found inside the Louvre Museum.)

Black can't remember when she first became interested in contemporary art, although it went to a whole new level when her second husband asked her to acquire an investment-quality collection. In typical Black fashion, she not only researched the art market and worked with an art consultant, but became friends with several leading artists with whom she shared a mutual passion … cars and racing.

Keep Reading ... Show less

Take one famous actor, a brilliant billionaire, and mix in space travel. Sound like the start of a sci-fi movie or an example of how truth can be stranger than fiction?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: When Red recently learned that the actor William Shatner was going to be on board the second Blue Origin's space mission (now delayed until tomorrow due to weather), she admitted that she's more interested in history than current events, so compared it to the historic initial launch on July 20, which included 82-year-old Wally Funk. However, at 90-years-old, Shatner will become the oldest person ever to take a trip to space. (Talk about two great role models of inspiration and passion not having age limits.)

Meanwhile, at the risk of alienating (pun intended) Star Trek fans, Red's only seen a few of the movies, and Black has seen none, but we both have fond memories of watching the original TV show with our dad, who loved the show. So, we can't resist (like everyone else) quoting the opening monologue and its proclamation "to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Keep Reading ... Show less