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What's with everyone on the roads? No one's paying attention! I made "excuses" for everyone during the holiday season, but that's now over. To be honest, it seems like ever since the coronavirus started; people have forgotten how to drive.


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So, why did you make excuses for them during the holidays, but not now?


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Because during the holidays everyone's preoccupied with, well, the holidays. And everything that entails. That's why I call it the "silly season."


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So, you do not think the pandemic has caused people to be distracted?


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Of course, it has. But you'd think they could focus on driving when they're driving.


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So, before the pandemic, did people focus on driving? Or, did they multi-task? Were they also talking on their phones, texting, or some other non-driving activity? My personal favorite is always grooming – whether shaving or putting on mascara while driving.


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Luckily, I've never seen that but you can tell when someone's doing something else as they keep glancing away from the road. And I always find that alarming. It's an accident waiting to happen. I'm surprised there aren't more fender benders.


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Oh, there are plenty. I have had two different people run into the back of my G-wagon.


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I didn't know that! But that vehicle's huge and formidable, so it's not like they can claim they didn't see you. Forget the car, I can only imagine the wrath they faced dealing with you.


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Only the first time. I was driving near the Texas Medical Center and a woman ran into the back of my G-wagon. Luckily, it was more of a rolling stop than a hard hit. I got out of my car ready to read her the riot act, but before I could say anything she broke down into tears. In between sobs, she explained that she had just left the hospital and her husband was seriously ill.


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That's awful. What did you do?


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I was more concerned about whether she was able to drive than the minimal damage to each of our cars, so spent a few minutes talking with her. The point is sometimes people are preoccupied for legitimate reasons … and we have to cut them some slack.


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Absolutely. And what about the second fender bender?


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I had already learned my lesson, so got out of the car and calmly asked him what happened. It was a beautiful day, yet he claimed that he did not see me.


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Well, that wasn't the right answer!


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


No kidding. But, since I was starting from a place of calm, I laughed and said, "How could you miss me? Oh, never mind, that was obviously a rhetoric question." And then, traded insurance information.


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Little did that man know how easily he got off. And I'm not talking about the damage to his car …

When Black came up with the idea of daily Banter Bites, Red thought it was conceptually great, but a bit unrealistic. At first glance, having to come up with a short comment from Red (ok, keeping it short might be a challenge), followed by a quick response from Black (no problem there), seemed like an easy task. But Red was concerned about keeping it current and relevant to readers – whether something happening in our lives, current events, or something that Black found in her non-stop reading and research, and told Black:

I'm not sure we'll have enough material to be able to post every day.

Rather than argue or debate, Black humored her sister, and suggested they do it a few days a week instead of every day. Meanwhile, she found it ironic that Red, the self-proclaimed queen of blah-blah-blah, was concerned about not having enough topics to discuss. But as with most things, when given a little time, Red often crosses to the "Black" side of things. We soon were coming up with more potential material than there were days to post and expanded Banter Bites to six days of the week (we believe Sundays shouldn't be spent on gizmos, although that doesn't stop Black from working).

We had gotten into a rhythm of daily Banter Bites, and then it was suggested to expand the posts as readers wanted to know more about the topic including what inspired or prompted it. Black immediately came up with the idea of adding a "Banter Bite Backstory" to each post.

So, how did Red react this time? Instead of being reluctant, Red embraced the idea:

It's so much fun being able to share with our readers the backstory of each Banter Bite. It's funny, because most times we're just spinning on a dime and reacting to things that happen – whether current events or in our lives. But isn't that what we all do every day? Add to the mix that Black and I usually see things very differently, and you end up with no shortage of things for us to say.
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I drafted this post weeks ago, but it seems fitting to post it today. Sometimes we need days to officially remind us to help others but for some people it seems to come naturally. Yes, today is National Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. But, that's not what I want to talk about.

This might not seem much to you. And I know it was truly nothing to Black. Just a quick reply on Twitter that she tossed off without a second thought. But to me it showed how, to some people, charity in the purest and best sense of the word just comes, well, naturally.

The details of where it started really isn't important, but it was a personal comment made in response to one of our "Words & Banter" posts and had a ripple effect as it ultimately involved a company mentioned in the post. The individual let us know that if replying to our post resulted in the company helping resolve their problem, then they'd send Black a bottle of red or white wine. (OK, I probably shouldn't disclose that Black's the one behind our tweets, but anyone who knows us would know that.) Most people, I suspect, would have thought, "Wow, that's a very nice offer" and then would have replied with their preference.

But not Black … she simply (and sincerely) replied:

Fingers crossed … but no gift necessary. Instead make a donation to a favorite charity.

It was like any other weekday morning, a tumbler of hot coffee on my desk and the morning news on the TV in the background, as I brace myself as I open Outlook. Computer issues? Nope, especially now that I have a new computer. Instead, it's the daily onslaught of emails generated by Black as she seems to do her best thinking while the rest of us are sleeping.

Well, the subject line of one of her emails, "Crazy idea?", stands out and I open it to find an image of a Good Humor truck and a leading question:

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