Tell it to the elf. Tell it to the judge.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Saying different people see things differently and find different things amusing is an understatement, especially when it comes to us; but although we may have different reasons why we found this so funny (Red may have been punchy at the time, while Black finds it very clever), it did make us laugh.


When Black forwarded Red a story about toy elves, it left her a bit bewildered, especially since the subject line was “With a wink, judge fights ‘tyranny’ of Elf on the Shelf.” Initially, Red couldn’t help but think about Will Ferrell in the movie “Elf” since the seasonal angle was pretty obvious, even if the movie wasn’t one of her Christmas favorites. (Sorry, Will, that honor goes to “Holiday Inn,” a classic starring Bing Crosby that never gets old.)

But as soon as Red clicked on the judge’s mock order, she started to smile and then, as she told Black,

It’s just hilarious. And while I wasn’t familiar with the concept of elves essentially being spies for Santa, I couldn’t help but love and laugh at the judge’s evaluation and handling of the Elf on the Shelf “situation”.

Of course, Black was surprised she’d never heard about Elf on the Shelf, so sent her an interesting article on its innocent beginnings, adding,

There is no need for an elf in my house – just put me on the naughty list.

Some things never change, like our Thanksgiving routines. But that’s ok, as Thanksgiving’s about traditions, so it seems only appropriate that we’d like to repeat what we’ve told you before …

We'll keep this simple and to-the-point … Happy Thanksgiving!

Sadie Hawkins Day started as a made-up holiday in a comic strip called Li’l Abner, but Black finds the idea of women needing a “special day” to feel empowered is … well, comical.

Comic strip or reality show: A group of bachelors participates in a foot race, and whoever's caught by the single woman in the race will become her husband.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We may be sisters, but except for growing up with the same parents in the same house in New York, that may be where the similarities end; especially in terms of dating "protocol" as Black never thought twice about asking boys (and later men) out on a date, while Red never gave it any thought, accepting the convention that boys did the asking. (She did make an exception for her senior prom but was shocked when he accepted.)

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Tomorrow’s Election Day, and our thoughts about the importance and challenges of voting haven’t changed since last year (see below) – although the stakes may have gone up. (Think Roe v. Wade and how the Supreme Court has sent it back to the states.) Black wishes more states offered referendums so we could vote on specific issues instead of trying to find the candidate that most closely represents our positions and then actually stays true to their word. Which, unfortunately, makes voting much harder than it needs to be …

So many people have fought for the right to vote, yet so many don't even bother to vote.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Like many of us, Red can come up with a whole list of reasons why she didn't plan to vote this Election Day, but what she thought was a sarcastic comment from Black would point out the challenge of balancing philosophical beliefs with reality.

Red, being that former straight-A student, remembers the first time she voted and how she felt it was her civic responsibility, but that she'd never just vote by party line (for her, it was never that simple, especially not these days). That each vote needs to be a conscious one. But that takes lots of "homework", so unless it's a presidential or gubernatorial election, she tends to sit out most of them. Which she felt was just fine, until Black pointed out,

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