Does anyone else find it strange that a study was done by China based on U.K. data … but it wasn’t about tea (which would’ve been logical), but coffee?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red was so excited when she heard from Black that drinking coffee, even with sugar, could lead to a longer life; while Black sent it to her because it highlighted how you can find “opposing studies” – one that says it’s good for you while another says it’s bad.


But all Red cared about was that the study showed that you didn’t need to drink your coffee black to get the health benefits because she’s known to “play mad scientist” (her words, not Black’s) with her coffee, doctoring it to the point where she’s drinking a little bit of coffee with her milk and sugar. (Well, technically, artificial sweetener.)Which made her wonder,

Maybe I’m not drinking enough coffee to get the full benefit! I guess that’s a perfect excuse to go to Dunkin’ more often. Totally for health reasons, of course.

Black started to ask about her financial health and how much she spends at Dunkin’, but realized that her Dunkin’ visits were about more than coffee (and the occasional Boston Kreme donut). They’re short escapes, and much quicker and cheaper than Red’s escape to the movies.

Regardless, she initially sent the article, not to “prove” coffee was good (or bad) for you, or to discuss the cause-and-effect considerations, but to show how studies can be used to “support” different positions based on how you crunch the numbers and “explain” your findings.

For Black, it was a flashback to her corporate life, which included “analyzing” numbers, and how she loved to tell management,

I know you want me to analyze the situation so you can present data to support your position, but it would make my life much easier if you told me the point you were trying to “prove” before I start running detailed analysis.

Red knows the benefits of coffee will be debated for years, yet she was content to believe coffee was good for you. Black said a similar thing happened with drinking alcohol, and she was taking the position red wine (in moderation) was good for you. But we’ve both decided,

Maybe studies are bad for your health.

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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