When it comes to recycling pee, you need to decide if “urine” or you’re out.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red’s all for recycling, but when it comes to the idea of “peecycling”, she has a hard time getting away from the “ick” factor; while Black’s fascinated by the science and business aspects, and loves all the opportunities for wordplay.


Red, being the straight-A student, read the New York Times article Black had forwarded, and although intellectually she understood how human urine could provide all the essential nutrients to fertilize crops (and none of the dangerous pathogens that are present in chemical fertilizers), she couldn’t get past the visual image of collecting it. Of course, Black suggesting we’d need recycling buckets next to our recycling bins didn’t help. And when Red thought of it being used to grow fruits and vegetables we’d ultimately eat, all she could say was, “Yuck”!

Black started to ask why the chemicals didn’t generate the same response, but instead mentioned that chemical fertilizers are not only expensive, in terms of cost and impact on the environment, but are becoming scarce due to the prolonged war in Ukraine. However, she knew Red wasn’t interested, so it was like pissing in the wind. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)

But then she remembered Red had once dreamed about moving to Vermont, so casually mentioned that while research has taken place internationally, much of America’s focus on recycling urine takes place in Vermont. Yes, that got Red’s attention, although she wasn’t surprised as Vermont has always been environmentally conscious “in their own New England Yankee way, and definitely are independent thinkers.” Plus, it quickly brought back bathroom memories (really!) and a favorite rhyme,

I first learned, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” on a trip to Vermont decades ago. Long before “water conservation” was popular. But now, you had to taint it, so to speak, with peecycling. I’m almost afraid to ask what’s next …

Black wasn’t originally going to mention this, but since she asked,

How about a beer brewed using recycled toilet water? It would give new meaning to the British phrase “getting pissed” (drunk). And, it is all the rage in Singapore.

Red didn’t know if Black was kidding or not. And she didn’t want to know.

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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