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.
Once we realized there was a National Sisters Day, Black wondered why you needed one. But that’s because every day seems like sisters day since we started working together (Black turned Red’s crisis into a book, a brand, and a business because, as Black will tell anyone that will listen, “What are sisters for?!”), although Black still offers Red invaluable (and often sarcastic) guidance (especially when it comes to money). Black may not admit it, so Red has to say it,
Not a day goes by that we don’t share something … whether it’s laughter, the rolling of one’s eyes, or just knowing the other is always there if needed.
But what Black will admit is in the post below …
Of course, there's Mother's Day and Father's Day. But National Siblings Day? Really?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Could there be a more perfect day for Red & Black than National Siblings Day, except maybe National Sisters Day (that's the first Sunday in August) – but who creates these days anyway?
We'll be honest. We had no idea there was a Siblings Day until Black, who typically never celebrates holidays, decided she at least should know when holidays occur and found Holidays Calendar. There she learned the history of National Siblings Day (it was begun by Claudia Evart in honor of her siblings – both of whom died tragically), but continued her research and ultimately sent Red a Fact Sheet, who found the facts interesting but was genuinely touched by the first bullet point,
Siblings Day follows the spirit of Mother's Day and Father's Day – a great family tradition and celebration of family values. It is an uplifting celebration honoring people who have shaped our values, beliefs and ideals.
Because for all of Black's sarcasm and no-nonsense pragmatism, Red genuinely wouldn't know what she'd do without her sister. Yes, she took Red's crisis and turned it into a book, a brand, and a business. Yes, she's the first person to stop Red's seemingly endless warm and fuzzy, blah-blah-blah (this is Red's description of herself). But Red also knows that no matter what, Black has always been there for her, and always will.
On the other hand, Black has always taken the approach that she can say (or even do) whatever she wants to Red, that's a sister's prerogative, but heaven help the person who tried to do anything to her "baby" sister. And although Black may not "volunteer" niceties about her sister (she prefers the role of big sister explaining how she had to "rescue" Red at the age of 40+ because she was, to be blunt, financially clueless), Black will admit that Red sharing her "crisis" (Red's word, Black prefers "life experience") with others to help them avoid making the same mistakes she made, has made her sister her hero. Which, for those who know Black, is really saying something.
So, whether you and your siblings are as different as Red & Black or have a lot in common, remember that today is the "official" day to let them know how you feel about them!
P.S. – Check out our Honoring National Siblings Day … What Are Sisters For? Animation teaser!
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.
He was probably better known for his death than his life. Not that his life was boring, anything but, especially when Cleopatra’s your mistress and youname yourself “dictator for life” of the Roman Empire. Except when, less than a year later, you’re assassinated by a group of senators, including your best friend. Sound more like something written by Shakespeare than historians? Well, it was both, and the immortal line, “Et tu, Brute?” is probably better known than the man who said it, Julius Caesar. And the fact July’s named after him is the perfect excuse to rerun one of Red’s favorite Banter Bites …
Quick! If someone says "Julius Caesar," what comes to mind?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Almost everyone has heard of Julius Caesar, but how many of us really know much about him, or at least that's what Red starts to wonder when she receives the usual flippant, but still accurate, reply from her sister, after feeling very proud that she knew that July was named after the famous Roman.
Which is what got Red to realize, much to her surprise (shock, if truth be told), that even as a straight-A student with a love of history, that when it came to Julius Caesar, a famous historical figure and possibly one of the greatest generals and statesmen of all time, she couldn't tell you dates or battles or anything "historical" associated with him.
Even as a theater major in college, she never read Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," although she knew just enough about the play to know that it was where the fortune teller warned Caesar to "Beware the Ides of March." Instead, her knowledge of Caesar came from her love of movies.
My first, and probably my most enduring, memory is of a brilliant general who not only commanded armies as he conquered lands far from home but was a great statesman who was also involved with one of the world's most beautiful women. And while he was Julius Caesar and the woman was Cleopatra, to me, they'll always be Rex Harrison and Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, a movie almost as controversial as the general himself.
There is much we can learn about leadership from Julius Caesar, whether on the battlefield, in politics, or in business (start small, take risks, communicate well), including what ultimately led to his death (always consider worst-case scenarios, never get complacent or arrogant). Many of his quotes speak (pun intended) to his powerful way with words, and the ability to not only deliver a message but to inspire (and story tell), with my favorite being, "I came, I saw, I conquered."