Banter Bites

A “Number 1” Idea (Yes, That #1)

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.

This is one of Red’s favorite Banter Bites in large part because of Black’s “corny” puns, but also because fresh corn is a summer staple – whether cooked on the grill or in the microwave, whether eaten on its own or as a primary ingredient in refreshing summer salads

This may be one of the corniest things you’ll ever read.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It’s just a vegetable, so how can it possibly elicit such a strong reaction from Red, while, for Black, it’s more a source of amusement and even, it turns out, admiration?

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Think you can avoid artificial intelligence? Think again …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red already fights technology at every turn, preferring to keep her ostrich head in the sand, plus, she finds Artificial Intelligence (AI) scary; whereas Black knows ignoring reality merely postpones the inevitable, so she’s started playing with AI to understand it better …

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A man better known for his death than his life, although Red, the straight-A student and history lover, immediately thinks of the costly and controversial movie of his life. (Well, technically, it was the life of Cleopatra.) Black, of course, focuses on business – leadership lessons, including the power of words, although she surprises Red with some food trivia. But 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.

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