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?

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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.

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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.

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