Imagine if a story started with "Once upon a time on Mars" and it was not fiction.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Both Red and Black will admit that science wasn't their favorite subject at school, but that doesn't stop them from being in awe of "things scientific" – such as the landing of the Perseverance rover (nicknamed "Percy") on Mars.

Red, the straight-A student, got through her science classes with hard work and perseverance (sorry, couldn't resist), but as soon as she could, left the subject of science to others. (Unless you count occasionally watching science fiction movies.) When catching up on the news from last week, she read the AP article Black had sent, and when she read the quote from NASA's science mission chief, "Now the amazing science starts," could only imagine how everyone involved was probably so far beyond being straight-A students that it boggled the mind. So, Red decided to just enjoy the incredible images she found on CNN.

Black, who may not have been the best student (too impatient with that which she thought irrelevant, although she did learn critical negotiating skills in order to pass some classes), started to take issue with Red's comment about everyone being "beyond straight-A students" as she knows passion, hard work, and tenacity (was so tempted to use "perseverance" again) can get you further than just grades. But before she could say anything, Red reminded her of the television show "My Favorite Martian," which had been a childhood favorite.

And although the landing of Percy on Mars generated very different thoughts for each of us, we both agreed that President Joe Biden summed it up best when he tweeted congratulations to NASA,

Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility.

As voters, should we care whether people on the ballot are mentally capable of holding the job?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It's probably safe to say that most of us, including Red, think of old age and its implications in a very personal way, either in terms of ourselves or loved ones. But not Black, who often says, "Aging beats the alternative," and looked at retirement from a business perspective, but now sees how it impacts all of us in terms of elected officials.

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How do you look back at the "good 'ole days" if they happened before you were even born?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We read the same Axios story about "TikTok's nostalgia economy," and although the focus was "media trends" due to younger people using social media to both make fun of older people and also to flashback nostalgically, of course, we focused on very different aspects of the story.

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Want good customer service? Good behavior is a good start.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We grew up hearing the expression "the customer is always right," and Red certainly agreed with it; and while Black understood the customer service aspect of it, she did question its impact on employees (why would you "automatically" side with a customer over an employee without knowing the details). And that was before the pandemic changed everything, but especially customer behavior.

Until recently, Red didn't think much about why the customer was "always right," but it reminded her of years ago when Black shared her amusing (or, at least, to Red) version of the Golden Rule, "He who has the gold, rules. "So, wouldn't that also apply to customers? Wouldn't a happy customer be a loyal customer?

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