Wheaties may be called the "breakfast of champions," but how do you define "champion"?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Wheaties have been around 100 years, and for Red, just the "name" brings back memories of eating breakfast cereal as a kid, but Black's first thought isn't about breakfast but about how cereal's a big (and interesting) business.


Black remembered learning about the industry when getting her M.B.A. Besides the fact the product was created by accident, Wheaties is a perfect example of the power of marketing. Over the years, the choice of athletes has come under scrutiny, but the cereal has, even with the focus on eating healthier, stood the test of time.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, when we learned that Wheaties was turning 100 (along with some other fun facts), we realized neither one of us has ever eaten them. Not a single Wheatie flake. It doesn't mean that we're not familiar with them, but it's entirely due to recognizing the famous athletes (so famous that even Red usually knows who they are) featured on their boxes.

So, why no Wheaties? Well, for Red,

Growing up, I preferred the traditional breakfast cereals that all kids love. You know what I'm talking about – the ones that were full of sugar. My favorite? Without a doubt, that would be Cap'n Crunch. And even today, I'd never buy a box because I'd probably devour it in a single sitting. Ok, that may be an exaggeration; it might take two. But let's be real – a 20 oz box claims it's over 20 servings. What are they using? A teacup instead of a cereal bowl?

And Black? Well, surprisingly, she wasn't much better than Red,

I was a Kellogg's Frosted Flakes girl, as was our father, although I preferred eating mine dry and right out of the box. I guess I was into efficiency at an early age. Regardless, I have wonderful memories of the two of us bonding over cereal, which sounds like a very healthy breakfast to me.

As adults, both of us have been known to eat cereal for a late lunch and sometimes even dinner. Although we now make healthier choices. Red incorporates her favorite triple berry granola with fresh berries and Greek yogurt (thanks, Starbucks, for the parfait inspiration!) And Black will eat oatmeal (not sure if that's technically "cereal") with fresh bananas and berries late in the afternoon before going out for an evening that includes wine and alcohol. Leave it to Black to eat before going to dinner!

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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Normally, you shred important papers before trashing them … not expensive art after selling it.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red will admit that she's never been into art, except for the Tudor paintings section of the National Portrait Gallery in London, but that's because she loves Tudor history. And although she's been to plenty of art museums, they were more to "tick off" places on her tourist "to do" list than a genuine desire to see the art. That even includes the Mona Lisa at The Louvre in Paris! (When in Paris, Black was content to go to the Louvre-Rivoli Metro station as the platforms themselves were decorated with art replicas found inside the Louvre Museum.)

Black can't remember when she first became interested in contemporary art, although it went to a whole new level when her second husband asked her to acquire an investment-quality collection. In typical Black fashion, she not only researched the art market and worked with an art consultant, but became friends with several leading artists with whom she shared a mutual passion … cars and racing.

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Take one famous actor, a brilliant billionaire, and mix in space travel. Sound like the start of a sci-fi movie or an example of how truth can be stranger than fiction?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: When Red recently learned that the actor William Shatner was going to be on board the second Blue Origin's space mission (now delayed until tomorrow due to weather), she admitted that she's more interested in history than current events, so compared it to the historic initial launch on July 20, which included 82-year-old Wally Funk. However, at 90-years-old, Shatner will become the oldest person ever to take a trip to space. (Talk about two great role models of inspiration and passion not having age limits.)

Meanwhile, at the risk of alienating (pun intended) Star Trek fans, Red's only seen a few of the movies, and Black has seen none, but we both have fond memories of watching the original TV show with our dad, who loved the show. So, we can't resist (like everyone else) quoting the opening monologue and its proclamation "to boldly go where no man has gone before."

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