News & Politics

If Straws Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Straws

I’ve never liked drinking through a plastic straw.

There, I said it. I said it and I’m glad. Straws suck, and not just literally.

Whenever I’m at a sit-down restaurant, I take the straw out of my beverage immediately. I don’t even remove that little paper cover the waitress non-gender-specific server leaves on there for whatever reason. I can ingest liquids like an adult, thank you very much. I don’t need a juicebox. I don’t need a sippy cup. I’m not scared of ice clicking against my teeth. I don’t need to be insulated from reality. I’m a full-grown man and I know how to drink from a glass.*


That said, when it comes to the issue of plastic straw access, I’m staunchly pro-choice. If you need your little bitty straw because you don’t want the bubbles tickling your nose or you’re too lazy to tip back the cup like Odin intended, I’m not going to judge you. At least not out loud. This is America, and you have the right to drink your soda/pop/soft drink/half-caf soy iced mocha latte in any way you damn well please.

That, among many other reasons, is why I don’t live in Seattle. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., WaPo:

In one fell sip, Seattle on Sunday became the first major U.S. city to ban drinking straws, an environmentally friendly move that leaders hope will spark a nationwide conversation about small, everyday changes that people can make to protect the planet…

Now customers at grocery stores, restaurants, food trucks, even institutional cafeterias have to find another way to get liquid into their mouths. Compostable paper and plastic straws are allowed under the ban. People who have a medical need to use a straw are exempt.

If you’re caught using one of the newly verboten drinking implements by Seattle’s Straw Gestapo, and you don’t have a note from your doctor, you will be fined $250. Hey, it’s a small price to pay for protecting the planet, right?


What a liberal paradise Seattle is. You can smoke all the weed you want and the cops can’t touch you, but you’ll need to bring your own straw with you on the resulting Taco Bell run.

Yeah, yeah, I know. The landfills are overflowing with our straws. They’re harder to recycle than larger pieces of plastic. The seagulls are choking on them or whatever. They’re hurting the poor fish and turtles. Okay, fine, if you care about that sort of thing. I just don’t like the government telling me what to do, even if it saves a few dumb animals. When was the last time a turtle did anything for me?

We’ll see if this catches on. I lived in Washington, D.C. when they implemented that 5-cent tax on plastic bags, and I guess it worked. Everybody grumbled at first, and then we all just kinda shrugged. But of course, that’s D.C. Everybody there wants the government to control every single aspect of our lives, so why would they balk at getting taxed for carrying home their groceries?

This stuff is all happening hundreds of miles from me, safely ensconced in Flyover Country. Nonetheless, I will continue to exercise my freedom not to use straws. Not because I think Seattle is right, or because I care about the planet, but because I just don’t feel like it.


You’re welcome, seagulls.

*If I’m at the drive-through, of course, I’ll make an exception. It’s tough to drive without spilling your Coke all over yourself while you’re sipping it like a dignified human being, so in that case, I’ll resort to using a straw. Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I contain multitudes.

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