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The Discourse

A Good Idea About Straws

Most idiots have been looking at this issue all wrong—except for me. 

“Everybody wants to save the world.” That was a famous rock and roll song by someone I don’t know, and is even more true today, a number of years later. It seems that everywhere you go, someone is trying to make your life harder for the sake of the common good. You must wear a mask, you can’t shoot guns at squirrels in city limits, you have to pay a “tax” on each and every ice cream sandwich. 

Perhaps no issue more vitally illustrates this vital issue than the issue of straws. Used to be you could get a plastic straw. Now you can only get paper straws, because of the environment. If you read my blog, however, I think you’ll find that most idiots have been looking at this issue all wrong—except for me. 

Consider the plastic straw: Sleek. Aerodynamic. Good for drinking drinks through. Among the best things about plastic straws is that liquid can go through them, into your mouth, without damaging the straw itself. You could drink an eighteen gallon jug of Diet Dew through a single straw with no measurable loss of straw integrity. Unfortunately, plastic straws have a drawback as well: they go into the ocean, and sea turtles probably eat them. For that reason America has chosen to ban plastic straws in favor of paper straws, which can be eaten safely by the average goat. 

Now consider the paper straw: Made of paper. Disintegrates when you drink things because it’s made of paper. Makes drinks papery. As the American beverage distribution and service industry has rushed to satisfy the “P.C.” straw brigade, we must ask, have they also rushed, head-long, into a fiasco of functionality? (Or lack thereof.) 

I am here to tell you today that this sort of “either-or” choice—the sort of “red state vs. blue state” choice that is tearing America apart, due exclusively to the idiocy of the red states–is not necessary. Greatness is found when you take your thinking outside of the box and put it in your mind. Likewise, we can throw away the “box” of paper straws, satisfy the demands of environmental preservation, and still enjoy a satisfying Diet Dew on a hot day, while being full of morality. Lost? Don’t be surprised. Not everyone has as many good ideas as I do. Allow me to explain. 

The other day I got a drink from a “woke” business, and it had a paper straw. As I was eating the straw particles that crumbled into my mouth, another relevant fact that the media often does not want you to know came to my attention: I was drinking out of a plastic cup. That’s right—businesses have stopped giving us plastic straws, but they continue to give us plastic cups. By slicing a plastic cup into small strips, measuring their area, and then using a mathematical formula that I won’t go into here to account for increased area of the curvature, we can determine that a cup has more plastic in it than a straw. 

That’s right: a plastic cup has more plastic than a plastic straw

Consider what we have wrought. A world without Bob “Hope,” Johnny “Cash,” or Richard “Straw.” A world in which we are using paper straws to drink out of plastic cups. It’s backwards! Imagine if, instead, we kept the high-functioning plastic straws, and simply used paper cups. Paper cups work good. They’re fine. Paper straws work bad. They’re bad. We could, in fact, improve drink functionality while at the same time reducing our plastic usage, simply by breaking out of the herd-like “groupthink” that defines so many of our beverage decisions inside of our current paradigm. 

Plastic straws. Paper cups. Saving sea turtles. Enjoying drinks. Not drinking paper. Not getting clogged straw. Actually the drink works fine. Using less plastic. Declining plastic industry. “Re-skilling” plastic workers into public service jobs. More teachers. Youth education. Less crime. Kids being nicer to me about my clothes.

This is a good idea, admit it. 

Photo: Flickr/Giles Turnbull