I didn’t notice it at first. I’d go into a restaurant, order water, and the server comes back with a glass and a straw. At first I thought it was just a “bar” thing – servers are always carrying around a pocketful of straws and have plenty to give away. But then I noticed it was happening everywhere – not just bars but even nicer casual restaurants. When did we become a nation of people incapable of placing our lips against the edge of a glass and sipping?
Obviously there are some groups who NEED straws – children with kiddie cups, people slurping their gallon of soda from a travel cup, the elderly and debilitated, and hospital patients. I remember as a kid when straws were special – not everyday items. It was a treat to go someplace where your drink was served with a straw. My sister and I would blow off the wrapper, make slurpy noises – straws were fun. Sometimes we’d even bring the straw home and pop it in our drinks the next day, until we got all the mileage we could from it.
But now I’m an adult, and except for in the very nicest restaurants, am given a straw for water, juice or soda, even though I’m perfectly capable of lifting a glass to my lips. Oddly enough, beer, the one drink that imbibers might wish did come with a straw, never does.
So, what’s with the straws? My theory is that restaurants hope it will increase consumption. But hey, many restaurants give free refills on soda anyway, so why would they care if we slurp our drinks down quickly with a straw or not? After all, if you drink it all and you want more, you’ll get it without increasing the restaurant’s revenue. My guess – it has more to do about eating than drinking. People who are happily and quickly slurping down soda through a fun beverage accessory are probably accompanying this activity with more food – and that’s where the money is.
To this I say – Americans, don’t be sucked in. Stand up for yourselves and drink from a glass like a grownup. Use your muscles to lift that gallon glass (cmon, you can do it) to your lips, and sip like a man (or woman). No more lazy, slurpy, soda-sucking, food-guzzling Americans. Vote with your lips. Save yourself. Boycott straws now!