Straw vote

Straws, the opiate of the thirsty! © Huffygirl

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!


18 thoughts on “Straw vote

      • In consideration of my age, I think I’m not a kid anymore 😉 Still I like drinking through a straw because it makes the time to empty the glass longer 😛

      • That’s true you’re not a kid any more Sajib- especially now that you’re in college. But people my age like to think of people your age as kids.

  1. Hahahaha, I always use straws at home. LOVE straws. And in restaurants, I use them because I can’t bring myself to put my mouth to those glasses–sterilized by the dish washer but with crusted, cooked on bits still evident. I also don’t like to put my mouth to a glass that a clueless server has carried to my table with their hand (washed?) around the top of the rim. “Didn’t your mama teach you to hold glasses from the base?” I want to scream. 😉
    I know, I’m nuts.

    • No your not Margaret.I’m starting to think that I’m nuts for never considering not drinking from the germ and slime encrusted glass. Apparently everyone else has been sensibly protecting themselves from germs by drinking through straws, while I’ve been so busy conniving how to satirize them that I never really thought about the germ aspect. Of course, I will no longer be able to ever go to a restaurant now that I’ve read everyone’s germ-related info, and if I do, I’ll have to bring my own glass like the OCD guy in “As good as it gets.” Sniff. You’ve all ruined drinking out a glass for me. Ruined…:)

  2. While I’m sure it’s urban legend, or at least they are just as dirty as everything else, I fell in the habit of asking for straws at restaurants when I always heard that the glasses at a restaurant are the least carefully washed dish. As opposed to the fork I am putting in my mouth that is just sparkling clean I’m sure 🙂

    • Interesting point Caryn. I guess I’m too busy being satirical to think about the cleanliness aspect. Of course, if I started wondering too much about the cleanliness of restaurants, I would probably never go to one.

    • Good point. Something I never really considered because I was too busy decrying the use of straws. But then, I often see servers open the straws and put them in the glass, so that would defeat the sanitary purposes.

      • The only way they should open the straw wrapper is by pushing the straw out one end, raising the wrapper a little and putting the open end in the drink leaving the customer to take the wrapper off…or just leaving the straw wrapped.

  3. In my area of Texas, they give you straws with everything. You could say “Nothing to drink for me Thank You”….and the server will still drop a straw in front of you…… 🙂

  4. hahahaha–I only like straws with milkshakes. Then I can really draw out the pleasure of this mostly forbidden treat. And they allow me to play with my drinks–like I play with my food, which my husband HATES. sigh. Funny post.

    • Thanks Suzanne. I think straws can be fun too with the right drink. I guess most of my angst against straws came from a waste of paper and plastic when unwanted or unneeded straws are doled out, then thrown away by the hundreds. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Most of the time I can take or leave the straw. If it is in the drink already I will use it. Otherwise I may or may not use it. Except for frozen drinks. You definitely want to use a straw with a frozen drink. You just want a little bit of that stuff at a time. Otherwise you get one of those “frozen headaches”. Ouch.

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