Monday, November 21, 2011

It is standard practice these days for restaurants to serve straws with drinks. All drinks, it seems—iced tea, soft drinks, etc. It is standard practice even for water. I have not seen straws served with coffee, however. Or tea. Why not? Perhaps the straw custom applies only to drinks served in glasses rather than cups. But what about milk? That’s served in a glass yet I have never seen straws accompany it.

I suppose it’s a matter of hygiene. Hygiene seems to be very popular these days—at least in some respects, drinking through straws rather that from the glass being a significant representative of that. What one is drinking through that straw seems to be of less importance, health wise. I can’t quite get into the habit of drinking water through a straw, though. A glass is good enough.

But if straws should be used for all drinks served in a glass why not serve them for alcoholic beverages? I have a mental picture of men seated at a bar drinking beer with straws. Unlikely. But would that not be advisable in terms of hygienics? Perhaps that is not necessary because the alcohol in the beer kills the germs. But in that case, why don’t we drink more beer—or gin or whatever. It might be that we are more worried about the side effects connected with those substances. Then again, if we are concerned about side effects, what about side effects from drugs? More often than not we ignore those.

At any rate, we should probably hope that the custom of serving straws with drinks continues. Besides being hygienic, it’s good for straw manufacturers—another way to keep the economy healthy, a benefit that rivals, if not exceeds, that of hygiene.

I’m not even going to comment on the added plastic burden placed upon the landfills.

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