Blog: Straws

Burt Ross

Let’s hear it for the members of our City Council who unanimously voted to outlaw the use of plastic straws in Malibu. I, for one, wish they had gone one step further and outlawed straws altogether, because who needs to drink liquids from a straw anyway?

I never drink from a straw. I prefer to grab the cup or glass in one of my massive paws and gulp away. The only time I would ever use a straw is if I were in bad shape and couldn’t use my hands, like if I had been arrested and in handcuffs. Perhaps I might need to use a straw if I have a stroke someday, but until then, straws be damned.

I can certainly understand why our civic leaders took action to protect our beaches and ocean from the massive dumping of plastic in our waterways. Straws are a major pollutant, so I guess you could say all these straws on the beach were the last straw, or the straws which finally broke the camel’s back.

I was just up in Sausalito and was served paper straws with my drink. Apparently the movement is growing elsewhere.

About a week ago I was having breakfast at Paradise Cove when its longtime owner Bob Morris sat down and presented me with two straws. “Do you know what these are?” he asked me with a slight twinkle in his eye. I didn’t know whether this was a trick question. “Are they chop sticks or drum sticks or straws? I just don’t know.”

He affirmed they were straws, but then said, “Do you know what they are made of?” I hadn’t a clue, but they were quite hard. “They are made out of pasta,” he beamed proudly. I sipped my water through one of these novelties and had to admit they performed exactly the way a straw is supposed to act.

“These are better straws than those made from paper, and they are more biodegradable,” he observed. “Hmm,” I replied, which is what I often mutter when I have nothing to add to the conversation. Bob gave me two souvenir pasta straws which for some reason are still lying on my desk.

As the late, great Sam Cooke sang, “I don’t know much about biology,” but I would venture to guess that straws made from pasta are even more biodegradable than paper straws, and they have a couple of additional advantages. They are hard and can be used as a weapon if necessary (if you are really unhappy with your waiter), and if you are extremely hungry, you can put them in boiling water and enjoy some carbs.

Whether we ultimately go paper or pasta, that is the question, and we can decide the matter once and for all by putting it up for a straw vote.