July 16, 2008

I tend to gulp beverages. Not to the point that I choke, but often I gulp my drinks so fast that I sound like a feeding pug or a pig snuffling for truffles.

That’s why it didn’t surprise me when the waiter at the sushi restaurant handed me a straw with my can of Coke.

It seemed that he was being courteous on my behalf and saving the other diners the audio spectacle of my drinking. But then I realized that this guy had no knowledge of my drinking disorder.

If he was handing me a straw, it was for reasons other than my mannerisms. Further, he had no way to tell that I never use a straw…so what was it?

Cans! That’s the ticket. People are obsessive about keeping their mouths off of can tops these days. It’s because storerooms full of soda and other drink cans are thought to be breeding grounds for mice, rats and other critters.

They crawl about on top of the beverage cases and do what denizens of the warehouse are wont to do. They sully the cans to the point nobody would want to put their mouth or any body part near them.

Well, I think that’s bunk.

When was the last time you saw a case of soda without a shrink-wrapped piece of plastic over it? 1974?

That’s right. These days, unless you’re buying collector cans of Moxie, soda and beer is sealed in plastic or cardboard when it leaves the factory. Before it gets on a truck. Before it gets to the warehouse. And before the rats have a chance to poop on it.

So put away your straws and gulp deeply. The sound will annoy some people, but it won’t be any worse than the impending burp you’ll have to perform after sucking down all that CO2.

More to come…