Lee Pitts: Save The Ice Cube
I have lived for most of my life within 10 miles of San Luis Obispo, CA, or SLO as it’s known. Normally I hate cities, long lines and traffic jams so I tend to stay away from places with stoplights, but as towns go, SLO isn’t so bad. In 2010 National Geographic proclaimed SLO “the happiest town in America” while at the same time it was also named the third best place to live in the country. I wouldn’t argue with that but the town is also known for some pretty kooky stuff.
SLO was the first city in America to ban smoking in bars and paper and plastic bags in grocery stores. In March it was one of the first cities in America to ban drinking straws in restaurants. If your average over-worked restaurant server who is working two jobs and depending on good tips from persnickety customers to make ends meet, gives you a straw without you first asking for one, he or she could face a penalty of $1,000 and six months in jail. There are actually straw cops staking out restaurants trying to nab the vile straw givers who are terrorizing America. Restaurants can’t even substitute plastic straws with paper ones because that might entail cutting down a few extra trees every year, not to mention an outbreak of the much-dreaded soggy straw syndrome (SSS).
The bloated left-coast politicians say the plastic from straws pollutes the environment but if they’re so worried about that why isn’t California’s own Nancy Pelosi put in jail for all the work plastic surgeons have wasted on her?
Personally, I don’t think the straw ordinance goes far enough. Why stop with just the straws? How about all the parsley that gets wasted on restaurant plates every year? Is there a single soul in America who eats the stuff and yet why isn’t there a garnish gestapo? And how about paper napkins? How many more innocent trees have to die just so you can wipe the mustard off your ugly mug? That’s what shirt sleeves are for. If we’d just outlaw all the greasy chicken being served we could save entire forests.
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The list of items wasted in restaurants is longer than the menu at Jack In The Box. We could turn the Mojave Desert green with all the water that’s served but never drunk and do you really need that after-dinner mint at Olive Garden or the Waverly Wafers in the cracker basket at your favorite steak house? And don’t get me started on wasted pickles.
I haven’t even mentioned the thing that needs saving the most: ice cubes. How many more must die a slow, agonizing death in the bottom of a drink glass? Are you so deaf that you can’t hear their screams? Every year there’s enough ice melted in all the Big Gulps to provide the ice for every hockey rink in North America. Ice crunchers like myself should be locked up for ten years before they destroy any more cubes. And talk about climate change! Researchers at the Institute for Junk Science in Hollywood, California, say there’s enough ice wasted every year in the bottom of drink cups to create ten icebergs bigger than the one that doomed the Titanic. Their melting is causing the temperature of the planet to plummet by two degrees every year! That’s why not a single polar bear was spotted in Hollywood last year, according to Professor Alec Baldwin.
So I say, “Save The Ice Cube!” We can start by demanding that dying ice cubes be rehabilitated by refreezing them. And women’s groups should be knitting little tiny sweaters for the disappearing cubes so they don’t freeze to death. It’s the least we can do.
I beg every small town, municipality and giant city in America, to follow SLO’s example and save the straws, save the garnish, save the napkins and for goodness sakes, save the cubes. Why must they suffer a single second more? You can help by sending your tax deductible contributions to Save The Ice Cube (STIC) in care of my bank where I’ll stick it somewhere the IRS will never find it. Don’t let the little disappearing buggers suffer a single second more or they could soon end up on the Endangered Species List.
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