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Cocktail Straws

You’re at a wedding scoping the scene and dying for a drink, not because you’re thirsty but because it’s awkward to just stand there doing nothing. As your eyes glaze over, interminably bored by the insipid conversation, a man in a tuxedo, looking very much like a penguin, appears with a tray of drinks.

“Bloody Mary, ma’am?”

You’ve never been called “ma’am” before, but there’s no one else around, so you accept a drink. It looks like the tomato soup they served for lunch, and you can’t help but wonder whether they’re just trying to reuse the leftovers. Regardless, it is a nice presentation, all gussied in garnish, artisan ice cubes, Waterford Crystal, and-

‘How cute! Mini straws!’

You decide to take a taste test. Raising the straw to your mouth to imbibe, you are dismayed that almost nothing passes through the straw. That’s right, it’s a mini-straw, not a drinking straw. But there’s no place to discard the straw. What to do?

Maybe drink around it. As you raise the glass to your lips anticipating a cold delicious sip, you are rudely shocked to find that the now not-so-cute mini-straw just went up your nostril. Say whaaat?! Thwarted again!

Frazzled, you remove the straw from the glass and hold it in your left hand, oblivious that it is dripping red juice onto the carpet. With your right hand, you raise the glass and finally get a sip. Not yesterday’s tomato soup!

Just then, another penguin waddles past with a platter of coconut shrimp. You are suddenly glad to be at the wedding and want to grab your fair share of the loot. You snatch a shrimp between your thumb and forefinger and pop it in your mouth. Finally, something in return for that expensive wedding present, but actually not-so-expensive since it was regifted. But let’s just keep that between you and the shrimp.

As you savor the shrimp, the penguin begins to walk away, and you are horrified to realize that the napkin and straw in your left hand are preventing you from grabbing more. You throw the straw back in the drink, tap him on the shoulder, and lighten his load by seizing three more coconut shrimp. The penguin goes to serve another customer, his white jacket a little more interesting now that it’s stained with red fingerprints. You are really killing it now.

Sated, you decide to take another sip of your drink but don’t want to relive that embarrassing faux pas. Improvising, you bend the mini-straw over the side of the glass, so it’s not in your way and you still have a free hand to snatch hors d’oeuvres. But the bent straw looks tacky, and nobody else is doing it. You are running out of options.

Back to square one. You stand the deformed straw back up, although it is now clogged with pulp and has a crease. You’ve made a mess of it. But trial and error have proved that this is the best method. No unsightly bent straw folded over your glass. Your left hand remains free to seek and destroy any delicious snacks. And best of all, no danger of absentmindedly poking your precious face. From now on, you will choose the best of the four bad options, subjecting yourself to the torture of slow sipping.

Who designed these anyway?

Lena Yannella

Graphics: Maraea Garcia

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