Scott Graves
Curry Coastal Pilot

When my wife and I go out to eat, we like to tear off the end of the paper on soda straws and blow the remaining paper at one another. We call it “Straw Wars.” It’s a safe, free and fun way for us to work out our marital issues ... until we’re kicked out of the restaurant.

However, I’ve felt a great disturbance in The Force, as if millions of straws suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. There’s an insidious power rising on the Dark Side. It’s name is Calderon. Lord Calderon. A California senator who introduced legislation prohibiting restaurants from providing customers with straws unless the customer asks for one.

No kidding! He fears a secret organization called the International Straw Association (ISA) is hell-bent on world domination. Maybe that’s because the ISA’s secret slogan is “Today, Winnemucca. Tomorrow, the world!” It’s true. I read it on the Internet.

Actually, the real reason Ian “The Evil One” Calderon opposes straws is because several environmental groups reported that 500 gajillion plastic beverage straws are used every day, clogging our landfills. It’s part of a larger, global “straw free” campaign that’s been around for years. According to the ISA, it started when a group of environmentalist were sitting around, binge-watching nature documentaries, when one looked at the straw in his plastic cup and said, “Hey! I have an idea. Let’s rid the world of plastic straws!”

“Death to the straws!” the others shouted, raising up their plastic cups.

Although Lord Calderon’s proposed law is for California, we know others throughout the country will join the Dark Side and, before you know it, strawless couples in restaurants throughout the universe will resolve their marital issues by blowing up Death Stars.

So, while California is suffering from devastating wildfires, floods and liberal movie stars, Lord Calderon wants to ban straws. Does he realize how critical straws are to life? It says so right there in the Bible, the book of Ralph, chapter 12, verse 3: “Henceforth, after God invented Silly Putty and Legos, he created plastic straws — with paper wrappers. And it was good. And Adam and Eve stopped blowing up Death Stars, and peace reigned across the universe for a thousand years.”

Let’s face it. Plastic straws have many redeeming qualities. For instance, many people use straws to avoid touching their lips to potentially-contaminated glasses, which are clinically proven to carry life-threatening diseases such as malaria, Ebola and lower back pain.

Other things you can do with straws:

•Stick one up each nostril and make walrus noises. (Always a big hit at environmentalist parties.)

•Build a straw fortress to protect your Silly Putty and Legos from Satan.

•Shoot spit wads at senators proposing lame legislation.

History shows us that prohibition of anything is usually a bad idea.

If Lord Calderon’s law passes, thousands of poor, innocent, undocumented straws will be deported. Prisons will kick out pedophiles, rapists and murderers to make room for an influx of “spit wad” criminals. Hospitals and clinics will be overrun by those suffering from straw addiction and withdrawal.

Shady “straw dealers” will hang out behind restaurants, tempting married couples: “Psst. I got what you need. Straight straws. Curly straws. Fine Columbian straws, man.”

A ban on straws will quickly lead to the government launching a “War on straws,” followed by a “Just Say No” anti-straw campaign. Police officers will show up at elementary schools to demonstrate their straw-sniffing police dogs and share their experiences battling straw users and dealers. They’ll arrive in shiny, black Camaros adorned with stickers with the acronym “SARE” (Straw Abuse Resistance Education).

“We seized this car from a straw dealer!” the officers will boast.

They’ll warn us that straws are a “gateway plastic.”

“Using straws will lead you use saran wrap, plastic bags and ponchos!”

Of course any laws banning straws will eventually lead to legislation to legalize them. It will start in Colorado with efforts to legalize “medical straws,” and then “recreational straws.” Eventually, straw “dispensaries” will pop up across the country, thousands of people will walk around with straws up their noses, and SARE officers will sell their shiny, black Camaros.

Please, Lord Calderon. End this crazy war on straws before more married couples kill themselves.

Or blow up another Death Star.


Scott Graves was editor of the Curry Coastal Pilot from September 2000 to November 2017. He can be reached by calling 541-469-3123 or