Thursday, April 12, 2012

Never Underestimate the Power of Neon Bendy Straws

For reasons that I cannot divulge in this public arena, this has been THE longest week OF MY WHOLE LIFE.

It’s Thursday, and I feel like repeatedly banging my head against a hard surface. Or running around tearing my clothes. Or ripping my hair out. Or inventing my own language to express my unhappiness at the slow passage of time.

Work has even been slow this week. I’m sorry, but I can only read yesterday’s Sentinel so many times before I start to go mad.

Tuesday, being bored, I decided to clean the re-usable straw from my plastic travel cup. There are no words to describe the overwhelming disgustingness. Have you ever cleaned a straw? It’s not an easy task, I assure you.

We have those extra long Q-Tips at work. The ones that are about five inches long or so and they’re made of wood with a very little cotton at the end. You have to stick one end into the straw, get what you can, pull it out, then attack from the other end. I realize that that entire description has the potential to be misconstrued as VERY dirty, but I have neither the time nor the desire to fix it.

The problem is that the cotton on the swabs is VERY LITTLE cotton. SO, I had to take Kleenex, tear it into little strips, wrap it around the end, and then go at it again. (Wrap it up, kids. WRAP IT UP.) It’s really gross because you get SOME of the stuff out of it, but then you have to attack from the rear again, and so you feel like you’re just pushing rot up and down the straw. (As I write this, I’m asking myself “WHAT IS MY LIFE?!!?!”)


What I was able to dig out of the straw was the most disgusting stuff I’d ever seen. Who knew that a STRAW used for DRINKING WATER could get so DISGUSTING? Not this girl. Noooooot thiiiiissss giiiiiiirrrrllll.

And that’s when I swore off drinking water and switched to ONLY drinking Margaritas and shots of Jack for the rest of my life.

The End.

Not really, but I was terribly disgusted. I immediately felt weak and feverish. I started sweating bullets. I turned white as a sheet. I knew that as a result of my tainted straw, I would surely die and that death would be swift. Probably within the next half hour. As soon as I started writing my last will and testament, a customer came up to my window and I had to postpone the plans for my imminent demise.

This morning, I came back to work after my day off, forgetting about my cup incident on Tuesday. I noticed that my cup had been cleaned and set aside. Without even thinking, I filled it up and started sipping my water.


I went back to my desk and rummaged through my purse to find my wallet. I ran to the paper towel/ paper plates/plastic cutlery/ red solo cup aisle and scanned for some straws.


The NEON BENDY straws, just like I had used for the first time when I was six years old and on vacation in Florida. The special straws that made me feel like a special kid. They were calling to me. And they were $.98.

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the smallest things can trigger the fondest memories and push unpleasant thoughts of expiration away? I thought I was going to curl up in bed and die like a Dickens character, very poor, very cold, and with my feet wrapped in strips of cloth for no reason other than dramatic effect. Instead, I was instantly transported to a sunny day on a beach and I was learning to swim.

Who knew that a box of neon bendy straws could serve as a time machine?

I still might die, though. Stay tuned.

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