October 15, 2010

"It's not that I want to prevent someone from having a beverage, but there were mugs, Super-Slurpee kind of things with straws coming out."

The judge will have order.
[Judge Gene Gasiorkiewicz] bought two big boxes of custom-printed plastic travel mugs. The silver mugs have the scales of justice in black on two sides, with the words "RACINE CIRCUIT COURT BRANCH 2" printed

[He] paid about $300 for the roughly 100 mugs - all "made in the U.S. of A." - and said he will give every lawyer who comes before him their first mug free. If it gets lost, he said, the attorney's on the hook for the replacement.

"They can put whatever they want inside it," he said. "When it sits on the counsel table, it's
uniform."
It's good that a judge has a strong feeling for uniformity. It has something to do with being consistent and treating people as equals... doesn't it? In any case, people look totally unprofessional drinking from straws. In fact, I hate to see any adult drinking from a straw, and I loathe when a restaurant serves your water or other drink with a straw already stuck into it. Do you just go ahead and drink from the straw when that happens? Do you realize that the person you'rewith may see you as looking childish — as if you'd worn shorts out to dinner? When there's a straw in my drink, I have to take it out and put it on the table, not that I'm trying to punish the bus boy. But it's really those fat plastic straws that I hate. If a drink came with with 2 paper-wrapped paper straws, I'd be tempted to use them and perhaps drift off into all sorts of straw-prompted nostalgia. Oh... sorry. I'm ranting. But then, I never portrayed myself as a person with judicial temperament.

57 comments:

Ron said...

our straw poll sez...No Althouse for SCOTUS!

Original Mike said...

Straws, shorts, being called Ann. You do have your bugaboos, don't you, Althouse. That's OK. It's adorable. {ducks}

Hoosier Daddy said...

Judge Chamberlain Haller: Mr. Gambini, didn't I tell you that the next time you appear in my court that you dress appropriately?
Vinny Gambini: You were serious about that?

My Cousin Vinny, 1992

Hoosier Daddy said...

Vinny Gambini: I bought a suit. You seen it. Now it's covered in mud. This town doesn't have a one hour cleaner so I had to buy a new suit, except the only store you could buy a new suit in has got the flu. Got that? The whole store got the flu so I had to get this in a second hand store. So it's either wear the leather jacket which I know you hate, or this. So I wore this ridiculous thing for you.

My Cousin Vinny, 1992

Original Mike said...

On the topic of decorum in the courtroom, more power to the Judge. People on the jury reading the newspaper??? Surely nor during the trial?

Scott M said...

You could be decked out head to toe in roughed up denim covered with leather, with twin bandoliers of ammo across your chest, a shotgun in a holster across your back and a gladius or katana in a waist sheath, sitting on a chopped up and road-weary chopped '68 Harley softtail, and still look like a pussy if you drink from a straw.

Scott M said...

...much the same as you look like a dork for using "chopped" twice in one sentence...

AllenS said...

I can't think of a place that puts a straw in your drink. All straws I've ever seen come with a paper covering.

Amy said...

Straw=shorts. Between this post and the Rich Whitey one yesterday, I'm getting my best laughs here. Who knew this was turning into a comedy blog?

As a promotional products distributor, I appreciate that one of my colleagues got the order. However, I strongly doubt the mugs were MADE in the US. Decorated here, yes, but probably brought in from China, like almost everything else is. (Not that it matters to me, just sayin...)

EDH said...

Another argument for your brief: if there were no straws you'd all but eliminate the scourge of adolescent "brain freezes."

El Pollo Real said...

Talk about your strawman...

ndspinelli said...

Well Barrister Althouse, you certainly have your opinions. Like yourself, I don't like straws. However, it seems many of your dislikes are style over substance. Again, we have the reoccurring theme of caring how you appear, and the disturbing characteristic..err, flaw, over caring how others appear. It's that control freak attorney stuff always coming to the surface.

The reason I don't like straws are because the coldest part of the iced beverage is @ the top...where the ice is located. The straw is below the ice where the beverage is tepid. I simply put the straw on the table. If everyone else in the universe wants to use a straw, God bless them. You need a libertarian sabbatical, Barrister Althouse.

Treacle said...

remove the straw from drink. grab the straw on each end. tight roll the straw leaving about 1" of the center of the straw unrolled. have your dinner mate flick the straw. a pleasant popping sound will announce to the restaurant that you've found a use for your otherwsie unwanted straw.

edutcher said...

The Blonde used to say, "Straws are for sick people", but it isn't one of her big issues.

And wearing shorts to dinner is quite acceptable in some places, provided they have a nice crease and you wear a belt with them.

The judge, OTOH, sounds like a petty tyrant who just wants everybody to do it his way and, since he has a little power, can force it on people.

Ann on a rant. I think she needs another road trip.

Michael said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the aversion to straws. I make an exception in some, but not all, places in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Mexico when eating alone. If i am with a national I never use straws.

ricpic said...

The straw thing is bad but badder still are the walk around drinkers. What's with this business of walking down the street sucking on a straw or a bottle or a container of hot coffee? All the beautiful people in their track suits do it. Which doesn't make it right.

Scott M said...

The judge, OTOH, sounds like a petty tyrant

...aren't we all, though, to the extent that we can get away with? Some people's ovals are just little more officy than others.

1jpb said...

I think bubble tea has gone mainstream across the country. I doubt you need to live in a city w/ a "China town," like you did more than a decade ago. Assuming such shops exists in Madison, how can Althouse enjoy this beverage w/o a straw?

I recommend the blended/shake version w/ the taro flavor.

And, why is Althouse so mean to Meade? The guy may want to have a camel back type of drinking system the next time he's doing another extreme outdoor activity. But, now he'll be ashamed. Maybe there's an exception to the straw rule, just as there is for the shorts rule, when it's really hot.

rdkraus said...

For someone who doesn't touch bathroom door knobs, you're kind of blase about putting your mouth on a glass that someone surely touched + who knows how it was or wasn't cleaned.

I thought they give you the straw so you can shoot the wrapping at your kids.

k*thy said...

Agreed, straw wrapper fights with your kids are the best.

SarcastiCarrie said...

They put the straw *in* the drink before they bring it to the table to mark which beverage is the diet version.

Or, they stopped buying straws in paper to save the half-cent per straw and then you have to put them in the drinks in advance because otherwise you're setting a clean straw directly on the table (though getting rid of straws would save more money, it would anger women who like to drink out of straws so as not to mess up their lipstick).

Scott M said...

Agreed, straw wrapper fights with your kids are the best.

The main reason for having more than one kid is that you get to relive the high points of kid-dome guilt-free. I had forgotten how much fun silly string fights were until my oldest hit six or so. I just had my first silly string fight with my next oldest (who just hit six) who almost burst a lung laughing. I'm really looking forward to the next two in line...

traditionalguy said...

Your Eminence, we are here to humbly apply for a special dispensation for the use of straws stuck through the portable drink cups that we hoi poli buy at lunch at McDonalds. The bums charge $1.80 for a medium diet coke, but for that price they generously allow Free re-fills, which we do to the top upon leaving the restaurant. Needless to say we need a cup with a lid not to spill it walking and in the car; and a lid works so much better with a straw stuck through it. I suppose you walk home for lunch or have Meade prepare a gourmet dish to take with you. But we plead for mercy here, your Eminence.

KLDAVIS said...

Yes, in any restaurant the outside rim of the glass was likely handled after it was cleaned by any number of sets of hands. Fail to use the straw at your peril.

k*thy said...

Carrie - I agree too, with the 'marking'. I'll risk looking childish - it's kind of critical to those of us who no longer imbibe.

Ann Althouse said...

"Your Eminence, we are here to humbly apply for a special dispensation for the use of straws stuck through the portable drink cups that we hoi poli buy at lunch at McDonalds."

There's too much drinking in cars. It's annoying me. I do it myself though, on a long car trip, if I need to keep driving.

Frankly, I don't like the way it looks to drink out of a bottle either.

There's just too much drinking, period. When did people become so obsessed with hydration?

Ever see the George Carlin routine mocking people who carry water bottles with them everywhere? He thought you should drink a glass of water before you leave home.

William said...

The wish to light out for the territories vs the wish to quicken and increase the rules by which we are governed is an ancient struggle. It is fought out more along the lines of gender than of class. Women always wish to add curtain lace and codicils to the social contract.....I, myself, am fairly broad minded about the subject of straws and plastic mugs. I do, however, think that there is a slippery slope here. The wish of women to dress respectably ended in the horror of corsets and girdles. The wish of women to drink in respectable ways can end in demitasse cups and Waterford crystal if we are not vigilant.

Hoosier Daddy said...

...aren't we all, though, to the extent that we can get away with?

Well, yes...I admit it. Just the other day when playing Empire:Total War some uppity Swedish peasants thought that they could rule better than me, The King. What insolence, what arrogance, what outragenousness!

Needless to say flintlock musketmen a few provincial cavalry and some demi-cannon proved no match for my horse drawn artillery, crack grenadiers and line infantry. They never stood a chance. Gave them a whiff of grapeshot and reminded them who the boss is.

Its good to be the King.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Frankly, I don't like the way it looks to drink out of a bottle either.

I take it you're not a fan of eating bananas then...

/runs away

ndspinelli said...

On long drives men use the cups to piss. I had a van load of fishermen on an 8 hour drive. I was the driver and drank a couple espresso. The others drank beer and filled a gallon milk jug and 2 McDonalds cups. Do women ever piss in cups on the road? Men[real ones] are from Mars...

Original Mike said...

"There's just too much drinking, period. When did people become so obsessed with hydration?"

Good question. I think it's a crutch or a prop, like cigarettes.

"Ever see the George Carlin routine mocking people who carry water bottles with them everywhere?"

The aluminum ones freak me out. I've been a backpacker for 35 years and those containers were originally (and still are) used for carrying gas for your camp stove. One I see one, my brain is programmed to think "gasoline", so it's a little disturbing when I see someone drink out of one.

Scott M said...

Well, yes...I admit it. Just the other day when playing Empire:Total War some uppity Swedish peasants thought that they could rule better than me, The King. What insolence, what arrogance, what outragenousness!

Alright. Enough of this beating around the grognard bush. Email me at ags1776@hotmail.com so we can start a list of people hereabouts that play. Remember, "no politics, all heavy cavalry"

Trooper York said...

"There's just too much drinking, period."

Take that back.

Oligonicella said...

Ah, a deep seated insecurity issue with aging. Iiiiinteresting....

Pastafarian said...

Althouse, are you telling us that you drink a milkshake without a straw?

Just how on earth do you manage this, if it's a decently thick shake? What, do you use a spoon? Please tell me you don't use a spoon. Or do you just pour it down, and end up with a big milkshake mustache? Much more dignified than a straw.

Or are shakes on the same verboten list as egg salad?

I'll have to comb back through past posts. I seem to recall a meal at some burger joint that included a milkshake.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Althouse, are you telling us that you drink a milkshake without a straw?

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,
And their like
It's better than yours,
Damn right it's better than yours,
I can teach you,
But I have to charge

dbp said...

I don't like drinking through a straw, but it must not be technically wrong to do so. I recall a Miss Manners column from many years ago where she opined that the proper way was to pick-up your glass before sipping through the straw.

When it comes to a bottle or can of soft-drink, then a straw is better since can tops are often filthy.

Added: Why is beer never drunk through a straw. It can't be the carbonation, soda is carbonated and it is mostly consumed via straw.

MamaM said...

I buy straws in boxes for home use and enjoy using them in iced drinks and smoothies.

There is less contact with lip and teeth with a straw, and less tip of the glass and focus required when I'm working on a project

I have difficulty imagining myself enjoying a meal with someone who hates to see any adult use a straw and loathes when the restaurant brings one with her water. There's a good chance I'd regard the attachment of that much strong emotion to a relatively small matter of choice as childish.

Coketown said...

Oh, Ann. When I sensed you were about to rant about straws I was praying (literally praying to God in Heaven) that you would tie it in with wearing shorts--and you did! Bless you.

Personally I think sipping through straws is more adult/professional than slurping, which is unavoidable with iced drinks. Unless it's one of those absurd twisty=twirly straws that changes colors as the fluid passes through. Even I think that is distasteful.

Original Mike said...

"Why is beer never drunk through a straw."

I've often wondered what it is about beer and straws, because it definitely doesn't "work". It just seems important to fill your mouth with beer, not just get a little stream.

Kirk Parker said...

Wow, Althouse, you're getting dangerously close to Leon Kass territory here.

Richard Dolan said...

"It's good that a judge has a strong feeling for uniformity. It has something to do with being consistent and treating people as equals... doesn't it? In any case, people look totally unprofessional drinking from straws."

LOL - Ann channeling Captain Queeg, in prose reminiscent of David Markson. It goes with her fatwa against men in shorts, too.

John Richardson said...

I always thought straws were a male-female thing. Guys don't drink using straws and girls do.

As to there being "germs" on glasses in a restaurant, we are just too germaphobic nowadays. We need to build some immunity and germs are just the thing to do it!

bgates said...

there were mugs, Super-Slurpee kind of things with straws coming out.

After the trial, everybody was going to go outside and watch Obama try to get out of the ditch that he inherited.

(See, 'Ditch' starts with a 'D'. No, wait, I mean 'Drive' starts with a 'D'. When you want to back out of the ditch, you put the car in...no, that doesn't work....)

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I wonder if all hippies become conformist fuddy-duddies in their later years? In my limited sample (Prof. Althouse and my brother -- not that he a serious hippie), it seems like 100%.

Where're Townsend and Daltry when you need them? "Hope I die before I get old."

wv: extintin. The hippie generation's embrace of personal expression is doomed to extintin.

Scott M said...

The hippie generation's embrace of personal expression is doomed to extintin.

pssst - it died first with disco and the, to a lesser extent, with Members Only...assuming it ever really existed at all outside a desperate, almost psychotic need simply to be different.

David Byrne said as much in an interview last year, in which he illustrated that an overwhelming majority of the artistic community simple produces in order to be different, not good. He was as dismissive of his peers as I think I've ever seen the soft-spoken former Talking Head get.

I've always suspected as much, given the wonderful pieces of shit that dot the public arena green spaces, but it's nice to have affirmed by an insider.

LOL and that doesn't even take into the account the very intolerance the "tolerant" artistic types when they created the genre of "outsider art".

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

1jpb said...

I think bubble tea has gone mainstream across the country.

I wish. I'm sure we have bubble tea somewhere near me; but I'll bet "near" means "around an hour away, and you have to hunt for it."

I recommend the blended/shake version w/ the taro flavor.

Yep! A little taro in the bubble tea makes it really good. And yes, you'll need a straw, a really fat one.

Beldar said...

Judicial or judicious?

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Original Mike said...
"There's just too much drinking, period. When did people become so obsessed with hydration?"

Good question. I think it's a crutch or a prop, like cigarettes.


Pretty much. Sometimes people think better while they fiddle with some prop.

Is there something wrong with that? Gonna take the drinks away, too? What'll be the excuse this time, second-hand slurping?

(For the record: never smoked, not once in my life. Don't want to, either, since they smell. But the nannies wanting to take them away is the one thing that gives me the urge to smoke.)

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

dbp said...

Added: Why is beer never drunk through a straw. It can't be the carbonation, soda is carbonated and it is mostly consumed via straw.

But except possibly in the case of root beer, I've never heard anyone claim that the head of the pop is a pleasant part of the experience. You watch pop drinkers pour, they work hard to minimize the head, and then wait for it to settle. Meanwhile, some beer drinkers make a good head of beer practically an art form, and the proper pouring technique a ritual.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Scott M said...

David Byrne said as much in an interview last year, in which he illustrated that an overwhelming majority of the artistic community simple produces in order to be different, not good. He was as dismissive of his peers as I think I've ever seen the soft-spoken former Talking Head get.

Wow, I would've loved to read that! Mr. Byrne is hit or miss with me, but he's always struck me as smart and a shrewd observer of the world.

Yes, controversy is so much easier than creativity -- especially when your "controversial" work is barely distinguishable from all the other "controversial" work created by all your non-conformist, identically dressed peers.

Synova said...

I like straws.

The alternative is straining out the ice with my teeth.

Julie C said...

A mixed drink at a bar or nice restaurant is one thing, a greasy Coke glass at a diner or something, give me that straw. For the same reason I use a paper towel to cover the door handle when I leave a public restroom ...

When I lived in Africa they served Coke in bottles with a straw - but they had to leave the top of the paper cover on the straw - evidently that was a sign of cleanliness.

Palladian said...

Very 'Freudian', this aversion to sucking substances out of tubes...

deborah said...

Straws are fun.

Class factotum said...

"There's just too much drinking, period. When did people become so obsessed with hydration?"


My uncle owns a commercial riding stables. He has customers show up for a one hour ride clutching a bottle of water. His comment? "I'm 76 years old. I don't drink water but I haven't dehydrated to death yet."