Sit down at a restaurant in Central New York, and your waitress often chucks a half dozen straws on the table. Americans use 500 million straws a day. A lot of 'em wind up in our oceans, polluting the ecosystem and endangering aquatic life.

Maybe not any more, thanks to some students at a middle school in Michigan, who teamed up with the Coral Keepers, a group of activists trying to preserve our oceans' natural reefs. They came up with National Skip the Straw Day, to be observed on the fourth Friday in February.

It just makes sense to give up your precious straws, at least for one day. For me, there's another reason:

I HATE STRAWS. This day was made for me.

The timeline of my aversion to straws is tough to pinpoint. As a kid I probably used them as much as anyone else. But I don't recall any catastrophic straw-related incident that scarred me for life.

And it's not like I had some sort of straw epiphany. I just can't remember the last time I used one. Here's why: I enjoy the sensation of sipping or gulping a beverage.

A straw acts as a sort of mainlining conduit and forces the beverage quickly down your throat. You're really taking the tongue and the palate out of play. And you're bypassing some of your main tastebuds. Where's the pleasure in that?

There's another downside: your face looks kinda goofy with a straw stickin' out of your pie hole. And the act of sucking through a straw probably creates extra lines surrounding your lips that eventually turn into wrinkles.

So, enjoy your beverage. Defy wrinkles. Save the oceans. Skip the straw.


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