Wednesday, October 25, 2017

When the Rights of Cripples Clash with the Rights of Sea Turtles

It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even drink a beer without feeling guilty about how such a thoughtless, selfish action on my part might be causing great harm to poor little sea turtles.

I got this goddam email alert from some friends-of- the-environment organization urging me to sign a petition demanding that McDonald’s to stop using plastic straws. The email said straws end up being a major source of ocean pollution and they often end up lodged in the nostrils of sea turtles or the throats of seabirds.

Damn! What a disturbing image that is! But hell no, I won’t be signing. The only reason I go to McDonald’s is for the straws. The food is shit but the straws are great! They’re sturdy and durable. And they’re so cheery with their red and yellow stripes.

And the best thing about McDonald’s straws is they’re free. That means a helluva lot to people like me who drink everything through a straw because we’re crippled. We don’t fit the profile of your typical arrogant, frivolous homo sapiens who use straws willy-nilly and then toss them away. For us, using straws is a necessity! Thus, we are constantly replenishing our personal straw stashes. And nobody pays for straws, just like nobody pays for pens or coat hangers. You just accumulate them as you go through life. Hey, it’s a brutal world out there. You gotta grab free shit whenever you can!

So the only reason I go to McDonald’s is so I can snatch a shitload of free straws. Sometimes I’ll order the cheapest thing on the menu like a shitty little hamburger if I’m afraid snatching straws might get me busted for shoplifting. Someday I’ll get up the guts to do it at the drive-thru. “Gimme two chicken nuggets and a shitload of straws.”

So without plentiful sources of free straws, like McDonald’s, I could easily shrivel up from dehydration and blow away. Or I could go broke buying straws. I feel the need to organize a political alliance of straw users, including people who are temporary straw users, like those recovering from a broken jaw. I respect the rights of all creatures, including sea turtles. I would certainly feel awful if a straw embedded in one of their nostrils could be traced back to me, using DNA testing. But what about me? Don’t I have rights, too?

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