Paper Straws

Image from flickr by 4mtr Rabbit
My mother didn't approve of lemonade - that is, she didn't approve of drinking lemonade as a regular thing. I suppose that this was for the same reason  that (perhaps fearing an inflated dentists bill), she vetoed sweet biscuits for their 'tooth-rotting' capacity. Although I felt a slight resentment at the time, I believe now it was it was a good thing. It meant drinking lemonade was 'special'..something to be savoured and reserved for birthdays, parties, holidays, special treats and other sundry occasions.

Never mind that some of my school friends would screw up their faces when, visiting my house, they discovered that there was nothing to drink but water..the "best drink in the world", as my mother called it. "If you were dying of thirst in the desert" she used to say when faced with my disgruntled objections; "you wouldn't want lemonade or flavoured milk! You'd want clear, beautiful water! That would be what you'd crave." I wasn't entirely sure about this but used to defer to her superior knowledge of the world, while at the same time reflecting on those lucky friends of mine who had the the Swing Soft Drink Man visit every week or so, with his crate of coloured soft drinks. Home delivered lemonade - I couldn't have imagined anything more 'divinely decadent', as Sally Bowles would say.

Retro candy-striped straws from Occasion Design

Thus, due to all that sugar deprivation, one of the special pleasures of my early childhood was  drinking from a small glass bottle of flavoured lemonade, or a strawberry milkshake, through the long tubular suction of a multi-coloured straw. Mentally I can still revisit that sweet sensation of the sugary liquid miraculously shooting up the papery channel and into my waiting mouth and if no-one was around, blowing it out in reverse order back into the bottle, so it made that loud, gurgling rumble.

It seems there's very little ceremony around lemonade drinking in most households these days. Mostly it comes in extra-large, ugly, plastic bottles that line the supermarket shelves or in warm cans that you buy in packs of six or a box of twelve and stick in the back of the fridge, grabbing one out whenever you feel like it. If straws are used, they're inevitably stiff plastic. Plastic, plastic..all is plastic.

Well, plastic straws just don't have the same texture and ambiance as paper ones. The colours and patterns aren't as charming and I'm pretty sure, from an environmental perspective, they're harder to dispose of. Maybe I'm just being sentimental but actually, the old paper straw has made a comeback..they're hot...and just when I thought they were gone forever...

Bright, gay and eco friendly. From Born to Party