There is the insanity of mobs, the madness of rabid canines, and then there is the special insanity reserved for the “governing” party in Sacramento.
Imagine that you are having lunch at a local eatery. You order a hamburger and a Coke and the waiter brings you an icy glass with the moisture running down the sides and places a straw beside it. You get ready to quench your thirst.
Suddenly! “Hands in the air!” Police rush in. “Rico! Youngblood! Secure the entrances!” yells one of the officers. They throw the hapless waiter up against a wall, handcuff him, read him his rights, perhaps taze him for good measure, and haul him off to jail. For what, you ask? Bringing you a straw without you asking for it.
That’s the clever idea of the current moron-in-chief in Sacramento, the majority leader of the Assembly, Ian Calderon.
Calderon wants to assess a fine of $1,000 and possible jail time for unsolicited straw dissemination. “Pssst! Hey, pally, you wanna see a drinking straw? The other straws suck, but you’ll like ours.”
This is his explanation (quoted from USA Today): “We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways, and oceans.” Well, I imagine that spending six months in the clink, plus the fine, would definitely create awareness. But does the punishment fit the “crime?” Shouldn’t the “John” be punished as much as the waiter? I mean, we all know that men who aren’t getting the straws they crave at home from their wives hang out at the local bar on the look for a naïve waiter to drag into their circle of vice.
The law would only apply to sit down restaurants, so at least the poor McDonald’s hamburger slinger (and their really big straws!) won’t have to look over his shoulder, worrying about if he will have to spend some time breaking rocks in Folsom. The threat of that would make anyone crack.
“Johnny! We know you’re in there! Come out with your hands up, and let the paper napkins go free or you’ll be sorry.”
“Hey coppers, I’ve got a box of Dixie cups and paper plates in here, and you’ll never take me alive!”
And as they haul him off, Johnny will hear that old Johnny Cash song echoing in his head: “Well I shot a spitball at a man in Reno with a straw, just to watch him cry . . .”
Maybe there’s a legitimate reason for trying to stop to proliferation of plastic straws, although probably it’s about as bogus as the plastic bag law that we saddled ourselves with two years ago. Or maybe Mr. Calderon should be term limited with extreme prejudice.
As much as I can’t stand Jerry Brown, at least he is the last remaining adult in the crowded clown car that is Sacramento. Now that he is beginning his last year as governor, we can contemplate that nothing but gibbering children will be left to run the state after Brown exits. Children like Ian Calderon.