They weren't kidding.

So I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later,

Dave Gets Caught By The New State Law

Lance Tormey told us it was coming and it's here and I just spent the last 40 minutes driving around with a Dairy Queen sundae melting in a bag in the front seat of my car and me with no spoon.

I get it  The news reports were pretty clear.

Washington state law taking effect Jan. 1 will stop restaurants and other businesses from automatically including plastic utensils in to-go orders. It will also require customers to ask for straws and lids for most cold beverages.

The law is meant to reduce the amount of waste polluting the environment.  It applies to the following single-use utensils and other items:

  • Utensils (knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks)
  • Cocktail picks, splash sticks, and stirrers
  • Straws
  • Condiment packets, sachets, or sauce cups
  • Cold cup lids, except those provided at drive-thru windows or events with over 2,500 people

Ask And Ye Shall Receive...or Not

To be clear, this new law does not ban those items, but it does require us customers to specifically ask for them.  Laurie Davies, manager of the Washington Department of Ecology's solid waste program:

Automatically including disposable silverware, straws, and condiments with every order creates a huge amount of waste, much of which ends up littering our roads and damaging our environment...This law nudges people to help reduce unnecessary waste.


It's Not Coming And I Didn't See That Coming

I'll admit that most of my to-go orders at fast-food establishments generally don't require a fork, but a straw? Yes.  And through the first 18 days of the month, every beverage order I made came with a straw and without me having to ask.  I guess I was lulled into a false sense of utensil security.

Today I ordered the delicious 3 piece chicken strip lunch at the West Valley airy Queen, and as I pulled away I realized I didn't get a straw.  "Simple mistake", I thought. "Anybody working the window could make that kind of mistake", I mused.  The steely grip of the new law never entered my mind.  The mistake was mine.

Away I went.  The food was great, with just the right amount of salt and crunch and flavor.  Score it 9 out of 10. (bigger strips, please!) Then I opened the bag for the dessert, the Pièce de résistance,  the strawberry sundae, only to discover that while the sundae was there, the spoon. was not.

Shock And Awe - Shucks

First response - how in the world can you sell something that requires a spoon to eat but then not provide the spoon??? (Washington politics, that's how)  I was annoyed, maybe even a little mad.

And then it hit me.

I was a victim of a new law, allegedly passed for my own good.  Soup or sundaes, if you don't ask, you don't get a spoon. Did I whisper a sigh of relief for the environment? Sadly I did not.  Did I use a few choice words to seal a life lesson learned? Perhaps I did.

Dairy Queen Does It Right

Bottom line: Good for the crew at the Dairy Queen. They did their job by the new book and I apologize for any momentary un-dairy queen-like thoughts sent your way.

Fortunately, I had a spoon at work (lots of them) and I guess that's the point.  So ultimately, no harm, no foul with a 3-piece fowl and no spoon.  Cheep cheep lesson learned.

It's a brave new world out there without free-range sporks, but one we must confront because Dairy Queen already has and they're out there and holding the line for mother earth.

Bon appétit!

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