Starbucks has announced it will stop handing out plastic straws in 2020. That’s a good move, but why will it take two years? Starbucks outlets can’t possibly have 18 months worth of plastic straw inventory, can they? How about, “When we run out of our current supply, that’s it”?

I went into a convenience store the other day, walked over to one of its refrigerators, retrieved a bottle of orange juice, and proceeded to the counter to pay for it. The clerk asked me, “Did you find everything okay?” I wasn’t sure if he was asking me the status of the store’s inventory or if I liked the way it was arranged (yeah, it’s okay), but considering I only had one item in front of me, the word “everything” certainly did not apply. I paused for a moment and considered replying, “No, I looked all around and could not find the section where you keep the lawn chairs and flamethrowers,” but instead merely nodded my head as he rang up my purchase.

It drives me crazy when people are not aware of their surroundings. The latest example was when I was exiting The Muny recently amid a throng of people all headed in the same direction at about the same pace. Yet more than once, the human flow was interrupted when one or more of those people stopped to say hello to someone, or look at their phone, or some other reason. I’ve had this happen in both indoor and outdoor venues, in hallways and on sidewalks. Never mind the fact that there were hundreds of us behind them who were now blocked — whatever they had to do at that instant was more important. No one would ever consider doing this while behind the wheel with traffic behind them, so why is it acceptable to do as a pedestrian? How difficult is it to just move to the side, or conduct your conversation once we’ve all gotten outside? In other words, get out of the way!!!