A waiter in Livermore, CA has been sentenced to five years of hard labor in the dish-pit for distributing a straw for a Shirley Temple. Although Bill AB1884 which would make it illegal for servers and restaurants to give out plastic straws has not passed yet, 28-year old Stephen McSipper has already paid the price.
McSipper works at Doug’s Donuts Diner on the corner of 4th Street and South Livermore Avenue. The owner, Billy Bob Horbrush, has been working in tandem with the Livermore Police Department as part of a sting operation called “Straw Wars” in preparation for the anticipated passing of the new law. The “little girl” was actually a 48-year old male veteran of the police force who specializes in undercover cases and happens to look like a very young Cindy Brady.
“I thought she was like five years old and she wanted a straw so I gave her one,” says McSipper. “The next thing I knew, there were like eight cops on top of me and and I was handcuffed and on the floor which really pisses me off because that floor is filthy. I mean, do you think I mop it or anything?”
Because the law has not gone into effect, there is no jail time for McSipper, but he will be spending a lot of extra hours washing dishes and pans. Horbrush has assured him there will be plenty of things to wash and even if something is not dirty, he will be washing it anyway. In addition to washing the dishes, McSipper will be expected to scrape all the gum from underneath the tables, sweep the patio, clean the ceiling fans and rotate all of the dressings in the walk-in at least twice a week
“I just want my employees to understand the severity of this plastic straw epidemic we have in this country,” say Horbrush. “Those goddamn sea turtles need help and I’m here for them!”
As for McSipper, his only option to avoid the punishment is to quit his job and find a new one. “It’s not even a law yet, why should I be punished for doing something that isn’t against the law? I will be reaching out to an attorney.” A Go Fund Me account has been set up for McSipper to help him with expected legal fees. “Don’t get me wrong, I love sea turtles, they’re awesome! But this is just a little crazy. And that undercover cop totally looked like a little girl.”
The Livermore Police have not released a statement explaining that the future of other undercover Straw Wars sting operations could be in jeopardy if they should address the issue at this time. They have expressed support to Doug’s Donuts Diner for being vigilant in the effort to save the sea turtles.