As if we don’t have enough laws already, politicians are continually adding new laws as well as amending old ones. Some are definitely needed. Some are well, quite interesting. I guess the lawmakers have to feel like they are earning their salary!
Take for example a law in Riverside, California that states that it is illegal to kiss on the lips unless both parties bathe their lips with carbonized rose water. (Where does one get carbonized rose–water??). In Walnut, California – no person shall wear a mask or disguise on a public street without a permit from the Sherriff. Kinda takes the fun out of Halloween in that city! In Los Angeles – it is illegal to bathe two babies at the same time in the same tub.
Here in our own state, we have a few interesting laws as well. According to the website, TJsHome.com, there is actually an Illinois state law that requires that a man’s female companion shall call him “Master” while on a date. (This law does NOT apply to married couples!). Another important law to remember the next time you are in Zion, Illinois is that it is illegal to give dogs, cats or other domesticated animals a lighted cigar.
I couldn’t make these up if I tried.
Now take New York. Mayor Bloomberg recently passed a new law for New York City nicknamed “The Soda Ban”. The law states:
It is illegal to sell sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas. (Convenience stores such as 7-11 are exempt from this rule – Long Live the Big Gulp!!) Also exempt are: diet soda, a milk shake or sweetened latte. (You can feel Starbucks sighing a collective sigh of relief!)
Starting this past March, the city’s 24,000 restaurants, delis, food trucks and concession stands were prohibited from selling sugary sodas such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Sprite in containers larger than 16 ounces — sizes that most restaurants consider a small or medium drink. No longer will sugary super-sized be an option, but ironically consumers can purchase as many 16-ounce drinks as they want.
Grocery stores are exempt because they are regulated by the state, not the city. Milkshakes and coffee-based drinks — such as Starbucks’ 24-ounce Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino, which contains nearly 600 calories when topped with whipped cream, are not affected by the law either.
According to the mayor – he calls his new law “portion control”. According to the city, more than half of New York City adults are overweight or obese, and nearly 40% of city public-school students in eighth grade or below are obese or overweight.
New Yorkers, as you can imagine, did not take this new restriction on their drinking habits lightly. Just imagine your dilemma when in the middle of a movie – with a large tub of popcorn and you run out of soda! New Yorkers also did not like having someone telling them what they can and cannot drink. It was like a soda prohibition!
New Yorkers banned together in outrage and protest! Religious leaders said it was an infringement on their religious rights!!
Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, a coalition of individuals, companies and groups opposed to the ban, said there was never any hope the Board of Health would reject the proposal because the mayor appointed all the members. More than 250,000 New Yorkers and 2,100 business owners have signed a petition against the ban because it is “arbitrary and restricts our choices,” Hoff said.
Personally, I figured, “What’s the big deal?” That was, until I went to a movie theatre in New York City. Watching The Dark Knight Rises, I was thoroughly enjoying the movie. “How was batman going to beat Bane?” “Was Batman going to save Gotham?” “Did you just see that punch? Totally engrossed, I went to take a sip of my 16 ounces of soda and – nothing! RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BEST SCENE – I ran out of soda! Sprinting out of the movie, I made a beeline straight to the concession stand. My relief that I only had to wait behind one person in line was short lived. The person in front of me was one of those indecisive, “I’ll get the junior mints… No, I’ll get a slushy. Maybe I’ll just make that a Twizzlers…” kind of person. Time was ticking, and I was missing the best part of Batman! Then, while waiting for ‘Mr. Cantmakeadecision’ to buy his snacks, I mentally walked through what I could have done differently so that this moment might never have happened. If only I had bought a larger drink to complement my large popcorn, I wouldn’t have had to miss the ending of my movie. But BECAUSE OF THE NEW YORK SODA BAN, I wasn’t allowed to buy a bigger soda that could last through the whole movie. It was then, that I truly despised this 16-ounce maximum soda restriction. That gave me an idea – next time I’ll buy three 16- ounce sodas!
So maybe the New York Soda ban is helping thousands of people become healthier, improving people’s lives, and bettering society as a whole. But when it gets in the way of me watching my movie, I say just remember – when in Carmel, New York just make sure you are not seen in public with a jacket and pants that do not match! (It’s illegal!)
For additional explanation of the soda ban, watch this video: