Suddenly, inexplicably, I was in the mood for a Super Big Gulp. I used to have a Super Big Gulp, 48 oz. of pure caffeinated, bubbly sugar water, 5 or 6 times a week, but then I got into the coffee habit to cure my caffeine fix, so now I’m down to only one Super Big Gulp per month. Last Thursday, my time had come. We were at the Nautilus Diner in Massapequa, and there’s a 7-11 just east of it. I went in expecting the usual assortment of sodas and was sorely disappointed to find that Dr Pepper was not one of the dozen sodas I could choose from. Taco Bell recently changed from Dr Pepper to Wild Cherry Pepsi and have pretty much lost the biggest reason that I ever eat at Taco Bell in the process. I take my soda consumption pretty seriously. I resigned myself to Pepsi, which is my favorite soda bottled or canned, but Dr Pepper is my favorite fountain soda. I take my soda consumption way too seriously. Anyway, this was also one of the growing 7-11s to decide that straws are their most valuable consumable. I could take all the cups and lids that I wanted, but the straws were only available at the cashier’s counter. Since I have estimated that straws cost 7-11 less than 1/10 of 1 cent, even the admittedly low-profit margin on all convenience store goods led me to believe that the difficult access to straws was a weak kind of anti-theft device. Because you could easily walk out of 7-11 without paying for a Big Gulp or Slurpee, but HOW WOULD YOU DRINK IT without a straw? Finally paying for my Pepsi Super Big Gulp, an amazing bargain at 99 cents, I noticed that all the straws at the counter were for Slurpees, which, for the uninitiated, meant that the straws were all cut to have little scoopy-spoons at one end. This makes drinking soda with them next to futile, because it severely lowers the vacuum power of the straw. I asked the young, pierced man behind the counter if he had any regular straws that I could have. He took out a Slurpee straw and held it next to the Super Big Gulp container. I wasn’t too sure what he was doing, but I figure he was just going to give me a Slurpee straw and damn the torpedoes. Instead, he went off to the side with the straw. Then he took a pair of scissors — I swear this is true — and cut the scoopy-spoon neatly off the bottom. Needless to say, I, being the good WASP that I am, took the straw with a thank you. I was going to have my Super Big Gulp, because, after all, I take my soda consumption very seriously.