Stir Sticks Are The Devil

1 Jul

I hate stir sticks

No, seriously. Insamuch as a person can hate an inanimate object they are not forced to interact with on a daily basis, I hate stir sticks. I hate thinking about them, I hate looking at them, and the insurmountable fury of a thousand burning suns when I see one in use is alarming.

Whatever marketing department got those things off the ground had better be blindingly rich at this point, because I’ve rarely met a more stunningly useless tool.

Unclutterer has a hilarious “Unitasker Of The Week” theme that makes fun of items with only a single use. Stir sticks are marketed as having one (with another hidden) use, but it fails so miserably at that single use that I am baffled every time I see a box of them sitting next to a coffee pot.

Job The First

Stir sticks are for stirring. It’s right there in the name. It’s not a “Poke Stick” or a “Scratch Stick”, it’s a “Stir Stick”.

Yet never in my life have I met a device LESS suited to stirring things.

Let’s assume, if we may, that stir sticks are intended for use with coffee.

You start with a cup of fresh, hot, coffee.

You dump in a packet of sugar (or two or three).

Maybe you dump in a little pod of creamer (or two, or three).

You then reach for … the thinnest, tiniest, most narrow item you can possibly find, insert it into your coffee, and begin to stir vigorously.

Unfortunately for you (and the coffee you are so desperately trying to homogenize), the stir stick cuts through the water more cleanly than a shark’s fin through soft butter.

STIRRING with intent to MIX requires friction. The shovel-base of a spoon pushes the sugar and creamer and coffee and forces them together because a large amount of the mixture is getting sqwooshed around inside the cup. A spoon is a fantastic stirring device.

A stir stick is a TERRIBLE stirring device. Terrible. Awful.

How in the name of tiny red pixies did ANYONE EVER in the history of the WORLD convince even a single person hat this tiny plastic toothpick was perfect for STIRRING?

I am beyond baffled by this. It’s maddening.  The stir stick is so incredibly unsuited to its primary use that I have to wonder if I’m taking crazy pills when I see people pick one up and give their coffee a half-hearted swirl.

Job The Second

“Ah,” says the person with the smug-yet-confused look on their face that I tell my stir stick issues to, “But it can also be used as a straw!”

Oh, well, if it can be used as a STRAW, then I apologize, let me just — NO! YOU IDIOT. You and your stir stick DESERVE each other.

Yes, in its basest form, the STIR-not-STRAW Stick caaaaaaan be used as a straw.

A frustrating straw. The sort of straw that clogs up almost immediately and yields insufficient amounts of the liquid you’re trying to drink through it. Also, who the hell drinks warm coffee through a stir stick, when you could just tip the mother-effing cup sideways and DRINK IT LIKE A MAN?

So yes. Technically, the stir stick works as a straw, but I don’t actually SEE people over the age of 6 using it as a straw. Ever. You don’t go into a boardroom or meeting, pour yourself a cup of coffee, then delicately sip it through the plastic stir stick while the CEO talks about his bottom line. No, no you don’t.

If you WANTED to drink your coffee through a straw, you’d probably get, I dunno, a STRAW to drink it with. Because a STRAW is a better straw than a STIR STICK is.

This is Stupid

I know this is stupid.  Who cares if people use stir sticks? It’s not like it’s hurting me or anyone else for that matter. (Well, aside from trash and environmental stuff, of which I think stir sticks are not a primary concern when we’re talking coffee waste, so I’m just going to push that particular matter aside.)

Even knowing that it’s stupid, I scowl at the box of red stir sticks sitting next to the coffee pots at work, and I want to dart in like a superhero and knock the stir stick out of someone’s hand when I see them using it.

It’s stupid, but it’s MINE. I am the queen of the anti-stir-stick brigade and I shall not shirk my duties.

I am utterly beyond baffled as to why stir sticks were created and marketed in the first place, let alone trying to decipher how they became the de facto stirring implement in hotels and businesses around the world. It’s like convincing people that golf clubs make great umbrellas.

Your Crusade?

Anyone else have a stupid crusade to share? Some THING, no matter how ridiculous, that you cannot bear to let go of? Some peeve that you can’t quite bring yourself to stop petting?

And, most importantly of all, is anyone else looking at stir sticks and going “Seriously? What the hell, humanity? What. The. Hell?”



8 Responses to “Stir Sticks Are The Devil”

  1. Steve Hall (Kestrel) July 1, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Here’s a tip (ohhh…FIRST! btw :P): Pour your coffee LAST. Put the sugar and/or cream(er) in your cup or mug, THEN add the coffee. And to really get a good mixture, pour the coffee in from more than a millimeter above the top of your mug.

    • Tami July 1, 2011 at 10:05 am #

      Pfft. I am not bemoaning the difficulties of creating a homogenized coffee experience.

      I am complaining about the uselessness of the implement provided. Subtle but important difference.

  2. twww July 1, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    Not only does it not stir (unless you use a handful at a time) but the “stir” stick practically melts when placed in cup of hot coffee becoming even more flimsy and useless than it was to begin with!!

    • Tami July 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      And if you’re like me, you’re left staring in baffled uncomprehension at the useless stick.

      Is it me? Have I somehow failed to understand the simple act of stirring?


      • falconesse July 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

        And the little wooden versions don’t even have enough structural integrity to stay rigid. HOW CAN I STIR MY COFFEE WHEN IT BENDS SO?

  3. Caulle July 2, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    I drink my coffee black. Boo yeah.

    • Bika July 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      Word. /fistbump


  1. Links To Elsewhere | Tami Moore - July 1, 2011

    […] Stir Sticks Are The Devil – In which I rant about stir sticks (posted at SevenDeadlyDivas) […]

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