As you may have heard, this past January 1, all California restaurant workers were supposed to start wearing gloves whenever handling food substances. And not just chefs – The Glove Law included the bartending establishment as well. That means every time a mixologist went to pick up a sprig of mint or squeeze a Meyer lemon into a drink, they would have to don latex – and not the fun kind.
Not surprisingly, much of the bartending community was outraged by these new restrictions. Gloves, they said, were unsightly. Gloves hindered their ingenuity. Gloves were wasteful. (One estimate suggested 175 pairs of gloves would be used during the course of one night. Not even Wilt Chamberlain could keep up with those numbers.)
Shockingly, Dr. Richard Pan, the California Assemblyman who originally introduced the law, listened to this airing of grievances. Earlier this week, he began pushing for an emergency measure to repeal his own law before it went into effect on June 1 (the law recommended to a slow roll-out of the process).
Now, you might think I – as a bartender myself – might be dancing a sweet little jig right about now. No. This flip-flop is a horrible idea. Instead of insisting that fewer people wear gloves, I think Dr. Pan should stipulate that more people should!
In fact, I have a few suggestions for who else should be forced to wear protection, as well as some punishments to be meted out if they don't comply:
1.Customers who dip their fingers into the condiment tray at bars to get an extra lime or lemon must wear gloves, or else they will be given papercuts, which will then be cauterized with fresh fruit juice.
2.People who paw the whole fruit aisle without buying anything at supermarkets will need to sport cat-embossed mittens, or else they will have said fruit broken over their heads.
3.Anyone who samples bean dip or tortilla chips or even gets one of those little cups filled with one-eighth of a samosa from Trader Joe's must have their hands wrapped in some kind of gauze, or be forced to be relentlessly happy to strangers all day.
4.Anyone who pets a dog before going into a cafe where they plan to then touch food must have all their up-to-date shots, or else they will have to drink their latte from a dog bowl outside next to Mr. Snuffles.
5.Little old ladies who go to fancy hotels and peruse the dessert carts must wear some form of face mask, preferably one worn by hockey goalies, to protect fellow sugar fiends from sneeze-born illnesses, or else they will be spun around three times and shoved out the door into traffic.
I've got plenty more ideas, Dr. Pan, if you want to hear them. Just give me a call.
Image from Thinkstock