There’s been quite a feeding frenzy on Twitter over the last twenty-four hours – and I’m not talking about the daft nut-jobs who tightened their tin foil hats and blathered frantically on and on about the short-lived shut down of Sean Hannity’s Twitter account.
No, I’m talking about the debate raging on Twitter over the number of holes in a straw -- one? Or two?
Of course, this debate has been raging since 1853 when Emmett Lee Dickinson received the patent for his invention of the drinking straw. On the schematic of the straw that Dickinson submitted for his patent, he showed two holes. However, after he first massed produced and distributed straws to bars and restaurants across the country, the public began to debate -- did Dickinson's invention have two holes -- or just one?
Pictured at the left: The US patent awarded to Emmett Lee Dickinson for the invention of the drinking straw.
Though Dickinson never settled the debate by stating whether a straw had one hole or two, he wrote about the riddle in his now classic poem "Baffled by just one hole or two" (below on the left). His poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem "Baffled for just a day or two" (below on the right).
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
Baffled by just one hole or two –
Embarrassed – not to know –
Encounter with a mystery
An unexpected Woe.
It opens, and the straw starts –
It opes, the other end –
Surely, such a quandary
I was never in!
By Emily Dickinson:
Baffled for just a day or two –
Embarrassed – not afraid –
Encounter in my garden
An unexpected Maid.
She beckons, and the woods start –
She nods, and all begin –
Surely, such a country
I was never in!
Pictured below: The Dickinson Drinking Straw Factory in Washerst, PA (the birthplace of Emmett Lee Dickinson, the inventor of the straw). 86% of the world's drinking straws are still manufactured here.