The trademark Solo cup has become a universal college signal for alcohol. It is usually a dead giveaway for the contents within it. My freshman year in college that Solo cup almost got me into a lot of trouble.
I went out with a couple of friends to a party off-campus. I was in the mood to go out and have fun, but not for drinking. I was enjoying the music and the people, but not the beer. After sipping on less then a fifth of a can of beer over the course of an hour and a half, I gave up hating every drop of Busch Lite that hit my tongue.
I was, however, determined not to stand out so I headed to the kitchen to get a Solo cup filled with anything not alcoholic. I opted for some fruit punch. A couple minutes later, we headed out to another party. I would regret not leaving my Solo cup.
We pulled up to an off-campus house literally two minutes away from the East Campus walls and one of my friends decided that he couldn’t hold it and had to go in some bushes before going into the house. For the life of me I still don’t understand why he couldn’t wait until we got inside, but within a couple of minutes, unluckily some cops drove by and stopped right were we were standing.
They had been looking to bust a party a street down, but had stumbled upon some very guilty looking freshman.
A female cop walked up to me and my other friend, looking me up and down, Solo cup trembling in my hand, while the other male cop approached my friend in the bushes across the street. Quickly, the female cop let my other friend go, he looked perfectly sober and didn’t have a cup in hand. But I did. Immediately the cop thought that I was drinking a mixed drink.
Naively I held the cup up to her, “I swear it is just fruit punch. Go ahead and taste,” I said.
They threatened to write my friend up for indecent exposure and me for underage drinking. Those thirty minutes that I waited for them to get some kind of contraption to test the alcohol content in my drink were some of the most torturous of my entire life. What would my parents say? How mad would they be? Would they believe that there was no alcohol in my Solo cup?
Eventually, I was let go, but I’ve hated Solo cups since. But it is true. In every movie, television show, music video or Facebook picture—the Solo cup=alcohol. Why is that?