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This time it's real, Solo cup

October 26, 2011|By Ernest Wilkins, RedEye

You always remember your first time. It's sweaty, awkward; you don't know what to do with your hands.

The first experience with flip cup is so memorable.

The game's nothing without the iconic red Solo cup though, right? Have you ever tried to play with some other kind of cup? It just doesn't feel right.

The company that makes the landmark plastic drinkware (based in suburban Chicago, don'cha know) is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and since I'm the only Pulitzer-winner* on staff, I took a crack at a composition in honor of the occasion.

"Ode To My Red Solo Cup" by Ernest Wilkins

Oh, little red cup, you're like a plastic Narnia.

What do your insides hold? Hunch punch? Jungle Juice? Something with random pieces of fruit in it?

You've been a constant in my drinking experiences.

I graduated from putting vodka in Gatorade bottles to holding you in my hand as I struck out with yet another Tri Delt sister. Many nights, yours were the only curves I touched.

You've been there for me in every season, from Bahamas cruises to tailgates to New Year's Eve.

And your generosity! You give those weird cup-stacking kids on YouTube a canvas on which to express their art.

When you debuted your new squared bottom, you helped my buddy win a 5-on-1 game of flip cup, for Pete's sake!

You provide security: My drinks have never been colder.

There can be volumes written about the classic beer pong matches of which you've been a part, even ones with those weird kids who try to use ping-pong paddles!

Pardon me. I've become a little emotional. I don't think you understand your impact on this country.

BBQs don't look quite right without you. Neither do movies about college and their atrocious direct-to-DVD sequels.

You've inspired country songs and gotten countless Americans out of doing the dishes.

We've eaten everything from cereal to ice cream to approximately 11 pizza rolls out of your warm and caring embrace.

You're like a big, red blanket that you can get at 7-11 for like two bucks.

Thank you.

Never leave my side, my little Red Solo Cup.

… Man, I can't wait for the 75th anniversary of the pepperoni pizza Hot Pocket.

Ernest Wilkins is Chicago's Wingman.

*By "Pultizer-winner," Wilkins meant "1996 James Hart Middle School Geography Bee champion."

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