An Ode to Red Solo Cup Boy

Author: Megan Kelleher

An Ode to Red Solo Cup Boy

It was a crisp January morning. Winter break had just ended. South Bend was at its worst, and I, like the 10,000 other students on this campus, decided to hit the gym because while Santa worked hard over break, my grandma with a serious knack for cookie-making worked harder. I spent my entire break averaging about eight cookies eaten a day. Don’t do the math. 

Nevertheless, it was a New Year, and I was ready for a #NewMe, so with my trusty water bottle in hand, I trekked up the three flights of stairs to the Smith Center. Then, I saw you. I remember you so clearly. You were wearing white Nikes with a navy swoosh. At least, I think they used to be white Nikes with a navy swoosh, but yours had clearly been worn to a Legacy darty (or twelve) and were now caked with beer stains and dirt. 

You artfully paired your “gym shoes” with 5.5-inch seam khaki Chubbies, a Budweiser tee and a backward hat, which rested ever-so-carefully on your perfectly quaffed hair. You had not one athletic-looking bone in your body, and yet, you held your head high. I loved that unfounded sense of confidence. It reminded me of my ex in Mendoza. But, alas, I digress. You completed four lunges (two each side, no added weights). Panting, you wiped a single bead of sweat from your brow before grabbing your red solo cup. After a long swig of what was hopefully water, you pounded your chest and gave a quick burp. Your buddy leaned over and fist-bumped you. I was smitten. I still am quite honestly. 

Everyone knows that red solo cups are the best receptacles for barbecues, tailgates, fairs and festivals, but you sir, proved the true range of the red solo cup. Yes, red solo cups are cheap and disposable, and in fourteen years, they are decomposable, but you offered an environmentally conscious alternative to disposal: Save that red solo cup, carry it in your bag, and use it at the gym! Revolutionary. I can’t say if it was your Menbroza-inspired take on athleisure, the pump you got from those lunges or the pure ingenuity of your receptacle choice, but you (and those formerly-white Nikes with the navy swoosh) have been running through my mind ever since. Unfortunately, I have yet to see you again at the gym, but I haven’t lost faith. I am writing this ode to you, Red Solo Cup Boy, in hopes that we might meet somewhere down the line. Until then, proceed to party.