So it does seem to make a certain sort of sense -- at least from a New Orleanian’s perspective -- that having go-cups in other cities, not to mention a focus on responsible drinking, might be a wise idea. Or maybe not. Maybe people in places like Atlanta would use go-cups as a cheap opportunity to get riggedy-wrecked, probably because they live in Atlanta (so you can’t blame them too much). But the evidence does not seem to support a causal link between go-cups and overindulging.
Another factor in support for USA-wide go-cup legislation is that it’s both economical and sensible, and actually encourages less binge drinking. Think about it this way: if you have a full drink and your pals are headed to another destination, in a no-go-cup situation you’re left to either abandon your poor beverage, or take it down as quickly as humanly possible as though the end is nigh. Neither seems like a civilized solution. You know what does seem civilized? Taking your drink with you, because the thought of orphaning it or slamming it just seems silly and juvenile.
This, then, is why the go-cup is such an elegant solution to the disparity between overwhelming public desire, and legislative roadblocking. It hits the Goldilocks zone between total outdoor drinking prohibition (which no-one wants), and total unfettered outdoor boozing (which has problems of its own). It’s easier for legislators to swallow because a go cup is just that -- a cup. Not a sixer, or a bottle, or a keg of FourLoko. It’s a single drink, and the United States deserves one. Because, when it really comes down to it, drinking outside on a beautiful day is just so much more lovely and life-affirming and inspiring than crouching over your beer in a dark bar like a depressed troglodyte.
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Scott Gold is a writer from New Orleans, who still has a go-cup from his high school. Follow or staunchly criticize him on Twitter @ScottGold, or on Instagram @strangedish