The South occasionally gets a bad wrap for our culture’s sometimes stagnant political and social views. I’m talking about booze here, and those pesky “Blue Laws” that some states adopt to keep the good public from drinking too heavily on Sundays. You could make an argument for the health benefits of not being able to drink for a few hours on Sunday morning, but I won’t listen because it’s frustrating as hell having to wait until lunch time to buy a six pack on my God-given “day of rest.”
Fortunately, if there’s one area of social change that the South is a trail-blazing pioneer, it’s in the realm of “The Traveler,” known in less-refined circles as “the go cup.” Personally, I love the Traveler. There is nothing more frustrating in this world than the transitions between one place to the next. Life is too short to spend 15 minutes between bars or parties—why can’t we just jump cut to the good stuff? Having a beer in my hand as I walk helps with that mundane transition. Granted, Travelers are largely illegal in the United States. I believe the authorities have called my Travelers “open containers” in the past. I get it—public intoxication is a nuisance, and we can’t have people drinking “willy nilly” in the streets at all hours of the day. But what if I get lost between bars? And I get thirsty?
And don’t get me started on the time-honored tradition of “The Cocktail Stroll,” wherein a handful of neighbors gather with frosty beverages in innocent-looking cups and walk with young children through the neighborhood. I don’t care if it’s illegal, you can’t take that tradition away from me. Live free or die!
Luckily, there are two places where The Traveler isn’t just legal, it’s an institution. In Savannah, Georgia, it’s rude to leave a bar or party without a red Solo cup filled with your favorite beverage, and in New Orleans, they actually have drive thru Daiquiri bars. Yep. You don’t even have to get out of your car to fill up your “go cup.” The South may be labeled as “backwards” by some folks, but if legalizing drinking on the go isn’t progressive, I don’t know what is.
Long live The Traveler.