People we know of but never met are still dying, reported 2016. One night, a celebrity. Next night, the creator of the red solo cup. All across America, college undergrads are carrying out honorary beer pong competitions.
Drinking was not a pastime for the red solo cup inventor, Robert Leo Hulsman, I learned in our interview after conducting a seance. His ghostly form did not frighten me, as I was no stranger to the paranormal.
Thank you for coming at such short a notice, Mr. Hulsman. I’m sure you’re busy tending to post-life matters. How are you settling in?
Oh, I’m doing quite well, thanks for asking. It’s rather crowded up here, as I’m sure you could have guessed.
Yes, Americans raised by 80s television are suffering through a collective abandonment syndrome. But the new year is upon us. Have you made any friends in the last couple hours?
Last couple hours? Has it only been that long? You must forgive me. Time passes much slower up here. By my calculation, we must have been waiting for a couple years. No friend making here, really. Everyone is busy filling out paperwork. Despite time moving at twice the speed, the Afterlife hasn’t gone fully digital yet.
A couple years? Interesting. How have you passed the time?
Mostly watching E! Entertainment and Conan. Hunting Bigfoot is onto its ninth season, can you believe it?
Please, no spoilers. So you can glimpse into our imminent future? I’m positive that a fair number of our readers will want to hear how America has faired through 2017 and 2018 since Trump’s Inauguration.
It’s not all that interesting. I’m more consumed by Jimmy Fallon’s experimental approach to the late night format. He’s ditched talking altogether and resorted to an hour of laughing while the audience laughs back, and they go at it this way until the laughing subsides then eventually bursts into more raucous laughter. Truly a comedic innovator.
I’m sensing a passion for studying people.
Why else do you think I invented the red solo cup?
I’ve no idea, actually. I don’t prep for interviews.
Well, allow me to indulge. The red solo cup was the least impressive of my inventions. As a young boy I tinkered with all variations of raw materials. Metals, plastics, woods. I got quite good at shaping bowls. Cups were the most difficult. My father raised us out of a Post Depression era household, where he’d still rub two bills together out of his wallet to make sure they weren’t sticking together. And he’d keep everything. This was back before everyone threw anything in the trash. Landfills weren’t a thing. Well, maybe they were a thing but we certainly weren’t adding to them. So to entertain ourselves, my two brothers and I’d toss paper clips or whatever else we found around the house into these bowls I made. We made a game of it. Now this is just ironic, really. I wasn’t inventing beer pong, and I wouldn’t claim I had any hand in its inception. But there must’ve been something to why college kids would later use my red solo cups to play the same game in.
Countless twenty somethings owe their virginity to you.
I guess if someone has to look back on their life and be proud of something, it might as well be this.
Well thanks for talking, Mr. Hulsman. Any final words before your departure into the Great Beyond?
2017 is just beginning for you. For me, it’s already passed. Don’t fret the big stuff, don’t sweat the small stuff. People are gonna die every day. The best thing you can do is honor them while they’re still around. And quit being so anxious over things outside of your control. Enjoy living. I know I sure did. 84 wondrous years. I witnessed the birth of so many great inventions and, while I know I made something great, I’m most proud of just witnessing it all and having a good time. So love each other. And Spaghetti’s Speed.
Oh, right. There’s no God up here. Just the Flying Spaghetti Monster.