For many years, I have been made fun of and derided for my abiding devotion to Styrofoam cups. First off, I’m sure you know that all good Southern girls drink Diet Coke for breakfast. I don’t know why, but there it is. And if you drink Diet Coke for any length of time, you will know that cup quality is imperative. I have tested them all out. Plastic cups sweat too much. Paper cups make the Diet Coke taste like paper. Styrofoam cups are superior in every way. It is a well-known scientific fact that Diet Coke retains its carbonation much longer in a Styrofoam cup. At least I think it’s a scientific fact. Aha! I just looked it up and here’s proof: The rough texture of Styrofoam provides numerous “nucleation sites” where bubbles of CO2 can form.
Here is my collection of Styrofoam cups. Yes, I collect them just like some people collect those little salt and pepper shakers. I have some that are my everyday Styrofoam cups and some that I know I won’t be able to readily get and so I save them out for special occasions. Here’s one from a Whataburger I got in Thomasville, Ga., about three years ago. It has been used only once.
Now using them over and over is what justifies Styrofoam in my mind. I can understand why people get their panties in a wad about Styrofoam, although I just read another study that says it’s actually more ecologically friendly to use Styrofoam cups than paper because you aren’t killing a bunch of trees. You’re killing a bunch of styros, and nobody cares about them anyway.
But I digress. What I do is get my Styrofoam cups from a number of trusted sources. Those include McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, and the convenience store down the street. Then I use them over and over (rinsing between uses, of course) until tiny beads of Diet Coke start appearing. At that point, I figure they’re starting to biodegrade and they’ll just disintegrate fairly quickly in the landfill.
I bring all this up only because it is fairly well known that Southern people, and particularly Southern women, are known to exhibit a few eccentricities. Some people call that Southern charm. My eccentricity extends to the point that when I travel, I take my own Styrofoam cups with me just in case I can’t find any. I was in Chicago last summer and do you know that they not only have no Styrofoam cups but they have no fountain Cokes at all (this whole thing started because I must have fountain Diet Cokes, which are far superior to anything you can get in a can).
I don’t know how those people survive.