In this conversation E.S represents myself, the collector.
Informant: “We would all drink Shitty K like it was nothing”
E.S: “We never had that”
Informant: “What? Shitty K was just like all that really gross vodka you could buy for cheap.”
The informant grew up in a large, suburban, middle-class town in central South Carolina. Underage drinking was very common.
I was hanging out with the informant, talking about the differences in our high school experiences. The informant brought up what people used to drink when they were underaged and we compared our towns.
With underage drinking, there is a consistent level of secrecy that surrounds the activity. Many high schoolers consider drinking alcohol to be an adult activity and it makes them feel older. To describe cheap liquor as “Shitty K” is inherently a very childish thing. It also removes the word “vodka” from its title, adding to the secret facade high school kids try to keep up in front of parents. The creation of this term allows for kids to feel like an adult because they are consuming alcohol but emphasizes immaturity as it is an inappropriate name for the drink.