“I’m not ordering cocktails made of gold!” yelled one SC senior as he was escorted out of a busy downtown bar last night. “Do they come off-brand?? Do you do payment plans?!” He is just one of many students whose long-awaited 21st birthdays quickly tanked due to bar-drink sticker shock.

“Fifteen bucks is either a bottle of something terrible, for myself and several people, or one cocktail at a nice bar. Plus tip. And I am not yet at a point in my life where I care about the difference,” he elaborates. Many college students, introduced to drinking either on others’ dimes or exclusively at home, feel the same way.

He needs time to get used to the idea, he attests, and to get a grownup job. “Until then, if you’ll all excuse me,” he yells to security as they release him into the street, “I have to start a tab at my favorite bar – Ralphs – before they close.”