“What do they do for fun there?” we asked him.
“They go to the local supermarket and watch the automatic doors open and close,” he replied.
Things haven’t improved much over the last two decades. Today, kids in Fort Worth spend an inordinate amount of time sticking foam cups into chain-link fences for kicks.
That’s right. They take styrofoam cups, paint them ridiculous colors, and shove them into the school fence before the big game. The cups are typically arranged to spell out inspirational messages like “Go Wildcats,” “God Bless America,” and “Please, Lord, Get Me Out Of This Place.”
Driving by his old school one day, Fort Worth native Randall Hunt noticed that the flimsy cups often fall prey to wind, rain, and the smart-ass kid with a Zippo.
That got him thinking. Why not create an environmentally friendly alternative that can withstand the elements and remain in place even after a hurricane?
Hunt set to work inventing his very own cups, called Put-in-Cups, which easily snap into any chain-link fence. And, believe on not, business is booming.
Put-in-Cups come in 17-colors and cost about $360 for a box of 2,000. Hunt says he’s sold more than 2.5 million cups in less than four years.
His main customers are schools. But he also sells to businesses that see the cups as a cheap form of advertising.
“Some people say I might be the next Bill Gates,” says Hunt. “They are saying this could be as big as Hula-Hoops or Post-it notes.”
Yeah, but those people live in Fort Worth.