In Phoenix, AZ
a red card was a minor badge of coolness
handed out by KUPD
, the local butt rock
radio station, to its loyal listeners. The KUPD Red Card entitled the bearer to various discounts at head shop
s, record store
s, and other business establishments at the center of the stoner
universe. During my junior high
years in the early 1980s, nearly every teen and preteen who wore a mullet
and a flimsy, elbow-length heavy metal
concert t-shirt was a proud red cardholder.
In the world of high school extracurricular activities
, a red card was a penalty placed on students who were failing a class that week and were therefore ineligible for that weekend's activity, be it a game, match, debate, trip, concert, or anything else. Yes, even the kids in the marching band
had to be passing their classes or they'd be pulled from the show. My little brother saw a gem of an opportunity in this rule, and used it to get out of drumming at jazz ensemble
concerts when he didn't like the music they'd be performing. All he'd have to do is wait until Monday to turn in his homework
, and he'd have an iron-clad excuse to miss the concert.