Red cards a booze-fuelled tradition

The scarfie tradition of red cards is all about doing something new and having a good time, a university graduate says.

Each person in a flat is allowed to pull one red card during the year. On the day they decide to use it, the rest of the flat has to participate in whatever alcohol-fuelled activity the holder has decided on.

A University of Otago graduate, who asked to remain anonymous, said one of the red cards he pulled was called Castle to Castle and involved hitchhiking, alcohol and costumes.

''The idea was there were six guys in the flat and we all got a partner, so there were 12 of us in total. We got dropped off at Castle St in Waihola.

''We had to hitchhike back to Castle St in Dunedin in a minimum of three different cars while completing a list of 25 challenges on the way,'' he said.

Each pair dressed in a different theme, including mimes, prisoners and cross-dressers. The challenges each required photographic evidence and included getting on a tractor, having a beer at a pub, standing with an animal and getting as many hugs as possible.

Red cards provided an opportunity to do something new and have a good time, he said.

''It's the idea that you're doing something you haven't done before, and someone else has organised it. You don't have to think much, you just go along with it and have fun. You just drink to excess and do stupid things.

''There is definitely a peer-pressure element to the drinking side of it - people do go overboard - but I've never witnessed anyone being forced to do anything.''

While some red cards were designed for enjoyment, others were about humiliating the participants.

''I heard of one where each flatmate had to book a table for two at a different restaurant and go there with some flowers and a bottle of wine so it looked like they had been stood up. They had to finish a main and the wine before they could leave.''

- by David Beck 

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