Growing up in a small Northern Minnesota town, we would often travel 50 miles west to the closest large city to see doctors, an orthodontist and other specialists. My parents loved shopping at K-Mart, having great fun hoping for a good ‘Blue Light Special.’
On the other hand, my young self was more interested in getting an Icee to drink if it was in the budget.
One trip, I picked up a flyer describing what one can acquire with Icee points that are diamond shapes on the sides of the cups. I set my eyes on the giant stuffed Icee Bear. But the cups we could afford only had one point.
My Icee Bear required 1,000 points! Impossible to a young elementary school girl. But I remember literally feeling a large light bulb turn on above my head as I walked past a public ashtray. Sitting in its sand was a discarded large Icee cup with three diamond-shaped points calling my name.
While my parents shopped, I ran through the store raiding every ashtray and trashcan I could find. I could have been labeled an environmentalist as I walked the entire parking lot salvaging every cup I found (yes, even the tire-marked squished ones).
It took a few trips but before I knew it I had enough Icee points to fill ten sheets of one hundred and send off for my bear.
When he arrived in the mail, my sister decided she wanted one. Just when I thought my dumpster diving days were over, I started all over again for the next 1,000 points.
By the way, I never actually dove into a dumpster, but I did dig around in a few public trash cans. Let’s just say that when I really want something, I dive right in!