Polar Pops are arguably the most well-known thing in all of Fairdale. Nearly everyone I know loves Polar Pops.
A Polar Pop is a big, huge, refreshing fountain drink sold at Circle K gas stations. In Fairdale, we only have one gas station. It sells Marathon gasoline and is a ‘Circle K’ convenience store. A few years ago the gas station was a ‘Dairy Mart’, but it changed ownership and became a ‘Circle K.’
That is when the Polar Pop arrived! The ‘Circle K’ brought in a gigantic fountain drink machine. (Now, most convenience stores these days have big fountain drink machines.) The awesome part was that they only cost 59 cents. Plus tax that came out to 63 cents. It was incredible! Any flavor fountain drink anyone could desire. Big and Cold and Refreshing. And only for 63 cents. It was such a good deal that everyone in Fairdale came to depend upon it.
Since the Polar Pop has caught Fairdale by surprise, the price has changed. It went up 10 cents. They now cost 69 cents, plus tax equals 73 cents. Every teenager in Fairdale can tell you that from memory. Hundreds of kids a day walk to Circle K carrying only 73 cents. Many kids pick one up on the way to school and then grab another one on their way home from school.
The Polar Pop has become such a staple that people often go through the Dairy Queen drive-thru and order a meal without a drink and then stop by the Circle K to get the bigger, less expensive Polar Pop. It is such a good deal that people depend on it now. This Christmas the Circle K in Fairdale had a drawing to raffle off a Mountain Bike covered in Polar Pop decals. I even got several Polar Pop t-shirts from the manager to give away to people. Polar Pops are a movement!
I was thinking about the influence of the Polar Pop today. If someone was to drink a Polar Pop everyday for a year,(Undoubtedly, some people do. Many people drink 2 and 3 a day.) they would have spent $266. If they only drank 5 Polar Pops a week (And I know all kinds of people who do this), then they still would have spent $189. Now, I am not saying that the person necessarily wasted that much money. The Polar Pop is so pleasing and refreshing and so affordable that it is actually a very good and wise purchase.
The Polar Pop is such an impactful common item to the young people of Fairdale that for a Christmas present this year we gave every one of our youth in our church Youth Group a gift card to Circle K for only 73 cents. The ladies working the cash register loved Nate and I when we came in asking for those.
The Polar Pop does bring some negativity though. Because of how prevalent they are particularly in our town, you see them littered all over the place. Every yard or parking lot has been the victim of an empty Polar Pop cup. The litter is not only the negative they bring, but also the weight gain. Drinking 32 ounces of Coke or Mountain Dew or Big Red is not and never has been good for you. Drinking several Polar Pops a day is outright terrible for you! So as much as I love Polar Pops, I do wish they were all placed into garbage cans when finished. And I do wish people would have some self-control and not allow a soda drink to cause them to be overweight.
All of this brings me to say that I am really and truly thankful for Polar Pops. They have brought much joy and excitement and atmosphere to my life and to our town. There is no telling how many Polar Pop drinks I have bought for kids as we have been hanging out. That has served to be a very small and minor instrument in the work of God. Countless relationships have been blessed and deepened over a short walk to Circle K to get Polar Pops.
I’m about to go get one now!