Here’s the letter I almost sent to the Seward County Independent last week:
There exists between Seward and Lincoln an uncomfortable difference that we often ignore in polite company. After all, sometimes when faced with a disturbing idea, it is easier to simply pretend that it doesn’t exist than to face it head on. I am writing, of course, about the Icee Gap.
Currently, the city of Lincoln enjoys a luxurious person to Icee machine ratio of approximately 2500 to 1. Not so in Seward. Just a few short years ago our own person to Icee ratio was a comfortable 2750 to 1, certainly nothing to sneeze at by any standard. But for the last few years we have been reduced, first to a miserly 6000 to 1 ratio, and within the last few weeks we are simple out of luck. Adrift with no recourse but to head East.
Those who live in Lincoln can purchase these tasty frozen confections at pizza parlors, gas stations, fast food restaurants, grocery stores and theaters. We here in Seward have none of these options and are the poorer for it.
I do not simply mean poorer in the gastronomic sense, though we are certainly that as well. We are poorer economically. I know that when I fill my tank up with gas once a week I should be doing it here in Seward. But I hear the siren song of the Icee and I can not help but open my wallet further to the East.
I will not name any names, but I can buy my groceries anywhere. Everyday low prices were nice, but I came for the Icee. I will happily buy elsewhere if another grocer were to take up the slack.
And we have many fine eating establishments in Seward, but a few years ago I found myself gravitating toward that restaurant where the difference was real. They still serve good food, but now I have one less reason to pick them out from the crowd.
This is an unprecedented opportunity for some merchant in Seward. You could own the only Icee* machine in an over 1890 square mile area (seriously, do the math). And, while you might not become rich from the sales of these frozen bits of heaven, you will put your business one notch higher on many people’s lists. And you will be at the top of mine.
*While I have a preference for the Icee, I have no fight with those who prefer either the Slushie or the Slurpee, and would gladly enjoy either.
Luckily, I found out that the Casey’s South of Seward has a “Frozen Drink” machine with cola, blue & red flavors. We now stop there after the Wal*marts on Sunday. Don’t give me too much grief about the letter. This is only a first draft, and would have received more editing if this had been an actual Icee emergency.
Oh, and I’m not at all sure that I like Slurpees. I was just trying to build a frozen drink coalition.