Sean M. is a recovering packrat.
As a kid, he once strung 800 keychains together as a funky bedroom decoration. He also hoarded buckets of nuts and bolts, and those plastic sword toothpicks that get stuck in cheese. And there’s never been a yard sale, flea market or second-hand store that hasn’t lured him in with the promise of hidden treasure.
Marriage and buying a house inevitably led him to shed many of his miscellaneous possessions. “Decluttering” is the fancy term for it. But there’s one sentimental item that the 33-year-old aspiring novelist will never give up.
Almost two decades ago, a teenage Sean was on an adventure hike in the woods surrounding his rural Maryland neighborhood. He and his friends stumbled across some rusty vehicles and what appeared to be traces of a dirt road and an old farmhouse foundation, long conquered by the regrowth of the forest. Suddenly, a shimmering reflection caught his eye.
Sean cleaned out the dirt and mud and displayed it in his bedroom. For him, the bottle’s surprise appearance was fate. “My parents had banned soda from our house. It was only an occasional treat at restaurants and at grandma’s house. You could get whatever you wanted at grandma’s house!”
Like a wine aficionado testing out what works best with chicken or steak, Sean liked to experiment tasting Dew with different brands of candy. One of his favorite combinations was Mountain Dew with Butterfingers. “I think the stuff that got caught in my teeth gave me an extra flavor fix,” he hypothesizes.
We always covet what we can’t have, and the freedom of college opened up the spigots. Sean recalls guzzling a 2-liter of Dew every day, but he eventually switched to Diet Mountain Dew.
Sean now celebrates his love for the Dew by sharing pictures on Pongr.
“I’d like to thank them for making the product,” he says. “It’s made a great impact on my life and I think it would be cool to work for them.”
Sean’s picked up on one of the most exciting features of Pongr. While most players participate for fun or hopes of winning prizes, a select few of the most devoted brand enthusiasts — those who share the most creative pictures and recruit the most fans — may attract the attention of the company’s marketing executives.
And that’s even cooler than finding an antique hillbilly bottle.
(Sean is planning to give the Dew some complimentary product placement in his yet-to-be-titled science fiction novel. What do YOU think of his vintage Mountain Dew bottle or his suggestion to combine the flavors of Mountain Dew and Butterfinger? Share your comments on his Pongr activity photostream.)