Elizabeth and Chuck Mead of Newton have a collection that has added a little kick to their lives.The family collects energy drink cans.
Elizabeth and Chuck Mead of Newton have a collection that has added a little kick to their lives.The family collects energy drink cans.The shinny cans, once full of high octane go juice, line the family’s kitchen and the walls of a spare bedroom. They have 91 cans and counting.The couple started collecting cans in 2004 — the year the couple got married. They started picking up cans when they traveled.Elizabeth works at Car Quest Auto Parts in Newton, and Chuck works at JM Ag Service in North Newton. They met when Elizabeth was delivering parts to the tractor and combine service Chuck works at.In Missouri, a certain brand of energy drink caught the couple’s eye. It came in a red and white can and was called Whoop ... Well, you can guess the rest of the name.“It had Chuck literally bouncing off the walls of the truck,” Elizabeth Mead said. “I think they had seven cans. We cleaned them out.”Since then, whenever the couple is traveling, they pick up new energy drinks for their collection.“Every time we take a trip, we get some. We stop at gas stations and look through the coolers,” Elizabeth Mead said. “If it looks good, we usually try it.”They like to look for uniquely designed cans or products with interesting names.Their son, Bruce, is in on the act too. He is serving with the Kansas National Guard in Iraq.Elizabeth Mead said her favorite can is one called Old Glory, which displays an American flag and eagle. She said it reminds her of her son. The family hopes he will be home in time for Thanksgiving.Bruce even went so far as to get a tattoo of the No Fear logo on one of the family’s cans.The Meads don’t envision their collection will ever be worth much.“It just has sentimental value,” Chuck Mead said. “It is something we did together. ... It is a challenge to see who can find the best can.”But the collection is ever growing. Elizabeth Mead said she put up another shelf last week to accommodate their collection.Mead said she used to be never without a can of Pepsi, but her daughter got her turned on to energy drinks, specifically Red Bull and Rumba. Now, she is rarely caught without her choice beverages.“It is like an instant shot in your blood veins. It is really good on a hot, summer day,” Elizabeth Mead said.Mead is brand loyal. She uses her husband as a guinea pig for the wide array of new energy drinks the couple acquires for their collection.“Some are really good, and some are really nasty,” Chuck Mead said.“Some taste like medicine,” Elizabeth Mead said.Elizabeth said her mother is on her to cut down on her energy drink consumption, but she says she’ll keep drinking.“She says they are not good for me, but I’m 42 years old and still kicking,” she said.