So this past
Sunday night I was driving home from the "Asssscat" show at the Upright
Citizens Brigade theater. Seeing their insane improv shows would normally
be more than enough entertainment to satisfy me for one evening, but on my
drive home I stumbled onto something else. As I was driving down Olive
Avenue in Burbank, I noticed some high-powered spotlights shooting up into
the sky off in the distance. At first, I figured it was just some car
dealership trying to attract people to their realm of lies and woe, but as
I came closer to the lights, I quickly realized this was no car
It turns out
the 7-Eleven right down the road from me is one of the twelve stores that
have been converted into a Kwik-E-Mart (11 in the US and 1 in Canada)
to help promote the upcoming Simpsons movie! Seeing the Kwik-E-Mart sign
glowing, I sped on home to grab my camera and head back out to capture all
the hoopla. So here's a lil' treat for those of you who don't live close
enough to one of these converted 7-Elevens; my photo gallery from the
As you can
see, they really went all out with making the outside of the store look
exactly like the Kwik-E-Mart from The Simpsons, complete with the faux
brick lining. Walking up to a place that I had seen in cartoons for so
many years was surreal as hell to say the least.
Ok, while I
haven't seen every single Simpsons episode ever made, I've seen enough of
them to be fairly certain this guy isn't part of the show, and he's
definitely not "El Seed" from The Tick. Stilty McFlowerguy, as I like to
call him, was just walking around the area to take pictures with
everybody. I'm not sure if he was paid to be there or he was trying to
crash the Simpsons' promotion and give himself some exposure. You know,
because it's hard finding a work when you're a guy on stilts... dressed
like a flower.
at least he was high in spirits... or maybe he was just high.
(both mentally and
the Kwik-E-Mart were plenty of decorations to further separate your mind
from reality to make you think you were in the Simpsons world. As you can
see here, an ad for the First Bank of Springfield (misplacing decimal
points since 194.5).
sign was part in jest, but they definitely didn't want people parking
there for too long so that other people could have a chance to check the
place out. Didn't matter though, people were parked all up and down the
side streets in the area just so they could come see one of their favorite
cartoon shows in the real world.
ad for a Squishee in the window. Woo Hoo indeed!
think he'd be eating Elmer's paste or something.
I guess Ralph's tastes are finally growing up? Say it ain't so!
were also on sale inside the store, along with Buzz Cola, but they sold
out extremely fast. The manager, however, informed me that this Kwik-E-Mart
makeover will be up for the entire month and that they should be getting
in some more of these Simpsons-themed treats in stock. So for any of you
who are hoping to get some of these items, there's still hope. Of course,
you can always head to eBay and find some people who are sadly trying to
cash in on this stuff.
Movie Promotion. Ever."
themed or not, the day I eat any kind of chili from a 7-Eleven is the day
they'll seal me up in a coffin.
Radioactive Man was really there at the store. At the very least, he
would've been a hell of a lot more fitting than Stilty McFlowerguy.
while you can, people, for this is one of the few times the 7-Eleven
employees won't yell at you for loitering. They will, however, still yell
at you for trying to refill your Squishee after drinking half of it while
roaming the store.
By the way,
the Kwik-E-Mart is hiring. They only require two things: 1) You work there
24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 2) Your name is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon,
ensure loitering, they had a flat screen TV playing episodes of The
Simpsons (complete with subtitles) for customers to enjoy while in the
the obvious movie promotions, they also had plenty of Simpsons gear to
unload. My guess is that a lot of this stuff has been sitting in the
discount bins at Spencer Gifts and/or Hot Topic for a long time. Well,
except for the cookies and fruit snacks. I hope those weren't sitting
anywhere for too long.
if you kept them in these custom Kwik-E-Mart styrofoam coolers, those
cookies and fruit snacks would keep forever.
extremely excited kids were running around the store with these in hand as
if they had never actually seen a Bobble-Head figure before. I guess some
things need no real explanation... they just sell themselves.
random Simpsons sign to help remind you that you were in Springfield.
people were listening to the sign because...
snagged the last "official" Simpsons movie donut. Granted, it's just a
regular donut with neon pink frosting and multi-colored sprinkles, but
everyone still wanted one. I mean really, how often can you say you ate an
"official" donut of any kind?
that you're eating there, Roger?"
It's a donut."
what kind of donut?"
it's an official donut. I'm here on official business."
else in the store, however, makes a perfectly good garnish.
the fun of things were a slew of tongue-in-cheek signs throughout the
If I were
you, I'd just stick with the buns and forget the hot dog.
Not a good mix with the Squishee.
was on the job, eating donuts and guarding the beer. Surprisingly enough,
they didn't put out any 6 packs of Duff beer for this promotion. A glaring
oversight if you ask me. I mean, granted, I can understand them wanting to
keep things all "innocent" for the kids who are fans of the show, but
there are just as many adults who watch the show (if not more) and I'm
sure they'd all like to buy some Duff from the Kwik-E-Mart.
Of all the
character standees in the store, this
Jasper one in the freezer was easily my favorite.
Two hot dogs. It's only logical.
And as you
can see, all of the yogurt fruit cups remained unsold that night.
there's somebody out there who actually would try to return a Squishee...
and what a sorry bastard he must be.
Denied. You could only get it in cans, and they were fresh sold out.
one thing I truly wanted to see was rip-roarin and ready to serve! Yes
indeed, the Squishee machine was in full working order with a brand new flavor:
Blue Woo Hoo Vanilla! Let me tell you, this stuff tastes GREAT, and
I'm not just saying that because I have a soft spot for any blue drinks...
it really is damned good. Normally I prefer the Coca-Cola flavored
Slurpees, but the vanilla flavoring is another perfect fit. But...
of the collectible cups were sold out. This baffled me because the
collectors cups had the Simpsons characters all over them. Why would you
want those when you could get the ultimate cup at no extra
ORIGINAL SQUISHEE CUP!
it's a thing of beauty and you should've seen me propping that thing up on
top of the machine to make sure it got the proper lighting it deserved...
scowling at anybody who ever dared to step near it and disturb the Squishee. I wish it could stay like that forever, but no, it had to enter
my stomach. Still, at least we'll always have this photo to look back on.
It's the best photo I took all night. Actually, no, it's the best photo I
took in my entire life. Well...
it'd be nice if they could keep politics out of our entertainment just
it's just wishful thinking, but I'm hoping that Blinky's body parts didn't
make their way into the condiments.
"Thank you, come again!"
all for the photos I took from the grand opening of the Kwik-E-Mart here
in Burbank, CA. If you want to see some more excellent photos of this same
shop but during the day, you can check out
this cool photo set on Flickr. You'll get to see some of the extra
stuff they had there before it sold out. Big kudos to 7-Eleven and the
marketing team behind The Simpsons movie for putting this thing together.
Whether you're a fan of the show or not, there's no denying that this is
hands-down one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, movie promotions of
all time. Personally, I'd love to see them all of these Kwik-E-Marts stay
like this forever instead of changing them back into 7-Elevens. We have
plenty of 7-Elevens... why can't we keep our dozen Kwik-E-Marts?
way, let's just hope McDonald's doesn't do some kind of Ratburger
promotion if they ever make Demolition Man 2. Eh, who am I
kidding... we all know that's what's in those burgers anyway. Now if
you'll excuse me, I'm parched... I think it's high time I hit up the local
Kwik-E-Mart for another vanilla Squishee!
By the way,
for those of you who are wondering, you can try most of these Simpsons
promotions such as the glorious Squishee at just any 7-Eleven store all
month long - they're not just reserved for the ones that were converted to
Kwik-E-Marts. Drink up!
questions or comments about this piece?
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