Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I go to the 7-11 in Burbank that's been converted into a Kwik E Mart!
So, as many of you may have heard, 7-11 partnered up with Fox to do some Simpsons movie promotions, offering Buzz Cola and Squishees and Simpsons merchandise, etc. And a few lucky 7-11s have actually been transformed into ACTUAL Kwik E Marts, which is pretty cool considering that it's as close as one will ever come to visiting a set from The Simpsons.
(Although, I heard a few years ago that somewhere in Vegas, somebody built the Simpsons' house. Hmmmm.....)
Regardless, it's still a kind of nifty idea, and since there are two in LA, and one was relatively close to where I was working, I decided to stop on in and check it out. You can see it from afar and a little closer up. (For people who care, it's on the corner of Olive and Verdugo, but it's a weird 6-way stop light.)
(Sorry the pictures might not be the greatest. I finally stepped up and joined the 21st century and now have a camera in my phone, so I'm learning how to take pictures with it. It's pretty cool, and a little unnerving. But now I'll never be kicking myself for not taking that picture of me and Judd Nelson when the opportunity arrives!)
Anyway, so as you can kind of see from the outside, there are lovely signs, and Bart and Milhouse on the roof. There are also a bunch of signs on the windows, like these. They are amusing and clever, and you can feel that the Simpsons' writers definitely had fun with this.
Also outside are ropes for the lines. I couldn't believe it, for the first time in my life, I had to wait to go into the 7-11. It was kinda ridiculous, but fans are lining up to check this out. (The one on the west side in LA (around Sepulveda and Jefferson, I want to say) has giant spotlights that caused obscene traffic on the fourth of July. All this for a convenience store. And how convenient is it to pop in and buy a pack of smokes and a vitamin water when there are kids taking their picture by the Squishee machine? (which still serves slurpee flavors, oddly enough).
Inside, they have all sorts of nifty touches, lots of stand up characters and such. You can see Apu and Wiggum here. If you look closely in the freezer you can see Jasper frozen, just like in episode number... whatever. I'm not obsessive like Comic Book Guy. Which reminds me that Comic Book guy was painted on the wall outside. His name is Jeff Appleton, if I remember correctly. But everybody calls him comic book guy.
(What I need to do is go back and look for Snake. I'm guessing he'd be around the corner, waiting to rob the place, but then again, I don't think 7-11 wants to encourage the robbery of their stores, even with a cartoon character).
So, along with the squishees, they have those lovely pink donuts that Homer consumes to an insane degree. Naturally I had to get one. They taste like donuts. They're not made out of gold or anything. They're just donuts. And they were out of Buzz Cola, but the Buzz Cola machine curiously carried both Coke and Pepsi products, but no Buzz. Not even Jolt. But there is Mountain Dew!
Not for nothing, but would it kill 7-11 to carry RC Cola and Mello Yello? Seriously! Those sodas rule.
Still, I couldn't resist the temptation of donuts, and I got swept up into the hype. So I asked a lovely young woman to take a picture of me in a not so flattering t-shirt (Although, it is a very funny shirt) alongside my hero and eventual role model should I ever become a father myself (sorry, Pop, media oversaturation being what it is, I gotta go with what works. Oh, and Happy birthday tomorrow). The similarities between us are astounding.
So there you have it. I went to a convenience store that was inspired by a cartoon, and wrote about it. Sadly, after all is said and done, it's still a 7-11. However, in both cartoon form or reality, the Kwik E Mart certainly does overprice their items. At least there's consistency.
FUN FACT: For aficionados of LA geography, the Kwik E Mart I visited was right down the street from the Safari Motel Inn, as Floyd says it. Indeed, if you're a fan of True Romance AND The Simpsons, this is one block you'll never want to leave.