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My Visit To The Kwik-E-Mart

August 12, 2007

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As a special promotion for The Simpsons Movie, 7-Eleven turned six stores into Kwik-E-Marts. Two weeks ago, I visited Lake Buena Vista, the home of the only Kwik-E-Mart in the state of Florida.

At this point it’s probably only fair to tell you that this trip was motivated in no small part by my obsessive Green Day fan geekiness. (Green Day opens The Simpsons Movie.) Though I didn’t find a single Green Day-related Simpsons Movie tie-in, it was still pretty cool. I mean, how many times in your lifetime are you going to get to go to the actual Kwik-E-Mart?

The drive from my home in Tampa, Florida to the Kwik-E-Mart took about an hour and a half. Despite my Mapquest direcitons, or perhaps because of them, I had a bear of a time finding the place. (It may also have been the fact that I kept looking for the 7-Eleven logo, thinking it would still be somewhere on the oustide of the store, which it wasn’t.)

After a couple of u-turns, I pulled into the parking lot, parking right in front of Comic Book Guy. Marge, Bart, and Milhouse were also outside the Kwik-E-Mart, though to the left of the entrance.  

The store’s interior had been simpsonized by the addition of an assortment of larger-than-lifesize standups and some cute signs. (My favorite was the one in front of the doughnuts that read “A Mounds bar is not a sprinkle. A Twizzler is not a sprinkle. A Jolly Rancher is not a sprinkle.”  (Hey, who can tell me which Simpsons episode that line came from? Click here for the full line.)    

One of the bad things about this being the only Kwik-E-Mart in Florida was that they were pretty much out of the Simpsons Movie goodies that the regular Seven-Elevens had–no Squishy straws, no limited edition comic books, no Buzz cola and not a single box of Krusty-Os.  (I managed to get Buzz cola locally, and my brother got me a box of Krusty-Os that look and taste suspiciously like Fruit Loops.)

Of course the fact that I arrived two days before the promotion ended probably didn’t help. The staff was a bit weary of their sudden celebrity status, too.  My conversation with the clerk went something like this:

Me: Do you mind posing with Apu for me?

Clerk: <sigh>

Clerk moves next to Apu.

Me: I guess you must get pretty tired of all the tourists, huh?

Clerk (wistfully): Two more days. I’ve only got two more days.

Overall, my trip to the Kwik-E-Mart was a fun little side trip.  Here are some of the pictures from my visit for the non-Springfieldians:

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And to close, me and Green Day, simpsonized.

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