| Like Homer Simpson lusting for a donut, fans descended on Mountain View's new, temporarily named "Kwik-E-Mart" after it opened Sunday morning on Pear Avenue.
The example of "extreme" marketing, as one fan put it, took a 7-Eleven store and turned it into the Kwik-E-Mart from the beloved "Simpsons" cartoon. For sale were a dozen items straight from the cartoon store's shelves, including Buzz Cola, Squishee drinks and Krusty O's cereal.
The stunt was designed to publicize the July 27 opening of "The Simpsons Movie," which reportedly was underwritten by 7-Eleven. The Mountain View store is the only one in the Bay Area, and one of only 11 across the country, undergoing the cartoon makeover.
"I'm a little disappointed they don't have Duff Beer, but it's pretty cool," said Mark Andreasen, a fan of the show who drove from San Jose Monday morning to see the store's wares. Andreasen said he has been watching the show since it began in 1987 on "The Tracy Ullman Show," and read about the store online.
Also Monday, 7-Eleven corporate employees came to the store dressed as the Simpson family. One employee was dressed as Apu himself, the Kwik-E-mart owner.
"Thank you, come again," he said in the character's Indian accent as people were leaving.
Andreasen had to make sure "Apu" knew his character thoroughly enough. "How many kids do you have?" he asked. "Tell me about your affair with the Squishee representative."
Self-described "Simpsons freaks" Raul Duran, 36, and his nephew Sergio Pena, 16, were gathering up an armful of memorabilia. The two are originally from Mexico City, where the TV show is apparently very popular.
Asked why he liked the Simpsons so much, Duran said the show is "very cynical and in-your-face," and chuckled as he pointed to one of the many Simpsons-themed signs in the store: "Buy three for the price of three."
It's a typical Simpsons joke, he said, just as the grocery store in the cartoon is called "Try-n-Save" instead of "Pak-n-Save."
Another sign reads, "Back by popular indifference." And a case filled with pink Simpsons-themed donuts reads, "Go ahead, they're not called don't-nuts."
The store is on Pear Avenue across from the Shoreline movie theaters, and will remain a Kwik-E-Mart until the end of the month. After Sunday's "chaos" because of the Warped Tour at nearby Shoreline Amphitheatre, 7-Eleven employees on Monday were busy re-stocking the shelves, said marketing manager Christine Carr.
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