other night I visited a 7/11 in Burbank that had been made up as a Kwik-E-Mart. There are a handful of stores that have made the full change (all 7/11s sell Simpsons products, and you’re actually more likely to find a Buzz Cola at a non-Kwik-E-Mart), and they made that change weeks ago… and yet there was still a long line to get into this store. I had been wondering how interested people still were in The Simpsons, and this went a long way towards answering my question.

The Kwik-E-Mart changeover is a pretty inspired marketing move (I actually heard a guy in the parking lot say ‘This is once in a lifetime!’), and it looks like Fox isn’t stopping there. They’ve angered some British types with a giant white painted Homer planted right next to the Cerne Abbas giant. Well, I don’t know if they really angered the locals – The Sun claims that pagans have done rain rituals to call showers that will wash away the water-based Homer paint, but The Sun is so full of shit it should just be printed brown – but they’ve certainly caught my attention. The Cerne Abbas giant was carved into the hillside in Dorset thousands of years ago, and is believed to aid in fertility, apparently due to his raging hard-on.

Meanwhile Fox is sitting tight on the movie itself; as far as I know no one has seen it yet, and it’s opening in a week. Even basic plot details remain vague at best. Some have speculated that they’re trying to avoid spoiling jokes, but then again this is the same studio that pre-screened Borat so often they were essentially simulcasting it on your toaster at home. Whether they’re holding the film close to the vest because they want to save surprises or because it’s just not that good (ie, like the last ten seasons of the show), Fox has been doing some masterful marketing for The Simpsons Movie, so I would expect it to open big, big, big. Like pagan painting Homer big.