Lately I’ve been checking out every 7-11 I’ve stumbled upon. Not because they have unbelievable gas prices or that I’m hopelessly addicted to scratch-off cards and day-old (Mmm) doughnuts, but because I’m on a quest. Not the most noble of quests, but a quest nonetheless.
A few months back I caught wind of 7-11’s supposed promotional stunt to temporarily replace Slurpee with Kwik-E-Mart Squishy cups in anticipation of the release of The Simpsons Movie. Ever since, I’ve heard the jingle of many a green and orange convenience store door. And although I know it’s still a Slurpee in a Slurpee cup that simply reads “Squishy” instead of “Slurpee,” there’s something about sipping that frozen, sweet nectar from a magical cup that reads “Squishy” that might make it taste slightly more delicious.
Yet, after some time searching, the promise of a tangible, 3-dimensional Squishy seems to merely be a myth in Miami at least, because all I’ve been able to find thus far in regards to Simpsons paraphernalia are twisty straws, sugar cookies, and Bartman comic books. Not a single Squishy, which leaves me with a sense of disgruntled discontent so pathetic that even Milhouse has the right to snub his nose.
So when I received an invite to The Forge’s release party for The Simpsons Movie on July 25 with promises of beer and Krusty the Clown serving hors'endeavors, my Comic Book Guy-soul was as happy as Lisa playing a sax duet with “Bleeding Gums” Murphy.
At 10:30 p.m. I arrived at The Forge, excited to immediately see two guests waiting outside the restaurant wearing Simpsons T-shirts. As soon I walked through the decadent stain glassed entrance way leading to The Forge’s dining area, and took my first glance at a bar decorated solely with pink balloons and hundreds of identical promotional Simpons movie posters, I quickly realized that this “release party” was less about The Simpsons Movie and more about partying. And not just partying, but partying Miami-style – full of so much opulence and shoulder-rubbing that if the actual Simpson family were to have shown up, they probably would’ve been turned away at the door.
I wasn’t expecting Flaming Moe’s and cans of Duff beer, but I felt there could’ve been a little more effort put forth in regards to theme. Springfield’s resident clown serving munchies like Krusty burgers would’ve been enough to appease me, but after an hour the bar was so packed with party-goers that that alone would’ve been impossible. The mass of bodies resulted in an absence of Krusty altogether, not to mention anything else reminiscent of the Simpsons. That is except for the aforementioned posters and the same exact promo-statue that can be found in the lobby of Aventura’s movie theater.
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Maybe this was appropriate, however, being that attendees seemed to be less interested in the only element of festive creativity at the event – Elaine Lancaster’s clever Marge Simpson costume, complete with cartoonish, bubble eyes – and more enthralled with whispering rumors of celebrity. According to the surprisingly gracious staff at The Forge and a pack of scavenging photographers who stood outside the restaurant all night, Janet Jackson apparently showed up in a white Escalade, jumped out of the car, ran into one of The Forge’s private rooms, ate, ran out of the restaurant, and jumped back into the car. That’s it.
Yet, this flash of fame was so significant to the crowd, that all anyone could talk about all night was how much weight she put on, leaving me with nothing but a desire to drink a Squishy. A strong one. Preferably one made entirely of syrup. -- Elyse Wanshel
Update: Some Simpson-esque festivities did occur after I left at 12 a.m. Two guys, one with a Bart and another with a Homer mask showed up along with a platter of pink frosted, sprinkle doughnuts. Yet, I'm assuming it didn't go down until 1 a.m. or so (two hours for anything remotely Simpson to occur, come on), and who waits until well after midnight to eat doughnuts on a Wednesday night ... other than cops ... and perhaps Homer.
Check out these lame attempts at costumes here.