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Simpsons Character Bad for Image?

Simpsons News — Posted 15 Oct, 2003 by Scott

The convenience store has permeated our culture so deeply that people are analyzing Apu, the cartoon Kwik-E-Mart clerk on the Simpsons.

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon has stamped both positive and negative images on the convenience store industry, said Jeff Lenard, director of communications for the National Association of Convenience Stores, whose article on Apu is slated to appear in November in NACS Magazine.

"There are some retailers who truly think he is one of the worst things that has happened to our industry,'' Lenard said. But Apu is also one of the most honest, lovable, good-hearted characters on the long-running show, he said. Web site describes Apu as so diligent, he "seems to work at the Kwik-E-Mart 24 hours a day." Once, Lenard said, he worked 96 hours straight, saying: " 'Listen, serving the customer is merriment enough for me.' ''Read More...

He's a highly educated family man, Lenard said.

But, Lenard notes: "He often keeps a loaded rifle behind the counter and chases shoplifters, two dangerous practices that increase the likelihood of violence.''

And an example of his gouging includes selling a 29-cent postage stamp for $1.85.

His food selection is poor, Lenard said. As puts it: "Luscious heat-lamp dogs, chewy frozen microwave burritos and the ever-popular Squishee. ... To Apu's great disappointment, his attempt to bridge the gap between East and West with tofu dogs, curry crullers and chutney Squishees met with resounding disinterest from customers.''

Maureen O'Donnell
- Chicago Sun Times

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