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Simpsons-loving I-Reporters describe trinkets, Kwik-E-Mart

  • Story Highlights
  • The Simpsons movie released Friday, July 27
  • Series first aired in 1989, now a worldwide hit
  • I-Reporters submitted photos showing their fandom
  • Glenn Thibert, formerly of Springfield, Massachusetts, had memorabilia room
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(CNN) -- With "The Simpsons Movie" coming Friday, we asked if you were the biggest Simpsons fan. We wanted to see some proof and you responded. We're finding some very good contenders.

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Glen Thibert shot this photo of his "Simpsonian" memorabilia room in Springfield, Massachusetts in 2003.

Glenn Thibert had a Simpsons-filled room his friends referred to as the "Simpsonian" in his old home in Springfield, Massachusetts. He now lives in Chicopee, Massachusetts, which he said is adjacent to Springfield. He said his new home isn't configured in a way that will allow a Simpsons room, so he has items scattered throughout the home or packed in boxes.

He belongs to a group called the Simpsons Collector Sector and said he had a hard time convincing people he really did live in Springfield. He said the city name is merely a coincidence. Despite a few commonalities Thibert sees between his Springfield and the fictional namesake, including a distinctive bridge and a few of the local political figures, the city failed to win a national contest to determine which Springfield is the Springfield. That honor went to Springfield, Vermont, despite impassioned pleas from Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, who has often been lampooned on the show.

"They try to make it as vague as possible, so it doesn't refer to any specific place," Thibert said.

Memorabilia from all over the world covered the walls of the Simpsonian. Thibert said he dreams of having a home with an entire wing dedicated to his collection, which he started in the late '90s.

Many people who entered the room would look around and make the same deadpan comment, "So, you like the Simpsons?" Of course, there were a few who would take a look, stare at him blankly and back away slowly. Still, he said the wide popularity enjoyed by the show ensured that most people had a positive response.

Because he doesn't have children and he has an engineering job, Thibert said he doesn't have too many problems financing his hobby. He added that he isn't sure why he became a collector, because no one else in his family has the same tendency, but he knew he had a "compulsion to get that whole set" of toy cars and such as a child. The ability to search for international Simpsons treasures on eBay made collecting far easier than when he had to search yard sales and flea markets. He admits that it does get "annoying sometimes," but also says it's "painful to consider stopping collecting."

Although he has the collecting bug, Thibert said he doesn't dress up as characters or imitate voices and expressions such as "d'oh!" Of all the characters, he finds the most commonality in Homer Simpson, especially since they are both 38 years old, but he says that he doesn't really focus on one particular character. They are designed to work as a whole and the true appeal of the show, he says, is the "irreverence and satire."

"It just makes you laugh," he said. "It's basic animation, so you wouldn't think you'd be able to get much of a sight gag, but it's hilarious."

Thibert isn't the only Simpsons fan out there. Elsa L., 27, bought a themed license plate, her first, because she loves the show so much. For a year, she has had a plate that says "S-M-R-T," a saying taken from a classic episode in which Homer dances around cheering that he is "S-M-R-T," but then realizes his mistake and corrects his own spelling. The episode is an inside joke she has with a friend. She said she appreciates the fun of the show and "the commentary they seem to have on events and life in general."

Ian Souter, 22, of Lafayette, Indiana, also said he loves the Simpsons. This summer, he drove three hours to Chicago, Illinois, so he could visit a Kwik-E-Mart installation at a 7-Eleven convenience store and buy Krusty O's cereal. He said he's a big fan of the show, which is a "good reflection on American life."

"I think people can relate to the characters," he said. "Plus, they've been around so long I think they've kind of become a mainstay of television."

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Souter found he had to stand in a roped-off line to get in, and bought a Buzz cola and a Squishee drink (really a Slurpee). But an employee told him Krusty O's wouldn't be in until the next Tuesday. He felt let down because he knew it would be hard to return. But when he found he would be visiting his uncle in Chicago the weekend after Friday, July 13, he again tried to go to the Kwik-E-Mart. He found the Krusty O's had been picked over, but he grabbed two boxes and a doughnut souvenir from "The Simpsons Movie." He said he wishes he also had some Duff beer, but he'll make do.

As for the souvenirs, he ate one box of Krusty O's and found them to be ordinary cereal. He is saving the other. The Buzz cola remains sealed, and the doughnut is in the freezer. He said he might try to sell the doughnut on eBay and see if there are any Simpsons fans or collectors crazy enough to buy it. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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