Peter wanted to visit the LA-area Fry’s Electronics. Nominally, he wanted to have some extra batteries on hand for Neil’s audition, which featured a Lego robot Neil programmed himself. But moreover, he likes the theme of this Fry’s.
All Fry’s Electronics have a theme. Sometimes, they’re subtle, like the giant capacitors at the original Fry’s in Sunnyvale, sometimes they’re embarrassing, like the Western Fry’s in Palo Alto, but mostly they’re goofy fun, like the Egyptian tomb Fry’s in San Jose, or the casino Fry’s in Las Vegas. The Burbank Fry’s is by far the most over the top in crazed design. It has an alien invasion theme that begins with a flying saucer crashed into the storefront:
On the inside, you see the other side of the saucer and green Martians climbing out of it.
Right when you walk in there is a scene of hysteria, complete with a newpaper boy with the latest headlines:
Neil is pointing at the subhead that says “Asimov Says: ‘I Told You So'”. Pointed at the crashed saucer is a soldier:
though I guess we could be as concerned about the great software bargains propped against him, as much as the aliens. Speaking of which, in the actual software section, a giant alien octopus has broken through the wall:
In the appliance section, giant ants are hovering over the washing machines and refrigerators:
I tried spraying them with pretend Raid, but it had no effect. Kelly loved the ants, though, and babbled on for days about the “yucky buggies!”
By the time you get to the back of the store, the aliens have prevailed, but it’s not so bad. Just like Fry’s, they’re only here for your business:
I think that’s a giant Darth Vader there behind Peter, looking for a few good books on Windows Vista.
As a store itself, the Burbank Fry’s was somewhat mediocre, though Peter easily found the batteries we needed. But as a theme, it’s absolutely true to LA: flashy, imaginative, and surreal.