In April of 1999, Jared Scott Fogle became a well known spokesman for Subway sandwiches after an article in his local paper attributed his incredible weight-loss to dining exclusively at their restaurants. Ironically, trying to get into a smaller pair of pants would ultimately be his downfall after he pleaded guilty to numerous charges of being a creepy weirdo to children. Besides hiring Satan to be the face of their company and being accused of lying about how long a foot-long sandwich is, Subway has somehow managed to become the largest, single-brand restaurant chain in the entire world with more than 40,000 locations in 100 countries.
It’s been about a decade since I had last stepped inside one of their eateries but this past weekend seemed as good a time as any to remind myself why I don’t “Eat Fresh” more often. It was Sunday and after walking around Santa Ana’s Artists Village and seeing nothing that sparked my appetite, I decided to take the plunge and drown my hunger in Sun chips and cheap pre-sliced deli meat. Thankfully, I had a pre-rolled joint from Henry’s stashed inside my pocket that would help cushion the inevitable regret I would feel after finishing a foot-long sub that, in reality, only stretched to about 11 inches. Henry’s bright, citrus-flavored strain known as Sour Tangie had me higher than my electricity bill in the summer as I gazed over the menu while trying to blend in with the crowd of weirdos that also chose to dine there.
As I stood in line for what seemed like an eternity, I learned that Subway has a special sandwich deal for every day of the week. It may have been the effects from the pre-roll or my unwavering support for food challenges but right then and there I knew what had to be done. For the next week I would dedicate one of my meals every day to trying a new 6-inch sub, take notes, and finally put to bed the age-old question that literally nobody was asking: Which daily deal is best? I was filled with anticipation as my turn finally came.
As a child my family was about as poor as you can be without starving or living on the streets. Besides being disappointed with birthdays, holidays and pretty much every day, I also learned to despise any food that reminded me of the years I spent raising my hand for permission to go to the bathroom. Tuna happens to be near the top of that list, along with Hamburger Helper and casseroles but for the purpose of this article I gave tuna a temporary hall pass to enter my stomach. I don’t know what I was expecting when I made the decision to go through with my experiment, but every bite of that sandwich was a war crime against humanity. I drowned every mayonnaise-covered bite with lemonade and hoped that the next day’s special would be something that didn’t (allegedly) contain dolphin meat.
Sunday score: 🐬🐬🐬
Monday: Sweet Onion Teriyaki
Nobody likes Mondays. It’s a day we all dread for numerous reasons, which is why you would think Subway would throw the general public a bone by offering a sandwich that doesn’t taste like cat food. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong, Subway doesn’t care about you or your co-workers so why not make a sandwich that instantly turns your breath into a chemical weapon doppelgänger after a single bite? My second day of the Subway challenge would prove to be the hardest so far, as I tried to finish a sandwich that was 70 percent raw onions and 30 percent regret. Nobody likes Mondays.
Monday score: 🚽 🚽
Tuesday: Oven Roasted Chicken
After two days of eating onions and mayonnaise, I needed a break. Usually every meal I try to eat something that brings joy and happiness into my life, but this week had already felt like a month’s worth of bad food and I wasn’t even halfway done. Luckily, Tuesday felt a little less like an episode of Fear Factor and more like I paid a few bucks to eat lukewarm chicken while a group of schoolchildren tormented the staff by doing Fortnite dances and spilling lettuce everywhere. After swallowing the remainder of my lunch I realized that Subway offers a variety of “oven fresh” bread choices and in my ignorance I had been ordering everything on a plain bun. As I took a hit from my vape and slowly released the smoke from my lungs, I knew that tomorrow was a new day; And another chance to “Eat Fresh.”
Tuesday score: 🥖🥖🥖🥖
Wednesday: Turkey Breast
It was finally Wednesday and like every single female friend I have on social media, I was celebrating hump day with a glass of wine and some choice greens from Henry’s. The Spyrock OG was just what I needed to give me the motivation to continue my pointless challenge. I arrived at Subway an hour before school was out to avoid the rush of high school students. Turkey happens to be my go-to choice for a sandwich topping and for $3.99 it’s hard to mess up unless you’re Subway. I tried my best to enjoy eating the bird meat they call turkey but I couldn’t and as I finished the last of my sour cream and onion chips, I was generally nervous about the rest of the week. If my favorite sandwich wasn’t up to par how would the remaining days go? Only time would tell.
Hump day score: 🦃🦃
Thursday: Italian BMT
Named after the Brooklyn-Manhattan transit system while looking like every sandwich ever eaten by a mob boss, the Italian BMT from Subway is part of their Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest ad campaign. Italian salami, spicy pepperoni and ham are piled together with veggies to create a sandwich that looks like the kitchen sink at a busy restaurant after prepping for dinner. While sitting there, contemplating my life choices and wondering how much longer OC Weekly would continue to pay for me to do terrible things to my digestive system, I felt like Robert De Niro at the end of Casino: Numb from all of the terrible things I had experienced and too tired to try and remedy it. I was almost done with this worthless experiment and I promised myself that I’d avoid sandwiches forever after I completed my mission.
Thursday score: 🥖🥖🥖🥖🥖
Friday: Meatball Marinara
It was finally Friday and I was feeling great after enjoying a well balanced breakfast of food that wasn’t from Subway. In preparation for the abomination that I was about to ingest, I had already swallowed down as much antacid as I could and drank a 100mg cannabis cocktail I had obtained from Puffy delivery. With the pungent mix of THC and Tums swirling around my stomach, I ate meatballs covered in tangy tomato sauce while the rest of the world was busy living their lives, free to eat whatever they pleased. I cursed myself for not being more creative and tried not to think about the next day.
Friday score: 🍝
Saturday: Black Forest Ham
The Black Forest region of Germany is famous for numerous things including gummi bears, fairy tales, and apparently ham. I never understood why we import our pork from Europe when we have plenty of pigs here in America, but this article isn’t about my knowledge of the cattle industry. It’s about eating cheap deli meat while being higher than a giraffe’s ass. So I walked into yet another Subway to spend less than five dollars on a meal that I would pay dearly for later. Before I could select my next regretful meal, the woman behind the counter asked me if I lived nearby because she had seen me there several times that week. When I told her about my article she seemed less than impressed with me, saying, “I eat here every day; I don’t write about it.”
Saturday score: 🐽
After a week of eating “fresh,” I really can’t remember why I started this experiment in the first place. Subway has decent sandwiches at a price that will allow you to spend more money on cannabis–but you’ll be paying for it later. Happy smoking!
Jefferson Matthew VanBilliard is a leo that enjoys all things cannabis and is just trying his best. He let us know that although the desert will always be his home you can find him on Fourth St. in Santa Ana battle rapping teenagers or at the local high school where he coaches girls varsity volleyball without anyone’s permission.