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GUEST COLUMN: I'm Also Buying Jimmy John's
Ten punches is ten punches, assholes
Much has been made of my recent $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Reactions have ranged from elation to outrage, all of which I welcome; this is the type of robust exchange that a social media platform should guarantee. But Twitter isn’t the only company in dire need of a culture shift; other, more traditional businesses have badly lost their way. And that is why I’m pleased to announce that I have acquired the sub sandwich restaurant Jimmy John’s for a price of $3.6 billion.
This is an exciting new venture for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always wanted to master three realms: Space, green technology, and big, beefy subs with lots of gooey cheese melting out the sides. These are, you could say, my passions. And thought I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved at SpaceX and Tesla, I’ll be so bold as to predict that we can surpass what we’ve done with what we plan to accomplish at Jimmy John’s. We’re entering a bold new era of hoagies, friends.
But this purchase isn’t just about pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with freshly baked bread and high-quality meats. It’s also about principle. It’s about what I believe a sub sandwich shop should be, about the implicit contract that a provider of grinders and flatbreads makes with its customers. I feel that Jimmy John’s has fallen sadly short in this obligation. This acquisition is largely to transform Jimmy John’s into the honest, delicious public forum that the people deserve.
Consider: What is the essence of the relationship between a sandwich chain restaurant and its customers? Surely, it’s trust. To quote Thomas Paine: “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.” Jimmy John’s has become one such unaccountable body. They have broken promises; they have ruled with a haughty arrogance that would shame the great tyrants of yore. I speak specifically of their blithe abuse of the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards Program.
When a man acquires a punch card from a sub shop, that is a contract. The terms are explicit: When ten subs are purchased, an eleventh sub will be given — free of charge — to the holder of that card. Fulfillment of the contract’s ten milestones shall be verified using a special little J-shaped hole punch. Such were the clear and mutually agreed upon conditions when I acquired a Freaky Fast Rewards card in 2019.
So, imagine my distress over what happened yesterday. Having just acquired Twitter, I went to Jimmy John’s with my girlfriend Natasha to celebrate. My plan was to buy a sub, which would be the tenth punch on my card, and the subsequent free sub would go to Natasha. Only after we had ordered was I informed that Jimmy John’s was no longer accepting Freaky Fast Rewards punch cards! I was stunned. No-one had informed me of this; there was no signage, and business media had been conspicuously silent, presumably cowed by fear of reprisal. I was incredulous; the kid behind the counter had to inform me three times in his squeaky post-pubescent voice that they would not be accepting my card before I believed him.
I ask you: What is the point of a punch card if it expires before the rewards can be realized? Was I expected to sit in a Jimmy John’s and force feed myself subs to meet their arbitrarily compressed timeframe? What a scam: They dangle free food in front of you and then yank it away like a farmer riding a donkey. Oh and by the way: There’s a Blimpie’s right by my house but I’ve been driving five miles to the Jimmy John’s at the mall specifically because of the card!
To make things worse, I didn’t have enough cash to pay for Natasha’s sub. I’d put a ten in my pocket before I left because I thought I was only buying mine (and we’d get drinks at home). I tried to pay with my Wells Fargo card, but there’s some weird freeze on it while the $44 billion for Twitter goes through. I offered the kid behind the counter Tesla stock but he didn’t bite. So, there I was: The world’s richest man, thwarted by a company’s egregious abuse of power, sitting in the Westgate Center mall splitting a Jimmy’s Ultimate Porker sandwich with my actress girlfriend. I vowed right then and there that this injustice would not stand.
As of this morning, I own Jimmy John’s. I vow to usher in an era in which integrity reigns and promises are kept. The hoagie-loving citizens of this country — nay, this planet — deserve no less. I’ve devoted my life to bettering the human condition, and this acquisition is an important step towards that goal.
Also: Let this be a warning to Doubletree Hotels. When you advertise “free cookie upon check in”, there had better be a goddamned cookie for me when I get there.