Wheres Your Jared Now?

Sandwich savior sequestered, supporters say, Sup?

Easter came and went hollow as a chocolate bunny this year, soiled by sex scandals and old world violence and something more—actually, less—marred the season of new life. It was Jared. Or, rather, it wasn't.

Lo, Jared Fogle has been out of sight these many weeks and months, though, verily, not out of our thoughts. His absence has caused more than a few to wonder if he who lost 245 pounds eating nothing but Subway sandwiches has been taken to a better place, which could be just about anywhere since he's from Indiana.

You can see the concern of TV viewers expecting to watch Jared preaching his simple message of low-fat sandwiches, diet soda and baked—not fried—potato chips and instead getting new Subway spokesman "Jim" talking about freshness.

You can see it in the faces of concerned Subway patrons such as Jeff Maldek (large classic Italian BMT), whose concern reduces him to blather, "No, my name's Jeff. . . . Oh, his name is Jared. Okay. So. What?"

This kind of panic is what Subway spokesperson Annie Smith, speaking from Subway corporate headquarters in Milford, Connecticut, was referring to when she said Jared has "inspired many people," becoming "sort of an idol."

Indeed, like the trickster Ronald McDonald, who skews our view of reality so that we may at last see it clearly, as the sacrificial Pop 'N Fresh who absorbs our sins and woes, as Slim Jim who commands us to find salvation by eating him, Jared has meant much to his followers, who literally sing his praises and offer witness to his power. Zöe Gemelli, whose father died of heart disease, lost 147 pounds and claims Jared saved her life. Kimberly Johnston (145 pounds) says Jared gave her extraordinary powers, writing in her First Epistle to the Milfordians: "When I saw Jared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I saw the future."

It is clear why many Branch Jaredians such as these would be concerned with Jared's sudden, unexplained disappearance. Has he forsaken us? Was he like other false prophets—the M&M guys, the Wienerschnitzel wiener—who had promised much but run out at the moment of true giving? It seems unlikely. It is beyond debate that he has performed miracles—he lost 245 pounds eating nothing but food from Subway. What's more, though he does wear glasses, he miraculously avoided blindness while doing it.

Like other great teachers who went before him, his psychological transformation came through a period of physical denial. Just as Jesus wandered the desert and Buddha sat below the Bodhi tree, Jared found wisdom at the business end of a six-inch turkey sub, hold the mayo.

But are we saying that Jared is God? Well, "God" is such a loaded word, isn't it? And one man's deity is another man's wise man. After all, though Jews and Muslims do not consider Jesus to be divine, they do consider him a great teacher. (Coincidentally, not only do Jesus and Jared both have first names that begin with J and contain five letters, but they also share the same last name: Fogle. Some mistakenly believe that Jesus' last name was Christ; in fact, this was a nickname given to Him by friends at the Nazareth A.C. in reference to a locker-room prank.)

So is Jared God? Hey, let's leave that to the courts to decide. The Good News I bring you is that he will rise again. Yes, Annie says that new Jared commercials will begin next month.

But you're skeptical. You say, "Not until I can see his still chubby side." But can you not see the method? Don't you see that all of this is as it was supposed to be? That even "Jim," who, like Paul, was sent out to spread the good news, was part of the plan? This is how Jared wanted it.

"Jared," Annie proclaimed, "is alive and well!"

Alleluia.

For a Subway location near you, start walking down the block. Sooner or later, you'll find one.
 
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