As a food writer and restaurant reviewer, it is my enormous privilege to get the occasional omakase tasting menu with wine pairing. However, I still live on a journalist’s salary in the same expensive city as everybody else, and it wasn’t long ago that I finally stopped making two cups of tea per tea bag. SF Weekly, along with sister paper, the Examiner, is basically in a mall, and so I sometimes eat shitty mall food for lunch just like everyone else. Not that overpriced lobster place, though. I always tell people not to go there.
Other times, though, I’ve been known to cave and get a foot-long from Subway. And this is the awkward part.
Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse, about the refuse that I sometimes eat. Or at least that’s what the top people at the San Francisco Examiner thought. In a blatant attempt to discredit me and tarnish my credibility as San Francisco’s pre-eminent arbiter of haute-gustatory taste sensations, my “colleagues” told me through internal G-chat that they have photographic proof of me eating the barfiest possible fast food — and they’re going to sign out the company’s PT Cruiser and plaster the evidence at Deli Board, La Torta Gorda, and Rhea’s Deli, unless I give them half our freelance budget.
Reporter and columnist Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez also strongly implied that there may be a full-length of selfie of me at an editorial meeting holding my phone and wearing my wedding ring with shredded lettuce in my beard, and also a recovered Instagram Story from the Folsom Street Fair of me straddling an SF Weekly ped-mount box in a suggestive pose.
Instead of giving into this demand, I have decided to come forward and admit that yeah, I eat the occasional Italian BMT foot-long and there are pics.
I can’t retain an investigator [makes “moolah” gesture by frowning while rubbing thumb against four fingers] but I can sputter in horror, aghast. Surely our journalistic resources can be used for nobler purposes, like mocking Chuck Nevius and Michael Petrelis at the same time or combing through the yearbook of the publisher of the East Bay Express to look for pics with any future governors of Virginia.
So fucking what if I like the occasional Ultimate Meatball Marinara? I’m the richest fucking man on Earth and even though I’m pure evil, I’ve got all of you on my side now against a supermarket rag I can crush with a single Zappo. And at the start of the next fiscal, I’m going to create a surveillance state of such frightening dimensions that this trivial scandalette will look like as minor as Trump’s creepy lust for his daughter. No later than Q1 of 2020, I’m going to tag and release so many of your sexts it will literally cause the internet to explode and democracy to die in dickness. Also I’m gonna raise the prices of Huggies like you wouldn’t believe, because did you know Amazon owns diapers.com, too?
But Subway? Sure, you might point out that that shit used to have a yoga mat in it. And the bread tastes like a sponge you retired from kitchen duty and only use to clean the tub now. And the tomatoes are the color of an inflamed gum line. Fine. But sometimes I just gotta get 12 inches of sweet Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki. Don’t even get me started on those Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. With a name like that, it’s got to taste like unspecified natural flavors.
Reached for comment, the Examiner photo intern said, “Dude, I’ve only been here for, like, four days. Fuck you.”