So that happened…


I am planning a heist.

I uncovered valuables at lunch yesterday, valuables that are kept unguarded in my very home. My husband George has more than 900 points on his Subway card.

George and I appreciate a little Subway at lunchtime on Saturdays. The branch we visit sits right across Northwest Boulevard from the Chipotle where we eat dinner about three days a week. Our house has no kitchen at all.

Well, it does, but you’ll find a lot of cobwebs there. And pop tarts.

How lucky for us all that Columbus is the fast food capital of the world!

Two weeks ago we stopped by our favorite Subway location, and a new guy was working. Our new favorite Subway guy. Sure, we love Ben, the Cavs fan who looks like Brad Paisley. But this new guy, he made subs that looked like the advertisements. Delicious, filling subs overflowing with meat and vegetables, toasted perfectly. Big. 

And then, like a dream, he vanished. We haven’t seen him since. George lunches at Subway sometimes on weekdays, but since the dream Sandwich Artist hasn’t returned, I’d lost interest until I realized how many points George’s lunchtime visits had accrued. Yesterday I overheard the cashier remark with amazement about George’s collection of Subway points. How exciting!

“Did we just get lunch for free, then?” I inquired.

“No,” he answered. “I just paid cash.”

I was confused. What was the purpose of collecting enough Subway points to make a cashier gasp – and of denying me my beloved beans and rice – if not to save money on toasted cold cut sandwiches?

“I just like collecting them,” George explained.

It’s like he’s George Clooney in Up in the Air, hoarding those frequent flier miles: “Let’s just say I have a number in mind.”

“But you have so many,” I said, dismayed.

“Yeah, we could probably eat free for a month!” he said excitedly. “But I’d rather collect more.” He said this as if it were in any way sensible.

It was like the time he and our son Riley began collecting Star Wars cans. 

Back around the time George Lucas was ruining memories from my childhood by releasing the craptastic Episodes 1 – 3, Pepsi began issuing collectible cans with character faces on them. I alone put away more than enough Diet Pepsi to quickly seize Queen Amidala and C3PO, but what then? How were we to gather the coveted Jar Jar, Darth Maul or Chancellor Valorum – and why do I let people who care live in my house? Surely we’re not going to start buying Pepsi and Mountain Dew just to fill out this collection of empty cans, right?

Correct. Instead, both my boys rummaged through gas station trash cans to bring home the precious, discarded Mountain Dew and Pepsi cans that would complete their set, which still sits proudly in our basement. Well, some people are proud of it.

We won’t even talk about how I’d have to empty my pockets daily while they searched for missing states to fulfill their quarter collection. How, exactly, was I supposed to pay for the pop to satisfy their can collection if they kept taking all my quarters?

 But here’s the difference between this Subway point collection and those others: I want something out of it.

 Sure, sure. I love my chicken burritos, but let’s be clear: my favorite flavor is free.

 Plus, I can’t eat meat on Fridays and meatless Chipotle is just bean dip.

 No, obviously I must steal George’s Subway card and fill my belly with free processed meat deliciousness.

All I need now is a tiny Chinese acrobat, a bomb specialist, and Brad Pitt.

Oh, and I also need a plan to get that Subway card.

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