Once upon a foot-long there was a way to silence the rumbling hunger beast in your stomach for only $1.27. I remember a time – a beautiful time – when this pocket change could get a broke college student their choice of a mouth-watering 6-inch sandwich and a 21-ounce beverage from any Subway sandwich shop. But alas, the glory days have come to an end; the stamp program is no more, and from here on out Subway will demand a bank-breaking $6 to $8 for their so-called "meal-deals."
Paying this much to "eat fresh" might not be as bad if "fresh" didn't actually mean made two weeks ago by a high school student named Nate, who hasn't showered in weeks and has more diseases than third-world monkeys.
Who is going to consistently pay full price for spoiled meats and stale, moldy bread? There were times when I didn't even think the $1.27 justified the horrible, gut-wrenching Subway stench I endured just to order a sandwich.
Why has Subway abandoned their age-old stamp program? Fraud. The same sandwich/restroom artist that angrily made/soiled customers' sandwiches and accepted their stamp cards was stealing stamps by the roll and selling them on eBay. These greedy employees not only ruined it for Subway's bacteria-addicted customers, they also ruined it for fellow employees whose entire retirement portfolios were based solely on their massive collection of Subway stamps.
Getting rid of the stamp program isn't the first marketing mistake Subway has made. Their signature sandwich, the BMT, is actually named after the Brooklyn Mass Transit System; because nothing says fresh, clean fun quite like a handrail at a New York subway station.
Where has Subway's slightly overweight, awkwardly pale and most likely soulless Jared Fogle (CQ)KZ been throughout this stamp scandal? How are diet goobers supposed to stay on track if they can't even afford to eat healthy anymore? Maybe their new diet can consist of walking from Subway to Subway trying to find one that's actually up to health code.
If only the answer to this sandwich crisis was as simple as severely beating Jared with a blunt object – perhaps a baseball bat. Unfortunately, pointless and random violence isn't the solution to this problem.
While Subway is planning on implementing a new electronic stamp program, it's only being tested in certain areas, and most local sandwich shops don't foresee switching over to the new system in the near future due to high costs. It's hard to imagine many of these sandwich shops will invest in a several thousand-dollar machine, when most won't even put more than four olives on your sandwich without giving you the Subway-stink-eye and charging you an extra dollar.
For now, penny-conscious college students will have to get their soiled meat at one of many other filthy fast-food chains that offer dollar menus. If the craving for sub love is just too strong, try and remember what made "fresh" really means and settle for the cheaper, bacteria-free meats of your kitchen refrigerator instead.
Steven Gross is a senior finance major. His column runs every Thursday in Verve.