What have we started? Yesterday, we posted a story about the lawsuit filed by U.S. serviceman Leon Batie, Jr. against Subway for allegedly seizing his two Subway franchises and reselling them for (their) profit while Batie was busy fighting in Afghanistan. A reader comment suggesting Subway spokesman Jared Fogle be detained at Gitmo until Batie’s issue is resolved. That prompted a satirical article by Sean Kelly at Franchise Pick (SUBWAY: Send Jared to Gitmo!) with an invitation to sign a petition.
By this morning, a satirical press release was circulating on the Internet and, reportedly, aboard U.S. Navy ships at sea:
UNFORTUNATELY, THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN WAS INSPIRED BY REAL EVENTS. USE OF THE SUBWAY LOGO & TRADEMARKS IS FOR SATIRICAL PURPOSES ONLY.
SUBWAY® RESTAURANTS ANNOUNCES KIDNAPPING OF JARED
SUSPECTED RETAILIATION FOR UNLAWFUL SEIZURE OF SOLDIER’S STORES WHILE DEPLOYED TO AFGHANISTAN
(Milford, CT) June 25, 2009 — The SUBWAY® restaurant chain announced that its longtime spokesperson, Jared S. Fogle, 31, was kidnapped early this morning when two U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters descended on his mansion in Indianapolis, Indiana and eight U.S. Army Rangers raided his home, nabbing the famous skinny man.
Also captured in the raid were Fogle’s famous size 60 pants, which sources say he now uses as a night time “blanky” for emotional comfort.
The motive behind Fogle’s capture was revealed when the U.S. Army General David Patraeus held a press conference to announce that Fogle was transferred to a military brig in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “Subway brought this action upon itself when it violated the rights of Lt. Col. Leon Batie, Jr., a former Subway franchisee who was deployed to Afghanistan when Subway unlawfully seized his two Subway stores,” said Patraeus. “We’re gonna keep him at Gitmo and make him eat Big Macs until certain demands are met and Subway makes it right.”
Subway’s egregious conduct against Batie was revealed by the Dallas Morning News and has since become an international story around the globe. According to the original article, one of Batie’s stores was sold through an insider deal to OPM Ventures, LP, owned by Subway executives Mark Holubec and Roger Dalton. The two work for the Dalton Gang, Subway’s Texas development agent. Their transaction ultimately yielded the two Subway executives more than $100,000 profit while leaving Batie with a six-figure mountain of debt.
Batie, an Army reservist, became a Subway franchisee in 2002 and bought a second store in 2003. He was living the American Dream and was in the process of opening a third store in March 2005 when he received his deployment orders for Operation Enduring Freedom. For the next year, Batie lived in a mud hut in Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery during combat. In March 2006, Batie was on two week R&R leave when he learned that Subway had terminated his store leases without a required court order.
The U.S. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act bars anyone from terminating an active-duty service member’s installment contract, including leases, without a court order. Ignoring federal laws, Subway unilaterally terminated Batie’s leases and seized his stores without obtaining court approval and without properly notifying Batie of its intentions.
“For Subway to take my businesses without ever notifying me was just wrong,” said Batie. “I want to make sure that if ever there’s another reservist that’s in a similar situation as mine, the franchisor … doesn’t trample over their rights.”
Subway received the Army’s demand this afternoon, which must be met before Jared and his pants are released. The demand includes a very large cash sum for Batie with an official apology from Subway, and a free “Five Dollar Footlong” for all active and retired members of the military. If Subway refuses to comply, the Army is threatening a call for global boycott of Subway and further kidnappings of Subway’s agents and executives.
To support Lt. Col. Batie, call and email Subway at the contacts provided at the top of this page and tell them they are wrong to trample on a soldier’s rights while he is fighting terrorists on foreign soil.
The satirical Press Release links back to the SUBWAY: Send Jared to Gitmo! post, where you can show your support for Reservist Batie by leaving a comment.
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