Peter Smith

My name is Jared Fogle and I was born in a Subway restaurant in Indianapolis. My parents abandoned me for being ugly but I guess you could say Subway’s regional manager for Central Indiana Craig was like a father figure to me, force feeding me turkey subs and teaching me to hock Subway products as though I were his own offspring. And he introduced me to the two things I love most in life: Subway sandwiches and child pornography. God, I loved that man! I first saw porn with kids in it when I was still a kid myself. It was me. Craig wheeled a TV into the walk-in freezer where I slept and put on a video of himself raping me in my sleep. I had wondered why my asshole hurt so bad that morning.

Watching kiddie porn wasn’t weird when I was ten but it’s weird now that I’m forty-five. What kind of sense does that make? It’s so unfair. Because I guess you also could say child pornography was like a mother figure to me or something. All I know is those jerks took everything from me when they locked me up. I don’t even have a son to say “Avenge me, my son!” to because my wife left with the kids when she found out about all the pedophilia. Do I rape kids? Yes. But would I rape my own kids? The answer is also yes. When I get out of prison, I will just have to avenge myself.

Every night inside I lay awake, reevaluating my life. My thoughts drifted back to those innocent childhood days handcuffed to a shelf in the freezer and dreaming. What did that little boy want from the world? It’s true I always longed to be the globally recognized spokesman for a fast-food company and stockpile kiddie porn. Everyone tells me I have it all! But I just couldn’t shake the feeling that there’s more than fabulous wealth and fame, unrestrained pedophilic impulses, and delicious low-calorie sandwiches.

That’s when it hit me that what I really and truly wanted was to eat by pushing my stomach through my mouth, just like a starfish. Imagining the delicious taste of a Subway sandwich pinned down by suction cups and transformed into chymus under a haze of digestive enzymes, I achieved a small orgasm. I contacted a prison ministry that surgically transforms inmates into marine animals on a charitable basis and the pastor put my name on their wait-list. Six weeks later I became a starfish.

My life and attitude turned around and soon the parole board granted me early release for good behavior. I left prison with the resolve of a motivated young starfish out to win his life back. I knew I was cruising toward redemption when Dr. Phil invited me onto his show.

The next week I stood behind a curtain off stage while Dr. Phil introduced me.

“Today’s guest is kind of a hero around here. Triumphing over adversity time and again, whether through dramatic weight loss or becoming a starfish, he has inspired people around the world to do the impossible. His story has also called our society to rethink its preconceived notions of pedophilia and the industry of child pornography. Let’s welcome Jared Fogle back to the show!”

Dr. Phil led the crowd in a standing ovation as I walked to my armchair.

“Thanks Dr. Phil! You know, I used to be a fat, sexually repressed idiot.” The crowd murmured in awe and amazement. “Then I woke up one day and Warden Cockface told me, ‘Fogle, your time’s up. Get the fuck out of my prison.’ I walked through those jail house gates and straight into the nearest Subway franchise. Then I caught a bus to Gary, Indiana where there’s a little place you can pay to fuck kids. Now I’m back down to 120 pounds and raping children all the time.” The audience roared with approval. “And that’s how I got all my sponsors back!”

Hooting mixed into the crowd’s continued cheers as Dr. Phil beamed, “So motivational, Jared. Thank you. I do have a question though. Was that the warden’s real name?”

“Oh no,” I chuckled. “But that would be funny! We called him that because he would come into our cells at night with guards who’d beat us and hold us down while he fucked our mouths. Get it? Cockface? Because he’d put his cock in my face?”

Dr. Phil and the audience laughed uncontrollably. Dr. Phil continued, “On a more serious note, you are a starfish now.”

“Indeed I am.” 

“Tell us about that. Why a starfish? How did you come to that decision?”

“Well Dr. Phil, I’m a simple echinoderm with simple wants. Between my sandwiches and my child pornography, I always figured I had it all. But from the moment I learned starfish ate by prolapsing their cardiac stomach out of their mouth, externally digesting their prey, and then transferring the digested food to their pyloric stomach, I knew my life would be empty until I could do the same. Now, what was once a mere dream is my reality.”

I gently clasped my prickled hands together and gazed out at the weeping audience. Even Dr. Phil wiped away a tear before regaining his composure.

“Jared, you are a true Aqua-American hero,” Dr. Phil correctly proclaimed and another standing ovation ensued.

I spent a couple months on the talk show circuit, enjoying similar treatment from Oprah, Ellen, and those ladies on The View who are quite lovely but far too old for me. It gratified me to receive fawning apologies from all the brightest stars of daytime TV. Soon I made the late-night rounds too, chatting up the likes of Conan and Colbert. When my memoir, Fish Out of Water: The Jared Fogle Story, spent two-hundred weeks at the top of the New York Times bestsellers list, 60 Minutes invited me on for a segment about the new social acceptance of child sex predators.

One night I was sitting up in bed next to an unconscious seven-year-old named Ted I previously drugged and sodomized and reading a glowing cover profile of myself in The Nation when my ex-wife texted me, “God Jared please take me back! I’ll do anything!” I laughed and masturbated to an erotic documentary about underage starfish on Disney+ until I ejaculated. I drifted off to sleep as Ted foamed at the mouth, convulsing. Truly, success is the best revenge!

Peter Smith lives in North Carolina. They are nonbinary and write mainly on topics related to trauma and sexual abuse. Their work has been published in Terror House Magazine, Pacific Review, and elsewhere. Currently, they’re working on a semi-autobiographical novel, “To Catch a Predator: The Novelization”. Follow them on Instagram: @bodywithoutmeat.