Of all the world’s most evil empires—North Korea, Newscorp, Kardashianstan—Subway may be the most insidious.

I have a 24-hour Subway by my place that for whatever reason I physiologically cannot resist getting a sandwich from after I’ve imbibed any amount of alcohol.

Let’s take the other night as an example. My pal Bojo came back from overseas, so he, some additional friends, and I met up in Old Town to drink beers and catch up (This involved Bojo doing his impression of me, which went like, “Hey, would you rather die in some really horrific way or look at cute girls and stuff? My name’s Steve Markley!” Personally, I think it’s a crappy impression and he should stick to being an engineer).

At the end of the night, I walked to Subway where the South Asian man, who works the late shift and treats me with disdain usually reserved for the homeless guys who pay a nickel at a time, made me a turkey-bacon-avocado on wheat, which I guess is Subway’s “sub of the month” or whatever. If I’m ever in Subway it undoubtedly means I do not give a shit what I'm about to eat and I’m mostly gesticulating at the menu, making chewing motions with my mouth, and monosyllabically grunting, “Food. Give. Face. Mine."

(This isn’t the reason Subway is Evil, but let me take a minute to talk about this “avocado.” It’s not so much avocado as a kind of sickly green avocado spread approximately the color of jaundice. The guy was out of the little container of the stuff, so he had to reveal that it all comes from these plastic bags, from which he squeezed a very gloppy portion onto my sandwich and kind of used the bacon to mash it around. All I’m saying is that if a substance that looked exactly like this were to come out of a dog’s rectum, I wouldn’t think twice or recommend that the owner take it to a vet.)

Back at my apartment, I obviously ate this sandwich, which brings me to why Subway is Evil: it’s twelve hours later and the smell of this sandwich has not abated whatsoever.

Subway’s Evil resides in that smell—that Godforsaken, germinating, nostril-invading, never-dissipating smell that's like if isopropyl alcohol f***ed a bakery.

What chemical combination approximates the scent of baked bread? Who in the Subway, Inc. labs works on this project? This morning I straight up ate a tube of toothpaste and my breath still smells like this goddamn sandwich. My couch smells like it, my skin smells like it, somehow Subway has the fresh air of a beautiful Chicago day smelling like it.

I hate that faux-sandwich smell. I hate it worse than the tortured-cow smell of McDonald’s hamburgers or the finger-of-an-undocumented-immigrant smell of your standard hot dog. However Subway produces that smell—whatever patented process they’ve developed so that your pores sweat sandwich smell the next day—we have to find out, and we have to stop them.

We may even want to ally ourselves with Kardashianstan. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

[Author’s Note: Upon re-reading this post, it’s unclear to me why “Kardashianstan” would be an enemy of Subway sandwiches, thus rendering the final paragraph of this mostly nonsensical rant about that weird Subway smell illogical. Then again, I woke up and decided to use my elevated media platform to write a post on the rather thin conceit that my breath still smells like Subway, so I’m not sure why I suddenly got all academically worried that the individual points weren’t making much sense.]