“Chipotle is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” – Ben Franklin
Ok maybe Ben Franklin didn’t say that. And maybe God doesn’t really exist. But that’s another topic for another day.
If there’s anyone out there that knows Chipotle, it’s your boy Rudy here. I once simultaneously held the “Mayor” title on Fourquare for two separate Chipotle’s in the greater Washington D.C. area before I realized that Foursquare was just a platform to shamelessly promote how popular you think you are (kinda like this blog). I once answered a trivia question in a Chipotle in Connecticut about Chipotle’s founding date (July 13th) and won a free burrito. I created a business plan for my retail marketing class in my junior year at JMU that laid the groundwork for bringing the restaurant to Harrisonburg, Virginia. Two years later, one opened. I lobbied for a nation-wide holiday the day brown rice became available. I once calculated that I dine at Chipotle an average of 2.2 times per week. That’s almost 115 times a year. The list goes on and on.
Even as I sit here and write this ode, I’m polishing off the remains of a Chipotle burrito bowl. It’s leaving me well-nourished yet strangely unsatisfied. The usual suspects are working their way down my digestive tract – brown rice, pinto beans, chicken, tomatoes, green salsa, corn, cheese, and lettuce. Yet a void remains.
Guacamole, as an additional add-on item, is a mystery to me. It’s a quintessential part to any Mexican dish, along with beans, rice, cheese, and lettuce. And yet I refuse to pay for it separately. Every time. Sure, from time to time I’ll order it and try and distract the food preppers when they put the lid on my bowl in hopes that they’ll neglect to brand my lunch with the dreaded “G” in black Sharpie. But usually to no avail.
It’s the principle of the matter. Why sell me an incomplete package?
For your consideration Steve Ells, Founder and CEO of Chipotle, here are five things that I would readily give up for you to lower the barrier of guacamole entry into my stomach. These aren’t five useless things I’d be ready to part with – like my appendix, my mother, or Tim Tebow’s contract with the Jets. But rather, these are items that I would ordinarily fight tooth and nail to keep in my possession if it were not for the green heaven you’ve bestowed upon this promised land.
1) My left kidney – Benjamin Button excluded, our bodies are only getting older. It’s only a matter of time before some greedy relative comes along looking to harvest my organs for their own personal health. And because I suffer from an incurable case of self-imposed Catholic guilt, I can’t say no to donating the Phil Mickelson of my internal organs.
It’s not like I’m desperately looking to pawn off my kidney on a needy friend or family member. I just know that safeguarding it within my healthy 25 year old body is merely delaying the inevitable.
So here’s my official pledge Mr. Ells. If you turn guacamole into a permanently free side item, I will donate my fully-functioning left kidney to the first matching donor on the National Kidney Foundation’s list. You can quote me on that.
2) Elevation Burger – In the eight or so months leading up to this past April, I noticed another food establishment trying to grow in the shadows of my local Chipotle chain. I scoffed at the idea that any other business dare stand toe to toe with the mexican grill empire and challenge it for the all-important lunch rush crowd.
While I doubted Elevation Burger’s potential success, I also admired their ambition for attempting to take on big brother. In a moment of hesitation and weakness, I tried the organic meat market. It was love at first sight. Elevation Burger became my mistress – a source of pure physical attraction that danced with my id in the greasy discharge of Elevation Burger’s heavenly meaty delights.
Admittedly, I’m now on my second “Club 7 Card”. A mere six patties away from the coveted free double stack burger. And I would give this all up for you, free guacamole. You are my muse. My flame.
3) Lent – Man, dropping a Ben Franklin quote about God, Tim Tebow, Catholic guilt, and lent bombs all in one post? We’re getting a little edgy here, huh?
Look, I’m not a religious man and even I can tell that the entire point of Lent is absurd. Let me get this straight. In trying to follow in the footsteps of a man who didn’t eat for 40 days, you’re going to deactivate your Facebook account for five and a half weeks?
In order to put yourself in the shoes of a man who had nails put through both the palms of his hands and his feet and oh yeah, on top of all that, had a crown of thorns smashed into his temples, you’re going to stop sleeping with girls for a brief period? C’mon Josh Hartnett. Let’s cut the crap.
I can’t even imagine what it’s like to not eat Chiptole for 40 days – let alone food in general. It would truly be an act of God. So if you make your holy guacamole free, I pledge to stop giving giving stuff up (after you accept any of the five offers in this negotiation obviously). In return, once a year, I would also honor Chipotle over a period of 40 days where I eat Chipotle once a day in celebration of your culinary ingenuity.
4) My Stock Portfolio in Exchange for CMG – One of the first lessons my Dad ever taught me about managing your stock portfolio was diversification. It’s never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. However, it’s always a good idea to pack as much of that sweet avacado nectar onto a massive pile of sodium-enriched meat and seasoned vegetables as you can.
For free guacamole, I’d sell it all. I’d sell my Exxon, my Alcoa, my Hartford Insurance Group – all of it. I’d go financially all in on CMG. Why? Because I believe in your product. But also because IT’S TRADING AT $400 A SHARE WITH A 43% INCREASE IN SHARE VALUE OVER THE LAST YEAR! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!?!
5) “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen – If there’s anything more treasured and sacred to me than my biweekly Chipotle visits, it’s my bihourly Carly Rae Jepsen jam out sessions. I sometimes classify my life into two eons – Before Call Me Maybe and After Call Me Maybe. It’s transformed my life. I only wish I had beaten this guy to the eight ball:
I actually contemplated buying tickets to the Justin Bieber-Carly Rae concert just to see her encore (presumably “Call Me Maybe”) and bail after that. If it meant free guacamole for the masses, I would delete the #10 most played song on my iTunes (yes, that’s right. The song peaked two months ago and I’ve been using my current iteration of iTunes for nearly two years. It’s already #10 most played, right underneath Party in the USA).
The ball is in your court Mr. Ells. What you chose to do next could define the very legacy you leave behind for this generation and the ones to follow. All eyes are on you.
You’re welcome America.