January 21, 2018 | New York, NY
You know, all I can do as a reporter is point out silly things in the world and say, “Hey look at that. Isn’t that nuts?”
Sukie Simmons, founder of Green Table, America’s healthiest fast-casual chain, does not suffer nuts. Today, she’s holding a press conference at Green Table’s Manhattan HQ. Because she has a peanut allergy, all press underwent an intense security check to make sure no one had any nuts, lest we accidentally kill her in this high-profile career moment.
As Sukie walks out towards the podium, she waves hello to each of us as she passes. The woman walks like a Marines officer with the poise of Tyra Banks and the hair of Dolly Parton. “Good afternoon, everyone! Hi! Hi! I’m Sukie, CEO of this whole Green Table racket. Oh, what a big day for me. For all Green Table fans.”
“Ms. Simmons, tell us the big news!” reporters yell, microphones shoved outwards.
She fans herself.
“Let me tell you a story. Two months ago, I was lying in a hospital bed. Doc called it a heart attack but I have another word for it: Spanx. Anyway, I’m just lying in bed reading Sheryl Sandberg’s bestseller, Lean In. Oh, that Sheryl. She taught me about jungle gyms, fakin’ it til you make it, and being honest. Meanwhile my heart’s starting to pump normal again and I think, ‘Sukie, what do you truly want right now?’ And the answer came, in a moment of perfect clarity: ‘A deep-fried Oreo.’”
“Meanwhile my heart’s starting to pump normal again and I think, ‘Sukie, what do you truly want right now?’ And the answer came, in a moment of perfect clarity: ‘A deep-fried Oreo.'”
The reporters around me laugh.
“But Ms. Simmons, you run America’s leading healthy fast-food chain!” one reporter calls out from the back.
“Exactly,” Sukie says, “I run it. But who IS Sukie, really? She’s not just a broad with perfect makeup and a mean corset under this suit. She wants more. She IS more. But she’s too busy staying one step ahead of the ‘CE-bros’ in this business.”
She chuckles to herself for a few seconds and then sighs, dramatically.
“Exhausting. Every day, I walk into a Green Table and see salads on the menu. It makes me feel good to see them. I look at the salad. I acknowledge the salad. But I don’t buy the salad. I buy our Slightly Bigger Burger. And you know what my inner happy girl wants on the side? Some deep-fried cookie dough. Now…Sheryl says, We must all raise the floor together. So I thought, ‘How many women ‘round the world want the exact same thing?”
I look around. Some women look confused, but others nod emphatically – in the way mothers nod at Sunday sermon. The men look exasperated. Sukie continues.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I now present the new and improved Green Table. No salads, no calorie counts on menus, free refills on all drinks, and a new Deep-Fried Everything section!”
And suddenly, she’s speaking in an Oprah voice as she begins pointing to members of the press.
“YOU get deep-fried cheesecake!”
“YOU get deep-fried Mars Bars!”
“YOU get deep-fried apples!”
She directs the last one at me. Yippee!
“Fritters for all!” Sukie-turned-Oprah continues, “You want it fried, you got it!”
“When have ‘good’ things ever been so great, especially for the ladies? Think of the Wonderbra. Think of WeightWatchers meals. Think of Jude Law in the early 2000s.”
There’s uproar across the press. Some of the reporters and cameramen cheer, while others buzz loudly with questions. Sukie poses with big smiles for the flashing cameras.
“Ms. Simmons, with industry trends moving towards a positive, healthier outlook, is this a smart move?”
“When have ‘good’ things ever been so great, especially for the ladies? Think of the Wonderbra. Think of WeightWatchers meals. Think of Jude Law in the early 2000s. Green Table is giving customers what they want. Like Sheryl says, social gains must be seized,” Susie waves both fists in the air.
“Ms. Simmons, won’t you lose customers?”
“Any customer who doesn’t want a deep-fried Mars Bar is one I don’t care to have. Next?”
“As a female CEO, what about your responsibility to customers’ health?”
“My customers are grown adults who love to eat. Like Sheryl says, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women satisfy their cravings. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get a tampon. There’s a war scene raging in my pants,” Sukie stalks out of the room as the cameras click away.
And they say women on their period are helpless.