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Objectivist Milkshake Aficionados Thrilled with “Who Is John Malt?” Franchise

Mercer's supporters rally in the face of violently lukewarm opposition.

Adherents to Ayn Rand’s philosophy and writings are generating record sales for local businessman Harold Mercer, owner of Who Is John Malt?, a milkshake shop opened last month in downtown Boston. Mercer’s milkshakes, which do not contain any dairy, and consist primarily of chilled, blended organic fruits and juices, are intensely debated within the frozen beverage community, with supporters defending the entrepreneur’s radical vision, and detractors questioning whether his product semantically qualifies as a milkshake at all.

            “I mean, there’s no milk in them,” stated Patrick McCabe, owner of Toohey’s Tasty Treats. “None of his milkshakes have milk. There is no milk to be shaken in the first place. He is very clearly running a juice bar. I don’t get it.”

            When asked to comment on his methods, Mercer only gestured to the baskets of ice and fresh fruit next to his blenders, explaining: “I wished to come here and state my ingredients. I do not care to shake with any others.”

             Other Objectivist business owners in the area are happy to see a like-minded individual pursuing his goals. Mike Bronson, founder of Rational Shelf Interest, a furniture and interior design warehouse specializing in legless hardwood tables, is enthusiastic in his support for Mercer. “Best damn drink in the world. It takes a real genius to see that a milkshake doesn’t need milk in it. He reminds me of myself at that age; people told me it was crazy to sell countertops made of chalk, but you have to do what you know is right.” Similarly happy for Mercer’s success is Judith Greer, owner of Atlas Chugged, a local microbrewery. “My beers aren’t made in the traditional way,” said Greer. “They don’t contain grain, hops, or alcohol, and they consist entirely of freshly-squeezed orange juice. This is the way I believe beer should be made. Like Harold Mercer, I refuse to compromise the integrity of my ideas simply because of the literal meanings of words.”

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