Earlier this summer, Jaelin and Brianna Joy White, two married teens and YouTube celebs whom your ninth-grade niece has maybe heard of, decided to move from their home in Arizona to Chicago, Illinois. The move did not go well, and the breathtaking saga of their subsequent flight from the crime-ridden metropolis, hopping from fast-food chain to fast-food chain, has become a YouTube sensation. Allow us to explain the tale of Jaelin, Brianna, the Man Outside the Subway, and the Escape from Chicago.
First: Who are Jaelin and Brianna? Brianna is a beauty vlogger with over 300,000 followers and Jaelin is in the house-flipping/real estate biz and regularly appears on his wife’s channel. Which means that, naturally, the two have recounted the entire series of events on YouTube, in a magisterial 16-minute-video, entitled “THE REASON WE’RE HOMELESS RIGHT NOW … (no clickbait) STORYTIME.” It has been viewed more than one million times and contains a summer blockbuster’s worth of twists, turns, and brand references. I have watched it three times already.
Reporting live from Brianna’s uncle’s kitchen back in Arizona, Jaelin and Brianna explain that on the day in question they had just driven from Ikea with their Volkswagen Jetta and were setting up house. Jaelin leaves to go to Best Buy to pick up a modem and on his way home spots a Chipotle nearby the new apartment. Inspired, the two head out to take the El train one stop to grab dinner. While waiting for the train, a man approaches Jaelin and begins to ask him questions: his name, where he lives, what he does for a living. (The couple think he targeted them for their “preppy” attire. “Even though there was way easier targets all around us,” Jaelin explains of the “girls alone” and “dudes alone” also on the platform.)
Feeling uncomfortable, the couple decides not to take the train. But as they walk away, the man follows them, so they seek refuge in the first place they find: a Subway. Which doesn’t work, because the man just stands outside the restaurant. Using the only cell-phone they had (which, of course, had a battery level of “like two percent”), Jaelin calls an Uber and also the police. (Brianna takes this opportunity to order a sandwich.) All this seems very logical, until Jaelin pokes his head out the front door to talk to the man. (Who, in case you forgot, has allegedly been following them.) The man starts asking Jaelin whether the police regularly frequent the area and inciting Jaelin to come out and face him.
Meanwhile! Their Uber is still five minutes away, but a driver on the street pulls up (supposedly noticing the ongoing commotion in front of the Subway) and gestures to Jaelin to get into the car. Jaelin steps outside and the man — the one who’d been following — immediately punches him in the face. Dazed, he sprints for the car, with Brianna trailing behind him, sandwiches in hand, managing to pick up the shoe Jaelin had somehow lost in the process. Also, it’s pouring rain outside?
The car speeds away as the man tries to cling on through the driver’s window. After a lap, the “fake Uber” drops the pair by their car in a CVS parking lot. They notice the man is still nearby, so the two hightail it into their vehicle to get home. But then, Brianna realizes she forgot her phone in the “fake Uber” so they drive after him (the strange driver) and honk until he pulls over so they can retrieve the phone. While reaching in to grab it, Jaelin, of course, drops his wallet in the back of the car, never to be seen again.
Thoroughly distressed, Jaelin and Brianna decide they do not feel safe and cannot possibly spend the night in their new apartment, much less the city of Chicago, pack up their things, spend the night in a hotel, and head back to Arizona the next day. Where, they realize after several days of driving across the country, they leased their old apartment to a friend and are … “homeless right now.” Hence filming the video in Brianna’s uncle’s kitchen. (DNA Info reports the couple has since moved into their own place.)
What a story! There are many questions to ask, but sadly, Brianna has disabled comments on the video. Nevertheless, plenty of Chicagoans have taken to Twitter to give the couple a strong piece of their minds.
Mostly let’s be thankful Brianna and Jaelin are safe and sound. As their newest and biggest fan, I can only imagine what antics they’ll get into next, and I cannot wait to watch.