Have you ever been so hungry that you’ve forgotten what species you belonged to? Have you ever been so hungry that you endangered yourself physically? Made a fool out of yourself? If you answered “no” to any of those questions, I think you’re lying. If you answered no, you probably also profess that you’ve never tooted, either. But enough about you.
I have been too hungry on several occasions, but it doesn’t happen regularly. If it did happen regularly, I’d probably be so physically deformed, little kids would point their fingers and say “Mommy, LOOK!” as I passed them on a sidewalk.
The causes of being too hungry are many: busy schedule, laziness, and… okay, maybe there aren’t that many causes. The point is it happens.
I have T-minus two days before I have to have all of my stuff out of my apartment. I’ve been hastily moving my selective belongings onto my new sailboat, taking everything from land, into my dinghy, and motoring out to my boat, managing to heave everything up into the boat from the dinghy (this is no small task) and (knock on wood) I haven’t dropped a single item into the drink. Go me.
As anyone who moves knows, eating during the move is a tricky thing. Half of your food is here, half is there, plates are wherever, cutlery is someplace, and pots and pans are hither and thither. Hunger is a side affect of the moving process, but can usually be sated by small snacks like Wheat Thins and day old muffins. At some point, though, your stomach is going to lecture you and demand actual, real, hot yummy food, not this other crap you’re trying to fool it with.
So you wait. You’re not going to eat anymore snack food, you’re going to have the real deal. But it takes time. Maybe too much time. This is where the problem begins. Rather than tide yourself over with a little something, you decide to wait for The Good Stuff. Your hunger will only intensify the experience. The food will become exquisite. Waiting is all part of the plan…
Then it comes. You see it wafting, you smell the aroma, and oh my God are you hungry. Holy crap, FOOD! It’s so real, so hot, so EDIBLE! MINE!
Perhaps your awaited for delicacy is nothing more than a fresh from the oven combination pizza (ahem). You grab it from the attendant, hold it in one hand. You can feel the heat through that cardboard box. Oh sweet Lord is this going to be good. You cannot wait to get into your car and destroy that pizza and show it who’s boss. Pizza has never met such an adversary as you. As you walk to your car, you think about how you’ll eat it.
You walk, almost run, to your car. Sure it’s a sunny afternoon, but most people are anywhere but here. Even if there were spectators, would you care? Heck no. If they want to watch, let them. You have a mission: to eat. If they’re mission is to watch, why stop them?
Remember that scene in Jaws where the shark leaps out of the water, lands on the boat, tilts the stern back, and starts chomping away until something (Quint) slides into its mouth?
That shark was built to eat. You, a human, were built to do so much more, but this out-of-control hunger has mutated you into an eating machine. Like a velociraptor, you rip open the pizza box, snatch at a slice–burning your delicate little fingers, but hey, who needs fingerprints anyway–and shove the slice into your mouth, scorching your tongue. Oh Godit’s good. Your stomach applauds you and starts an award ceremony in your honor, giving you trophies, plaques, and all that other baloney they do in award ceremonies.
Your skin and taste buds, however, are not pleased. No, no, no, they’re in pain. A lot of pain. And pain, in this instance and perhaps in most other instances, is victorious. The brain decides that the stomach needs an intermission in the ceremony so that it can communicate with the hand to DROP THE SCORCHING PIZZA!
FINE, BE THAT WAY, BRAIN!
An argument ensues.
See, unlike the shark, we humans have this sometimes annoying thing called “intelligence.” It tells us when we’re being stupid. Though we are hungry, we are not starving, and we’re not going to die if we have to wait three minutes for the pizza to cool to a semi-safe handling temperature.
Your stomach could give a tiny rat’s ass as to what the brain thinks. To heck with it, the stomach says. You’ve had a busy week, girlfriend, pick up that pizza and eat it. Skin schmin, it’ll regrow! It has before, hasn’t it? Push past the pain and go for it. Make that shark look like a wuss!
And you do.
You’ve dropped melted mozzarella and marinara sauce onto your exposed thigh (hey, it’s a nice day, you’ve got shorts on), and it burns. You pick it up with your numb fingertips and…throw it out of the car…yeah, yeah, that’ what you do. A green onion falls into your shorts. You eat that onion. Mmm, good.
You have a second piece, maybe a third piece. Either the pizza has gotten cooler or your skin has lost feeling. At this point it’s really a toss up. Who cares. Piece number four.
The curtain is closing at the stomach appreciation ceremony: you’re filling up. Ah, much better. It’s even possible that in your urgency to prevent a disaster, you’ve caused another one: eating yourself sick. But you know what, that’s okay. Being full feels better than that achy, emptiness in your tummy-tum. The food tasted good, at least you think it did. The devouring process is a bit of a blur. You know it was pizza because that’s what it says on the box. Thankfully there are new stains all over your clothes, little olive and mushroom imprints, reminding you what kind of pizza you just scarfed.
There is peace between the brain and stomach now. The stomach knows it won a little victory, and the brain takes solace in knowing the stomach is now in pain for its moment of insanity.
You, the whole of you, is pleased. It’ll be a while before you let yourself get that hungry again.
Oh wait. This post was supposed to be about me… 😉