Sure, it's a natural response for your body to tell you "Hey, idiot. Feed me before we die in the wilderness," but a growling stomach can be a major inconvenience. It's an instinct without a watch, without a calendar, without a care in the world for where you are or what you're doing—a selfish instinct that will not be ignored.
But don't forget that hunger is your friend. It keeps you alive, helps you realize that it might be time to take a break and chat with a coworker, and forces you to get out of bed on those sleepy Saturday mornings. It's inconvenient and doesn't seem to understand a lot about the ways the world works, but you have to admit that you need it to survive at the end of the day.
And what better character to show this idea than Joey Tribbiani? He's loveable, he's charming, he's usually clueless, and nine episodes out of 10, he's hungry.
1. "Am I hungry or am I just bored?"
A lot of people snack when they get bored, which can be a dangerous cycle.
However, it's usually pretty easy to tell the difference between boredom and hunger. When hunger pangs strike for real, they can be distracting. Soon you become so determined to get food that you are willing to give up anything to satisfy that craving. Make sure to carry a snack to ensure that you never forgo some of the other great things in life simply because your stomach growled louder than your thoughts.
2. "Where am I right now?"
Brain function and blood sugar levels go hand in hand, so it's no wonder that you find it hard to think on an empty stomach.
Perhaps someone asked for directions to your house and couldn't remember the difference between right and left. Maybe you were standing in line at Subway and seriously could not remember if a six-inch is any different from a foot long. Don't feel too bad about it, we've all had those embarrassing moments when we're hungry.
3. "Wait...were they talking to me?"
Sometimes your stomach takes priority over social obligations.
For example, if you are starving and someone says "Let's wait to eat together," you are definitely not going to wait any longer than you have to before you collapse into a pit of nothingness — which feels like it could be any second now. Sorry, guys. The stomach wants what the stomach wants.
4. "Why am I suddenly so attracted to that sandwich?"
The human mind can do some crazy things, but nothing can compare to the wild thoughts that dance in your head when hunger strikes.
Suddenly, everything about food seems incredibly attractive. That burger seems all the more enticing, that slice of pizza all the more seductive. Go ahead and enjoy those chicken nuggets, but remember that they are only saucy temptresses when dipped in condiments. Let's not get too crazy here.
5. "If I don't get tacos right now, I will die."
What's worse than being hungry? Craving a certain food that requires you to change out of pajamas. It's bad enough that you have to wait for food, but now you also have to change out of your comfy clothes to fix the problem. Sure, food delivery apps have made this problem much more manageable but what's a starving soul to do when the nearest Chick-fil-A is outside of delivery distance?
For starters, you can drive there yourself. But who wants to go through the hassle of changing clothes and driving, especially when you start to get hangry. I hate to break it to you, but you're going to have to drive yourself if you want those waffle fries that bad.
6. "Obstacles do not exist. I am invincible."
Few things can rival the dread and irritation that settles in the empty pit of your stomach when your access to food is denied or postponed. When the beast begins to bellow, you have to use a little brainpower to reassure your body that you will stop at nothing to satisfy its demands.
Calm down now, tum-tum, I promise you will get your food. Cross my heart and hope to die.
7. "Why on earth would I share at a time like this?"
Have you ever found yourself with a sudden desire to eat everything in sight? An urge so strong that you simply can't help but complain about your hunger out loud?
Perhaps you have been in this situation and some benevolent being has stepped in to suggest a trip to the nearest restaurant or grocery store. While you know they are being nice, you also know they simply do not understand the extent of your hunger. "I'm starving" in no way translates to "I would love to split a small order of McDonald's fries."
Sharing is not caring in this situation, it's just cruel.
8. "Food first, friends later."
Priorities get a major reality check when hunger comes knocking, so it only makes sense that intense hunger throws manners out the window. Before you know it, you're slamming doors and asking rude questions against your better judgment. People start to whisper about you but you can't be bothered to eavesdrop.
Demanding food isn't a good way to make friends, but you have a responsibility to feed your body first right? Right!?
9. "Only a five-course meal can revive me right now."
The end is near: you haven't eaten in over four hours and your head slowly starts to cloud, your hands start to shake, and your stomach starts to disintegrate. But never fear! Your best friend has a snack in her purse! You graciously accept and she pulls out...a half-eaten granola bar.
So many questions can address this situation, but it's best to avoid things like: "What part of 'I'm hungry' don't you understand?" "Did the hostility confuse you or did you just not hear me over my roaring bottomless pit of a stomach?" and the ever-popular "is the room spinning for anyone else?"
10. "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
You finally bit the bullet and ventured out for food. Time to enjoy a nice meal, you've earned it!
Until you realize that the restaurant is closed, that is. You look around and there's not another place in sight. Now what? Stomp your feet and scream if you must but, whatever you do, please don't start crying. Nobody knows how to handle an angry crier and a hangry crier is even more uncomfortable to deal with.
11. "That was probably a mean thing to say."
Hanger is a serious problem. Even the sweetest people turn into snarling monsters when a rumbly tummy strikes, causing offenses ranging from minor to criminal. As I said, hunger is an instinct and that means it's one of the switches that's flipped when you go into "survival mode."
OK, so maybe that's a bit extreme. But we all can agree that it's hard to think straight when it feels like you will soon wither away into the abyss.
12. "I'm five seconds from withering away."
We all know that the people in charge can be serious killjoys: teachers say no eating in class, bosses forbid desk snacks, the police will pull you over for eating a whole rotisserie chicken behind the wheel.
Rules suck for hungry people that are just trying to get things done and nourish our bodies at the same time. Aren't we supposed to be a society in love with efficiency? How can such a hole exist in this logic?
13. "GET ME OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW."
They say the mind can overcome anything if a person is willing.
Clearly "they" haven't tried doing anything while hunger sits in the back of their mind, tapping an impatient foot and looking at the clock every five seconds. That level of desire can push even the most motivated employee to the edge of their seat, ready to burst out of that late meeting the second the boss utters the words "well, thank you for coming today."
14. "It's time for a spiritual experience."
The day has finally rounded out to one of those magic periods that promise pure bliss: mealtime.
Patience has gotten you this far, past the obstacles of mom's untimely phone calls and standstill traffic. Your waitress is unfriendly, but she always gets your order right. The meal comes to your table in all of its glory and you know that something wonderful is about to transpire.
15. "Do I want dessert? Is that even a question?"
There are two kinds of people in the world: people that recognize and honor the existence of a dessert stomach and liars.
If you're a member of the former, you know that being full after a meal does not mean that one should deny dessert. On the contrary, the dessert stomach has the amazing ability to never reach full capacity. If you're a member of the latter, quit lying to yourself and have some cake. You aren't that full.