Gone are the days of prehistory when young men would risk life and limb to hunt wild beasts. Instead, many like me have found themselves spending their peak years slaving away over papers and problem sets in pursuit of higher knowledge (or money). And I propose that many aspects of our physiology are more productively put to this task than to running around and killing animals — human intellect, memory, and processing power are better put toward writing catchy ad copy or engineering world-destroying weapons than to ridding ecosystems of tasty herbivores.
People still like to get their primal on, though, and thus, they have developed alternatives to hunts and wars of antiquity. The dueling phase that was popular in European universities in the 1800s has thankfully died and been replaced by competitions such as football, tennis, ultimate frisbee, golf, and frisbee golf.
Hunting actual animals has decreased in popularity as we have tried desperately to detach ourselves from the idea that our food comes from natural, living sources. (Eating plants ends lives, too! Take that, vegetarians!) Over time, the young people of the modern age seem to have developed a replacement for venturing into the dark forest with knives and spears: the late-night food run.
I propose that late-night food scratches the same itch as the hunt of yore and keeps us feeling like apex predators. Like any hunt or Ocean's [Number in the 'teens] movie, a late-night food outing requires prey, a plan of action, and a team. You need to assemble a driver, a navigator, and a Yelp-er or else you're flying blind and hoping that something more interesting than McDonald's is open at 2 a.m. Hitting several drive-throughs can allow you to appease multiple palettes at once, while braving the nearly deserted late-night roads for a cross-town trip to somewhere special almost always leads to chaos, complications, and (hopefully) fond memories.
The spirit of adventure is alive in young gourmands who hit the roads after giving up on homework for the night. Our conquests are less hard-fought but twice as delicious.