Man Goes Hours Without Food To Leave Room For Fancy Meal, Can Now Relate To Starving African Children
After pledging to abstain from any eating for a full thirteen hours (including nine hours of sleep) before a buffet breakfast at an upscale restaurant, Virginia resident Thomas Runyan says he now sees "exactly" what millions of starving children in Africa experience every day.
Runyan, who normally eats between 3,000 and 4,000 calories per day, explained that what started out as a plan to ensure he had plenty of room to gorge himself on fancy buffet food quickly turned into something more.
"Somewhere around hour three with absolutely nothing to eat and only water, juice, and beer to drink, I suddenly realized how much empathy I had for anyone who has ever been starving," said Runyan. "All I could think about was eating. That's pretty normal for me, but this time, I couldn't do anything about it."
Runyan admits that like many citizens of developed, industrialized nations, he may be guilty of rarely thinking about how "the hungry half" lives, but he says that those days are now behind him.
"Even when I'm at this buffet -- hopefully eating some kind pancake bacon burrito filled with eggs and waffles -- I'll never forget the hardships I had to overcome, just like those poor kids," he said wistfully. "And I'll certainly be sure to get my money's worth. If I don't give it my all and clear the 5,000 calorie mark, I'll feel like I let world hunger win, in a way."
For any currently starving readers living in a third-world nation who may be unfamiliar with the concept, a buffet is a type of meal setup in which unlimited quantities of food are served. In the case of the breakfast buffet that Thomas Runyan is currently training for, there will be seven different types of meat, eggs prepared to order, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, and chocolate bars coated with candy and cake.
Runyan consulted over eleven medical experts prior to his fasting, who said that it seemed to be a safe idea. But the hungry man, now in hour four with no food, says he is beginning to exhibit many signs of starvation.
"Look at my stomach...it's all distended and disgusting!" said the 290 pound man with dismay. "I should probably eat at least a few Pop Tarts or something."
Despite the discomfort, Chef Robert Paiyan, a prominent buffet scientist, said that Runyan's strategy of abstaining now in order to eat as much food as possible during his meal is a good one.
"We want more people like him at these buffets, because any food that's not eaten is immediately thrown away," he said. "That food is no good to anybody anymore. Who would want pancakes that spent the better part of two hours exposed to the air? Nobody. Nobody would ever eat that disgusting shit."
"Hey, do you think we could fly in some of those starving African kids to make sure we don't have to waste those leftovers?" Chef Paiyan added with a chuckle. "I'm just kidding, of course. There's no such thing as airplanes."
As for Runyan, he says that after the buffet is over, he has no plans to return to a state of starvation and near-death anytime soon. But he does believe he'll be "forever changed" by the experience.
"It's a lot like the time I couldn't go through the '10 items or less' line at the grocery store, just because they wouldn't let me count 13 bags of hot wings as one item," Runyan recalled. "It was then that I knew the stinging pain of discrimination that black people go through all the time."