There you are, sitting around at home on some random night when it happens...you hear your stomach make its first audible rumbles of protest at your failure to put something in it for the past 8 or more hours. Normally, this is the time when you would get up and prepare something to eat. You get up to go check the refrigerator...leftover pork chops, mustard, still-frozen beef chocolate pudding, suspect lunchmeat, tuna cans left over from Y2K...nothing of interest. (For you right now, anyway...let a starving foreign child or a man who married a woman who can't cook in your pantry, and I'll bet they'd find something to snack on. That's just my mommy talking though, I understand.)
Slightly defeated, you go back to the couch to regroup and consider more desperate options. Do you use some as-yet-undiscovered safe and instant method of defrosting to make the ground beef a factor? No, you don't have a nuclear reactor lying around the crib and it's after 9, so you don't feel like waiting that long. Do you heat up the pork chops? Nah...you've been eating those for the past 3 nights...don't really have a taste for them tonight. (Yes, sometimes hunger is not enough of a reason to eat food.)
Just as your rumbings of hunger become the roar of a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning fighter jet, (that's "loud as fuck" for those who don't know aircraft or context clues) out of the corner of your eye, you spot salvation held to the refrigerator with fruit-shaped magnets...takeout menus! Brilliant! You take them down and begin to scour them, looking to create a perfect meal tailored to your unusually specific tastes this evening. The deliverable culinary world is now your oyster (or pizza or Chinese or whatever you end up ordering).
After over 15 minutes of careful deliberation and customization, your order is now a complete thought. It represents the end of an internal struggle that may have lasted hours, and a feeling of accomplishment washes over you as you pick up the phone and dial the number to the restaurant. The dial tone becomes the soundtrack to your edible fantasies, visualizations that appear in such detail that your tongue would become aroused if it could. After a few rings, the phone is answered. The voice on the other end is like a chorus of angels as they speak the sweetest words audible to a hungry and lazy person: "can I take your order?"
"You damn sure can...", you think to yourself as you begin to intimate your desires to the listening ear of the person on the other end. After likely listening to your entire order, the order-taker suddenly becomes the undertaker of your food-based hopes and dreams. They calmly but firmly inform you that they are out of the things you wanted (or at least key ingredients of them). You resist the urge to curse their name (if they told you what it was at the start of the phone call...and if not, what kind of phone answerererer are they?) drop to your knees, and loudly lament the inequities in the world as you consider your options at that juncture.
Your first option is to immediately select another less-preferable item from the menu. However, 49% of the point of ordering food is to get exactly what you want...so while it doesn't quite defeat the purpose, it does give it a serious upset scare. Option 2 is to hang up and repeat the entire process with another menu, maybe even trying to replicate the offerings of one restaurant with another's food. Of course, we all know that rarely works out...besides, figuring all that out would take another 15 minutes that your stomach ain't willing to wait.
As most of us have been trapped at this nexus of inconvenience and indecision once or twice, I'm sure we're more familiar with option 3 than we'd like. That, of course, is combining items already in your home into a strange, unsatisfying meal...or even eating nothing but angry sleep soon afterward. It's a stupid problem to have, starving in a home full of things that can be eaten...but then, we live in a first-world country. Having stupid problems is what makes us great (unless my Wi-Fi doesn't work...then everything life pretty much sucks).