FNS: 21st Century Hunter-Gatherer, What You Need To Know To Survive from Michael McGlade

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Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Helen Presents: a flash fiction piece from Michael McGlade


1. Always skip breakfast. It’s important you crank up your metabolism and get super hungry as early as possible. That way you’re more likely to hunt and/or gather all
available snacks, high-calorie or fatty are best.

2. Never drink water. It contains no sugar or carbs, and is also fat and gluten free. Water is empty calories. Empty calories must be avoided.

3. Eat carbs later in the day. Especially white bread. Doing so helps maintain energy levels for post-midnight Netflix binge marathons.

4. Always take the elevator, never use stairs. Maintain your energy reserves in case of zombie apocalypse.

5. Develop finely-tuned senses to recognize the words “free sample” within a 100-foot radius of any supermarket. According to Darwin, it’s survival of the fattest.

6. Recognize exactly what your body is craving, so you can avoid confusing mixed messaged. For example, when you think you’re longing a piece of fruit, you might just very well be craving sugar. Eat candy instead, feel instantly satisfied.

7. Drink calories instead of eating them. It saves times. Also, chewing makes you feel fuller sooner. Bypass this genetic flaw by drinking instead. Alcohol will also boost your confidence, making you a superior and fearless hunter-gatherer.

8. Always sit, never stand. There are tons of benefits from sitting, not least avoiding sore feet, as well as needless wear and tear on your hip and knee joints.

9. Failure to plan means planning to fail. Make sure you are aware of your food options at all times. For example, where is the nearest vending machine located? There are apps available to help – download now.

10. Use the largest plate available. Studies have found that people who eat off smaller plates tended to eat less and consume fewer calories. The world’s resources are diminishing: get whatever you can before it runs out.

11. Pay with your credit card. Always exist on a deficit, just like the government and the economy. Taking the time to count out cash for purchases wastes time and makes you think of money as being real and tangible.

12. Salads are your friend, especially if they contain fried chicken or delicious full-fat ranch dressing. Heap as much as possible onto the largest plate you can find, pay with your credit card, and don’t waste any by leaving some behind – remember there are starving children in Africa.

13. Eat fast. Don’t take the time to chew. You are at your most vulnerable when you are eating, your guard is down, you’re momentarily happy, and this is when charity collectors will hassle you in your work canteen – just say No. Charity begins (and stays) at home.

14. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s difficult to be a hunter-gatherer in the 21st century. The pace of modern life might mean you’re too busy to take proper care of yourself. Stress does crazy things to your body. Don’t fight it, embrace it – a constant state of agitation is normal. Follow the advice on this list, and you’ll achieve your full potential.


Michael McGlade holds a master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from
Queen’s University, Ireland. His work has appeared in Spinetingler, The Big Click, J
Journal, Downstate Story, Green Door, r.kv.r.y, and Grain. His flash fiction piece “Does T-rex Have Small Arms Because It Evolved to Carry Purses?” is forthcoming in our Animal themed issue. Find out the latest news and views from him at McGladeWriting.com.

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