Monday, December 12, 2011


Ring-a-ding-a-phobia - a fear of having the phone ring just after you draw the drapes, lock the doors and sit down in front of the TV with your favorite binge foods. 

Your heart, already racing in anticipation of overindulging in a mix of sweet-salty-savory-creamy-crunchy, flutters with annoyance at each ring. While some sufferers can indeed ignore the phone or shut the ringer (a symptom of ring-a-denial), there are many who cannot, due to responsibilities of family and business. The phone must be answered/the sufferer must feed . . . . Oh, what a quandary. 

In some cases a quick conversation can take place and the phone call ended before too much food is forced to needlessly sit in the bag or dish for an extra three minutes before achieving its ultimate glory of becoming food-barely-chewed-before-swallowing. In most cases the sufferer's natural defense mechanism is to keep their voice calm and pleasant so the person on the other end of the phone is unaware of what deeds their call has interrupted. Normal voice tones are kept even as food is continually ingested. Chronic sufferers can consume whole meals without the caller being aware of what is happening on the other end of the phone. These meals can include the contents of crinkly bags of crunchy snack foods.

At one time this condition had no effective treatment. That horrible time for sufferers was alleviated by the advent of Caller ID. Caller ID has helped many abstain from answering calls that are not important enough to warrant suspension of eating for 30 or more seconds. However, the fear mechanism in those suffering from ring-a-ding still activates each time a loaded spoon is being raised to the addict's face and a bell is rung. You might want to check out the article The truth behind why Pavlov's dogs were really drooling at the bell. 

See related conditions: Doorbell Interruptus and FamilyHometooEarly Syndrome.

What panics you most when you are hiding in the food?



Maren said...

I usually binged in my car so I was "safe" from interruptions.

Jane Cartelli said...

And now there are car phones to find you . . . .

E. Jane said...

I used to do the "car thing" too, and some of you know what I mean. Going through the fast food window and then digging in with one hand and driving with the other. I'd end up close to having a fender bender, because I was paying more attention to eating than to driving. My clothes always had food spills on them, because eating in the car is not easy--it's messy! Boy am I glad those days are over!

Anonymous said...

Every once in a great while (binging was not my main problem) I would buy something and eat it on the way home so Mr. Munchberry would not know. What panicked me? That I would not finish it by the time I got home, that I would leave evidence like odor or a fry under the seat or a wrapper in the passenger's seat.

I would get so mad that I could not just savor my goody.

Unknown said...

I never answer my phone, except in rare exceptions, so sadly, my binges are not interrupted. My dog whining to go outside does stop me sometimes. :D

:-) Marion