Wittgenstein was on a walk along the Cambridge river one afternoon with his friend Ben Richards. Wittgenstein had just been to the movies, and as always, he was upset about something, and giving Richards a long lecture. It was early afternoon, and as the pair passed a pub, Richards mentioned he was hungry and hadn't eaten breakfast, but Wittgenstein ignored him. As the hike went on, Richards found himself getting increasingly hungry. Finally he sat down on a rock, dizzy, saying, "Ludwig, I simply cannot listen to you anymore: I am too hungry." Wittgenstein continued to lecture him. Finally, Richards snapped. "Stop it!" he yelled. "I am simply starving."
Wittgentsein looked him in the eyes and said, tersely: "You are not starving," and continued talking, walking further down the river. Desperate, Richards told Wittgenstein: "I need to eat."
The philosopher laughed. "Oh," he said. "I knew you were hungry. But you never said you wanted to eat. There was that nice pub a ways back there. You should have simply said something...."