Credit: Danny Gallagher
Every man in his right mind knows that smashing things -- or, worse, people -- to express his rage isn't acceptable in society. That's because we have words to settle our differences. But sometimes, ranting on Twitter just can't get the rage out of us.
Fortunately, I discovered the perfect place to unleash fury without committing a felony or joining a gym: The Anger Room, located deep in the heart of Dallas, Texas. For a fee, you're allowed to destroy furniture, appliances and other breakable objects until your arms go numb. The proprietors let me take their sledgehammers for an inaugural spin -- here's what I learned about myself (and the Incredible Hulk) in the nihilistic process...
Untapped Aggression Needs To Go Somewhere
Everybody has stress. Even a trust fund kid, who doesn't have to work a day in his life, can lose his cool if the butler forgets to feed his white tigers. That stress builds and builds over time, and eventually it will explode unless you let it out in productive ways. In my case, that meant swinging a sledgehammer into a flatscreen TV, then wailing on the back of it with a crowbar until I could see right through it.
It's Fulfilling To Work With Tools
For most of my adult life I've lived in apartments, where I'm not obligated to fix anything. So it's easy to forget how rewarding it can be to handle a set of good, old-fashioned American tools, whether it's fixing a leaky faucet, installing a new engine or beating something until it no longer resembles its original shape.
Credit: Danny Gallagher
Releasing Anger Feels Really, Really Good
Happiness is a bit of a foreign feeling to me. As a writer, I make my living by spitting fury on the page like an intellectual flamethrower -- but unleashing physical rage and tension is different. As the endorphins rushed through my brain, I felt a heavy load being lifted...and I felt true joy. Who needs Prozac?
The Manliest Method Of Housecleaning
Most of the stuff you own is, let's be honest, useless: DVDs you haven't watched in years, secondhand furniture that's falling apart, obsolete electronics -- you could throw them in the garbage, but why not use them for Man Therapy? Customers can donate their old belongings to the Anger Room. Not only are you releasing all that aggression, but you're also down one piece of junk that's taking up space and making you look like a hoarder.
Breaking Stuff Is Hard Work
We've all imagined how good it'd feel to Hulk out, but our fantasies conveniently omit the part where we're gasping for air and pulling every muscle that can be pulled. By the time my session was done, I was covered with sweat and felt like my lungs would explode.
Realizing that I'm so out of shape made me angry -- but that made me happy, because it gave me an excuse to come back for another session.