Don’t Make Me Angry (You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry)

By: Ralph Gamelli

Take this as a warning: when I lose my temper, I transform into something not entirely human.

One thing I’ll do in this state is stomp all around the place. You might find this amusing for a few moments, even boyishly charming. But after an hour and a half? Not so much.

I’ll also break stuff — easily breakable things for the most part. So if you’re doing a crossword, it might be wise to hide an extra pencil in your pocket and take it out only after I’ve left the room.

You should know that I’ll furiously drum my fingers against the nearest available surface — a table top, a desk, your face, whatever.

They say I get an enraged expression that really distorts my features. You’ll be tempted to laugh, but don’t. This will get me even angrier, distorting my features all the more, and before you know it, we’ll be locked in an escalating cycle of rage, laughter, rage, laughter, until one of us has an aneurism.

If someone has asked me to feed their fish while they’re away, and then I fly off the handle, there’s a good chance I’ll forget to feed them. Keep that in mind before you ask me.

Undoubtedly I’ll grind my teeth. If we’re someplace quiet, you’ll hear this repetitive _click click click_ sound which I’m told can be incredibly annoying, especially if you’re trying to read.

During particularly bad episodes I’ve been known to call my therapist and tell her all about it, including the name of the person who set me off, even if he or she is right there in the room. If that person is you, it can be pretty awkward.

If there’s a snowman nearby, I’ll knock it over and trample it into a fine powder.

Same thing with a sand castle. Total decimation.

I won’t topple a house of cards, though. Those things take forever to build and, as ferocious as I get during these times, I retain just enough of my humanity to prevent me from going that one step too far.

Don’t be surprised if you hear a grating series of impatient sighs or, if you’re exceptionally unlucky, very loud, sarcastic humming. It won’t even be a real song.

Occasionally, and this is a weird one, I’ll take off my shoe and start pounding the heel into my palm. It hurts like hell and I have no idea why I do it or what it signifies, but I do it anyway.

Once, I got so mad I bit my lip and drew blood. Needless to say, if you’ve got a light-colored carpet, you really don’t want to get on my bad side.

Eventually, of course, I’ll calm down and become just an ordinary, average man again. As I regain control of my senses, I’ll be momentarily disoriented. This is the best time to hit me up for a loan or ask me to feed your fish while you’re away.


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