We all have different ways of dealing with anger. If you’re aggressive, you might lash out physically. If you’re passive, you might mutter profanities. If you’re the Vandals, you might sack Rome in A.D. 455. None of these behaviors will do you any good, though the Vandal thing could net you a cool toga.
I think one of the best ways to tell what a person is really like is to see them when they’re angry. For example, when I get angry over having to pay a bill I think is unfair — like a traffic ticket or a fine for public indecency — I retaliate by writing on the memo line of the check, “You thieving jackals,” or words to that effect. What does this tell you about me? That I’m a big nerd.
Another example is my research assistant/consultant Josh, whose mother once got angry and threw a pork chop at him. From this we learn that if you’re going to upset your mother, make sure you live in a kosher household.
But the best example with which I am recently familiar has to do with another friend of mine who asked not to be identified. We’ll call her Luscious Malone. Years ago, when Luscious Malone was still a teen-ager, she got into an argument with her parents. Knowing she would say something she regretted if the conversation continued, she sought to remove herself from the situation. Her father, however, insisted she remain, and so now the argument was over whether or not they should continue arguing.
After much passionate discourse, Luscious Malone’s father was at his wit’s end. According to Luscious, her dad would never strike her in anger, but he evidently felt he had to do something. So finally, he turned around, dropped his pants, and mooned her.
Luscious points out that this was no mere lowering of the trousers; the pants dropped all the way to the floor. Which means not only did Mr. Malone moon his daughter in anger, but he did it incorrectly, too.
It’s hard to know what, exactly, Mr. Malone thought would be the outcome of his actions. Did he think Luscious would feel chastised and stop arguing? Did he figure this would mean he’d start getting a lot more respect around the house? Was he on medication of some kind?
Whatever he expected to happen, what actually happened was that Luscious and her mother both burst out laughing. So now he had his pants down in an over-zealous moon, AND he was being laughed at. The only way it could have been more embarrassing for him would have been if his pants had then caught fire.
The lesson we learn from this is that we shouldn’t let our passions get the best of us. We rarely act intelligently when we act in anger. Not everyone will follow this advice, though, so next time you ask someone to pass the pork chops, you’d better duck.
This column is historic for two reasons. One, I believe it is shortest "Snide Remarks" ever, coming in at a mere 494 words. It wasn't that I was short on space that day or anything; I just didn't have anything else to say on this subject, and I didn't want to stretch it out.
It is also historic because it is the first instance of using nicknames for my friends. I had mentioned Luscious Malone in a previous column, using her real name, but hereafter she was always Luscious Malone. Josh, mentioned here and other times, later got a nickname, too, and was nevermore referred to as Josh. The name "Luscious Malone" made me giggle ever so much.