r a g e   d i a r i e s

‘Rage’ is one of those buzz-words that all the media news outfits are bandying about these days, using it as a suffix to create new syndromes with all the restraint of a drunken sailor in Times Square.

According to some people, we now have "Road-rage", "Air-rage", "Parents-at-their-kids-sporting-events rage", and even "Walking rage." People in this country are apparently angrier than ever, and are ready and willing to tango with anyone that looks at them funny.

Blocked at every avenue of investigative journalism open to me, I realized I would once again have to place myself in danger and use myself as a subject in order to learn about rage. Now, as most of you are probably saying to yourselves right now, I do not seem like an angry person, and would seem to be the worst choice for a study in anger.

However, I discovered within me a huge untapped boiling sea of anger.

A scale of 1 to 10 is used to indicate the amount of anger you’re feeling at a given moment.

Table 1

Rage Factor

1 Dead, or at least suffering severe brain damage. Being set on fire wouldn’t make you the least bit angry
2 Asleep
3 Asleep but having really bad dreams
4 Normal, no rage above the usual simmering frustration with everyone in the world who is dumber than you are, which is everyone!
5 Slightly cranky
6 Staring at someone in an attempt to make them burst into flames solely through mental energy, but not pissed enough to get up and do something about it
7 Actively shouting at someone
8 Actively pounding your fist into someone’s face
9 So angry the whole world is a reddened blur, of which you will have no memory later (also known as "The Berserker Line")
10 You’ve just exploded, taking a room or bus with you in a fiery cataclysm

Rage Factor Journal

Every situation you encounter gets a response from you which can be assigned an Rage Factor (RF) number. Then, you can add up all your RFs during a day, average them, and come up with your
Daily Rage Factor (DRF).

I chose a day during the week at random and kept an RF journal, cataloging my RFs in response
to various situations.

The results were, to say the least, surprising

7:15am Waking up for work 4
Despite the epic nature of my hangover and the fact that I (or someone else) have soiled my pants, I am admirably serene.


7:50am Morning Routine 4
So far so good. I dress, wash, and collect my possessions without experiencing anything more than the vague sense of bitter disappointment which is my constant companion.


8:05am Catching bus 7
My serenity is ruined when three people rudely push in front of my to get on the bus first. They then scramble around like mental patients, claiming seats.

I am shocked to discover this has me making fists and muttering under my breath.


8:15am Riding train to work 5
Similar situation to bus ride, it’s like watching a terrible scientific experiment. But I am now resigned to this, so my RF isn’t too high.


8:35am Riding train to work 8
A lanky gentleman wearing the world’s largest headphones stands in front of me, neglecting to remove his huge backpack, with which he proceeds to beat me about the face and neck every time the train changes speed or trajectory.

I choose a good moment and pretend that I’ve lost my balance, pushing him roughly and almost knocking him down. His glare makes my heart sing.


8:45am Exiting train station 7
People seem to regard walking up stairs as something out of the lower levels of hell.

Move it, damn you!


8:50am Purchasing breakfast at coffee cart 9
What?!?!    No muffins?!?!    I’m going to set your goddamn cart on fire, man.


8:55am Getting in elevator to go to office 3
Amazingly, letting the elevator doors shut in some stranger’s face brings me peace.


9:05am Sitting down at desk to discover there is no internet service
today, and won’t be until tomorrow.
Thinking quickly, I explain to my boss that my computer had become infested with roaches, so I had no choice but to pound it repeatedly with my stapler.

Grimly, I contemplate a day at work without internet pornography, and go to the bathroom to weep in private.


10:15am Performing duties at work 6
Knowing that a trained monkey could do my job in half the time does nothing to reduce my anger at having to work for a living.

Is it wrong to want nothing more than a weekly grocery allowance, beer, and the Cartoon Channel? Godammit I don’t think so.


12:25pm Lunch 34
All I remember is thinking "what the fuck do you mean, it doesn’t come with bacon?"


3:40pm The Long, Dark Afternoon of the Soul 1
I am numb. Nothing affects me. You could attach a car battery to my nipples and you wouldn’t get any reaction out of me, bubba.

When our internet connection is restored, I am only moderately cheered by the familiar sight of Britney Spears’ breasts.


5:35pm Commuting home 7
Sitting on the bus home, the people in front of me come to several simultaneous conclusions I would not, necessarily, agree with:
  • that they are funny and intelligent people

  • that they are speaking at an acceptable level of volume

  • that despite the stony silence surrounding them, they are the most entertaining things anyone else on the bus has ever encountered.
I refrain from smacking them in the backs of their heads by sheer force of will, the fact that I have to urinate badly and fear a physical confrontation would have unfortunate side effects.


So, according to the RF, my DRF is a whopping and unexpected 7.9, which means that I am pretty much always a paper-thin slice of irritation away from beating someone’s head against a curb until they lose the ability to yell for help.

This is useful information, and I will be trying to lower my DRF over the next few weeks, most probably through the liberal use of barbiturates.

I encourage all of my readers to keep their own Rage Diary, and discover just
how angry you are!