Anger is Funny

Anger is Funny

I have a nasty character trait that doesn’t seem to have much evolutionary purpose. Whenever someone gets really angry, I start laughing, really hard. Maybe it’s just some sort of defense mechanism aimed towards dealing with an uncomfortable situation. Maybe I’m so sadistic, the pain of another cheers me up. Whatever, it’s cheap entertainment.

Once I was walking down the sidewalk of a busy street. I walked in front of a McDonalds drive-through exit. Some lady with a carload of screaming mistakes (a.k.a. children) was pulling out from the window and looking down, making sure she had all 3 of her Big Macs and plenty of fried animal for her little ones. She didn’t see me walking in front of her. I did a quick two-step and cleared the her path; she didn’t even know she had come close to hitting me, not until she saw me safe and sound on the other side of the exit. Reacting about 5 seconds too late, she slammed on her brakes and McFood went all over the interior of her Volvo. She blasted her horn at me, rolled down the window, and started screaming “You fucking idiot! You stupid motherfucker! Why don’t you look the fuck where you’re going!” One of the kids started crying, the rest were frozen in a spectral beam of maternal wrath

I couldn’t help it, I just started laughing. Not a chuckle or a snicker, but a full-on laugh seizure. I mean here I was, this 20 year old dirtbag with like $100 bucks to my name, getting screamed at by this rich suburban whore in a $30,000 car, which now had a permanent chocolate shake scent. My laughter only made her more upset. “What the hell are you laughing at?” Spit shot from her lip as she demanded to know the reason for my mirth. “I don’t know lady, but I just made you say `FUCK’ three times in front of your ugly little kids. You don’t seem like a very good parent. Is this how you teach them to deal with people?” The mom bitch looked at me for a second, flicked me off, and sped away, almost causing another accident in the process.

A lot of people would get into a shouting match in this situation, but not me. I think people like that are their own punishment. They make themselves unhappy, which in turn makes the people in their lives unhappy, which in turn makes them even more unhappy. No choice words of mine could rival the power of an already miserable life. Besides, it’s even more of a blow to this woman to realize that this thing that seemed like such a big deal to her was no more than a passing moment of cheap entertainment for me.

However, laughing at angry people probably isn’t always the best way to handle things. Angry people are often prone to do stupid things, like hit you in the face, kick you in the crotch, or attack you with the nearest sharp object. Having a “little” brother who’s 6’7″ and 250 lbs has taught me this lesson time and time again, especially when the anger in question is of the intensity that only a familial relationship can provide.

Normally, getting smashed in the face with a utility flashlight isn’t funny, especially when it splits your lip and breaks your nose, but for some reason when my brother did it, it was really funny. Repeated blows to the head and shoulders did little but make me laugh harder, which did little to lighten the beating. I was laughing too hard to even fight back; so much for the defense mechanism. He eventually got tired, but I was still laughing good and strong. That was probably the last fight we ever had, and it ended with the words “Mark, you’re fucked”. “Ha ha,” I mumbled through a bruised jaw, “I made you say fuck.”