Friday, December 01, 2006


"Like most irritable people I rarely lose my temper (a dog that's let out for regular exercise isn't as apt to run away when it does escape), but I was losing it this morning. At least in that respect I was resembling our Lord, who was forever losing His. It took very little to rile Him; Scribes and Pharisees, His Family, even a fig tree." (Peter DeVries from "The Mackerel Plaza" )

It's not as if kids scatter; in fact most seem to be drawn to me. Must be the bushy mustache and the humming I seem to engage in when I'm hiking from God's Half Acre, where I parked my car, to my Happy Abode, a couple of blocks away. They also seem to like calling me by my first name. "Hey, Darko! Home now?". They don't call other older guys or fathers by their first name. Something naughty about yelling Darko, I guess. But, that's a different issue.
So, you see it's not some always threatening exploding volcano in me. It's got to be my occassional teeth-gnashing and mental accumulation of small tiffs that causes the occasional solitary uproar in my Humble Abode. I've found that speaking in tongues, preferably tongues of minimal mutual understanding works quite well to let steam off. In fact, non-vulgar words in a quaint language can be made to sound as profane by simply raising one's voice and milling one's arms about.
For me, at times, it's as if I'm a rooster. I bellow out some screech of a noise, irregardless of that exclamation's connection with whatever is actually going on. The family has learned to ignore it or, better yet, derive amusement from it. A trip to the old country a couple of summers ago opened their eyes to this common habit of the Croatian male. All basically much ado about nothing much left to do. Cock-a-doodle-doo....

The Facts:

A definition of Losing One’s Temper: Get very angry and fly into a rage

Flip: (option a) One’s Wig or (option b) One’s Lid.
Fly: (option a) Off the Deep End or (option b) Off the Handle..
Have: (option a) A Conniption or (option b) A Fit or (option c) Kittens.
Hit: (option a) The Ceiling or (option b) The Roof (a corollary of “The Roof” is Go through (said) Roof. Hitting the or Going through Roof is directly related to the construction of your house, so keep that in mind when Losing One’s Temper.)
Blow: (option a) A Fuse or (option b) A Gasket or (option c) One’s Stack or , simply, (option d) Up.
Go: (option a) Ballistic or (option b) Nuclear.
Lose: (option a) It or (option b) Self-Control or, via REM (option c) One’s Religion.

The Aussies Bung on an Act

Wlliam Butler Yeats thought that, "One should not lose one's temper unless one is certain of getting more and more angry to the end.", while one of Delaware’s senators, the ever-enthralling Mr. J. Biden, tries to distinguish anger and losing one’s temper here.

Thais believe that to lose one's temper is most unbecoming of the person and thought of as a person with low character or poor upbringing.

In fact, not losing your temper is one of the 3 cornerstones of a long and fulfilling life. Seems the cosmic creditor can’t find you if you’re in control of your temper.

I’ll conclude with John Malkovich’s opinion on losing one’s temper, "I don't lose my temper very often now, and if I do, it's well deserved."

So, dear readers, when your emotions are negatively piqued, how do you classify your Yosemite Sam moment?



some time ago you wrote you like birds very much. And then you describe yourself as a rooster - when angry.

I describe the mental and verbal output of my rage as "kicking around myself". Like a moose, you see.

No kidding.
This is a very relevant post for me. I hardly ever lose my temper, but something happened recently at my university that caused me to go (justifiably) thermonuclear. I was a calm, cool, well-spoken thermonuclear, but unmistakably thermo nonetheless. I had a showdown in a very public meeting with a Vice-President and Dean regarding said matter, and there was no mistaking my verbal and moral victory.

My Dean still talks about it, and I suspect it's poised to enter the realm of urban legend. So sometimes, thermonuclear can be good, you see :)
didn't relaize I'd gone all avian, lately. The rooster thing was intended more for humour than anything else. The little time that I'd spent on my cousin's farm in Croatia taught me that roosters are very good. For soups, that is. Otherwise, their falunting feathers and attitude did no favors to the reputation of the male of the species.

Searchie, oh to be the clichese fly on the wall when the words were flying. I'm sure you more than held your own, at a cool thermonuclear temperature, I', sure.
Shouting. Lots of shouting. Then shout some more, stomp off muttering.

But the bastards just laugh.

When I get all quiet, however, then they pay attention. Is that the difference between anger and temper, do you think?
If it's someone else losing the temper, then they are "getting their undies in a bundle" or "burning my biscuits." I have been known to "go off the deep end" once in awhile, but the silent treatment is much more effective, like F.C. said. ;-)
I think I'm probably in line with Bearded's temper mode, although there's been at least one Three Mile Island moment in recent memory: preparing supper, barking at the urchins to settle down, only to see them skipping about as the Missus comes in from work ... skipping, hopping, skipping right over the dishwasher door, wrenching the whole damn thing from its moorings, undoing the one masculine task I'd accomplished (installation) in the last three years. Everyone had to take a long walk while I figured out how to put things back in their rightful place. The dishwasher door still squeaks something fierce.
The Shouting/Silence dilemna is, IMHO, completely dependant on your usual modus epistula. So, it seems, the effectiveness of your anger is best demonstrated as the "calm before the storm" methodology.

WP, that's some heavy duty skipping happening to be unhinging dishwashers. I'm assuming the "skpper" in question who undid your handiwork is the same gentle lass that is currently delivering solid body checks to any poor lad trying to pry the puck from her control.
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