Engaged in the Rage Cage


The chaos coordinator greeted us as we entered the store, pointing out the shelves full of glasses, unsuspecting mugs, pitchers, vases, and further down- electronics, coffee makers, all standing ready and waiting to be put in the milk crates they handed us. I had to keep out of “yard sale” mode, and leave behind an adorable “Aunt o Saurus” mug. Crates full, we donned our gear: orange or red jumpsuits, gloves, and full face shields. And finally, before entering the Smash Room, we chose our weapons of destruction: huge wrenches, pieces of pipe, a sledge hammer among others.

He indicated the barrel, which we could use as a perch for our about to be destroyed items. We could pitch it to ourselves, throw on the ground, smash against the wall, however we wanted to help these items explode. Champagne glasses heeded little encouragement. Just a nudge off the barrel brought their quick demise. Some of the sturdier pieces required much more effort. One hefty jar bounced off the floor, looked up at me and smiled, still whole, inviting a second try.

I found it quite satisfying to just wind up and hurl a piece at the wall or floor. Our coordinator had asked if we wanted to choose our music. I laughed and suggested something classical. “That could make a fun slow motion video,” he commented, and then offered up some heavy metal to destroy by. My husband suggested Deep Purple as a start.

I’m not sure if I should have chosen a day I felt more frustrated. On a Sunday at noon, I was pretty relaxed. Easy going morning, walk with the dogs, pretty chill. I did offer up some suggestions to my husband, who has been having a particularly taxing time at work, and it was rewarding to watch him fungo some glasses, and whack the hell out of a large pitcher. After we went through our milk crates, we could have pulverized another for an additional $10, but neither of us went for it. 

Sixteen is the required age for the Smash Rooms, and there are paint splatter rooms for the younger set where you can cover the walls, a canvas, your jumpsuit, your friends, whatever works. The glow in the dark paints would be a blast to whip around. 

We expended more effort than we realized, or maybe we should have had lunch beforehand. A quick cruise through the supermarket revealed how hungry we actually were. And the Girl Scouts were outside hawking their irresistible wares, too. Once home, neither of us had any energy, even after we ate, and television (aka snoozing) was our only option.

Being at the Rage Cage was coming full circle on a suggestion my husband made 35 years ago when he thought that demolition companies should be set up with therapy clients who needed to release some aggression. What an ideal pairing! Everyone wins. I recall that his mom shattered her old china set in the fire place and had a great time doing it. What a terrific release. You can also bring ten of your own items, and they do accept donations, so if we miss electronic recycling, we can bring them there for other people to demolish.

It truly is a great way to have fun, and let off some steam in an unharmful way. This channeled means of getting out your yayas is inspired, and really an important resource to turn around a bad day. I’m glad to know that it exists, and will certainly send people their way. It’s not your everyday experience. Next up, axe throwing.

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About Meg

Meg is a licensed independent clinical social worker with over thirty-five years clinical experience. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Boston University School of Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Binghamton.