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Are you too angry to be out in public?

ST ILLUSTRATION: ADAM LEE

Publication Date : 09-07-2012

 

If you have left the house at some point over the past few months, you will find that, more and more, people you don't know are shouting at you, punching you, slapping you and pushing you off public buses.

Don't worry, there is nothing wrong with you. This is what living in a bustling cosmopolitan city is about.

You see, one of the key defining characteristics of a global city is stress. This is because, to be recognised as a vibrant city, you need to put in a lot of weirdos that will really put us normal people off.

If you don't have these weirdos in your city, people will call your city boring and straitlaced.

What kind of weirdos am I talking about? Take the sweaty jogger I met the other day on a crowded train.

I mean, what was he even doing there? Normal people wouldn't plan on a train journey just after a spot of sweaty jogging, right?

I cannot understand the set of circumstances that led to it happening. Where was he going? Shouldn't he bathe before going out? If he is going home shouldn't he be WITHIN JOGGING DISTANCE OF HIS HOUSE?

I am sorry for shouting. But this is what weirdos do to us. They get on our nerves. And that's why another very important part of city living is calm nerves.

And this is where I feel we currently have a shortage. It is not a good sign of the state of our temper if our idea of trying to defuse tension when others are arguing is to yell 'Can shut up, or not?' from a safe distance.

The problem, of course, is that a lot of people are unaware they have anger management issues. We sit down and think about all the times we shouted at people in the day and conclude that all the shouting was not because we have a bad temper but because those people WERE ASKING FOR IT!

We are sure we would be much better- natured if there were not so many weirdos around.

To try and address this problem, I have come up with an anger management quiz which you all can take to see if you have the correct temperament for leaving the house.

The scenarios described below are completely fictional. All similarities with weirdos dead, alive or on YouTube are purely coincidental.

Okay, here we go, get out a pen and paper to record your answers.

1. You are a firm director having fun in a fancy nightclub when nature calls. Unfortunately, there is a line at the toilet and you certainly did not come to an exclusive club just to wait in line at the loo. You decide to jump the queue. Some guy in the queue makes disparaging remarks about you. What do you do?

a) Ignore him. After all, you are jumping the queue. He has the right to be angry.

b) Apologise and make up some lie about how you are about to burst if you don't make it in there right this instant. Make him feel bad about being so rude.

c) Punch him repeatedly in the face until he falls down.

2. You are a senior citizen with a bandage on your leg. (I don't want to call this character an auntie just in case I get yelled at.) You enter a crowded train but there are no seats available.

You stare at a young girl with dyed hair who is not an Ah Lian sitting in a priority seat by the door. You stare at her. She stares back for a while and then gives up her seat. You do not like the look on her face. You felt like she should have been smiling warmly as she ushered you to the seat. What do you do?

a) Take the seat and be thankful, at least she did not pretend to sleep.

b) Take the seat and stew quietly, after all she's not worth it.

c) Accuse the girl of being from China and then try to take her picture with your phone before launching into a full-out shouting match during which you make some wild claims that she punched you. Hey, you are an old woman, who are people going to believe when you tell this story later? It's not as if there is going to be video evidence.

3. You are a young girl sitting in the priority seat on a crowded train when an elderly woman gets on. She glares at you. You glare back at her but decide to give up your seat. She starts yelling at you for being rude, accuses you of punching her and tries to take a picture of you. What do you do?

a) Bite your lip and walk away. This is really not worth a fight

b) Argue with the woman, while liberally dropping the F-bomb. She deserves it and you have always secretly wanted to curse an old woman.

c) Punch her so at least she would have a genuine reason to complain.

All done? Ok, let's see how you did.

Give yourself 1.57 points for every A answer, 2.3333 points for every B answer and 3.69 points for every C answer. Now multiply all the points for each question together, and divide the total by the square root of seven.

Write this number down on a piece of paper and mail it to me and I may or may not get back to you in three to five business days.

Alternatively, if you find that you completed all the steps without saying a single swear word, Congratulations! You are a very patient, good-natured person.

Please feel free to continue going out in public. You can even take public transport, as long as you haven't been jogging.

 

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