July 1st, 2019

book cover humor

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WTF? Buffy

Psychoanalyzing my temper

I lost my temper the other day. It was over something I considered to be childish actions, which made me act childish, which I suppose is the way it usually happens.

Now, I get frustrated a lot; impatient fairly frequently; grouchy all the time. But I only "lose it" as the term goes, infrequently--maybe just every five years or so. I saw red, lost control. You can tell when I'm that angry, because I start shaking. I don't even shake when I'm scared, or maybe in those cases I'm too frightened to notice.

I didn't like it.

In fact, I wasn't able to sleep the next night, and it bothered me for days. I don't want to be the guy who upsets other people, unless its with bad jokes and silly antics.

I'd like to be the fun guy. I'm not, but I'd like to be. I am seen, by many people, as the funny guy, although maybe not as many people as I think. Funny is good. It makes other people feel good, so maybe they won't lose their temper.

And so I make a lot of jokes, and I write humor. I've been the complainer, and after being around other complainers I learned that being around complainers sucks. So I accentuate the positive, and stuff down the complaints, or try to make them funny.

But have you noticed the funny people are often messed up?

The funniest person I knew of was Robin Williams. He killed himself.  In the entertainment world, it seems like the funniest people all too often end up immersed in drugs, alcohol, overeating (that would be me), and other self-destructive behavior. Why?

Well, I'm not a professional funny guy, but I play one on the internet. I think the problem is that we use humor as a defense, which means we often make fun of our problems instead of facing them. While young we learn to either put on a happy face, or show no emotion at all.

I dunno, I'm no shrink. In fact, at the moment I'm just associating freely.

The point is that sometimes the quiet ones aren't calm and well adjusted at all--they may just be the people who are shoving their anger down deeper and deeper, until every, oh, five years or so it bursts out, leaving people to say "Wow--where'd that come from?"

Again--I don't like it. Anxiety, man, it's real. I used to make fun of this stuff.

I recognize some of the causes, things as varied as my writing career, politics, and work burnout, but dealing with them isn't so easy. Maybe that whole primal scream thing isn't such a bad idea, after all. Maybe people who get mad and scream at others all the time are more emotionally healthy than I am. Or maybe I simply am one of those guys, heavily filtered.

But I'll tell you this: I'm not going to go around yelling at people just because I'm having a bad day. That just makes things worse for everyone. No, something else is in order; and I'm thinking of something in the basement, which I've had for several years but never set up.

A punching bag.

And if that doesn't work, there's a pizza place right down the street.

Sometimes things bug me.