I recently got an oil change at an establishment that, to avoid attention from their legal department, I will call “Speedy Grease.”
My town has almost 20 Speedy Grease locations, which is good because I can never return to any of the three I have used so far. The first time I couldn’t figure out how to pull up to the service bay, so now they know that I’m not competent to care for a vehicle. The second time I absentmindedly tried to get in my car without paying, so that crew knows about my tenuous grasp on the conventions that govern society.
In my shame, I slunk away to a third Speedy Grease shop. This time I managed the whole transaction with only minimal failures of sentience.
All that success went to my head, and it took until Monday to notice the impressive constellation of scratches on my windows. These new decorations can only have come from that adorable little dance where they pretend to wash your windows, presumably using an old sweatshirt stuffed with gravel.
I was upset for about ten minutes, and then the battle joy started seeping in. After work, I got to go yell at Speedy Grease!
I love the prospect of a conflict that calls for righteous speech-making. Planning out a biting diatribe satisfies my primal need for occasional violence, with the added bonus of minimizing the bloodshed. On the other hand, 100% of confrontations work out better in my head than in reality. Typically, I’ll plan something like this:
…but thanks to a genetic tendency toward anger-crying, I usually discharge that frustrated energy through my eyeballs in the most humiliating way possible:
This is the same recipe by which I accidentally got a grade changed in college. It only takes a few key ingredients:
One misunderstood assignment...
One attempt to explain...
A double handful of panic about damaging a GPA over an elective music class...
…and one terrified grad student instructor who did not see this coming.
Ultimately, though, I did not so much as sniffle at the Speedy Grease guy. I also didn’t get such impressive results. In fact, the reward for my little wrath spree doubles as its own punishment: I have to go back and face that same crew to redeem my 50% discount on another oil change.
At least now I know which direction the door opens.
P.S. If you are forming a band, you can have "Wrath Spree" for free.