Showing Anger

Anger is a fascinating emotion and one we often find difficult and painful to deal with when it is aimed at us.  On the other hand, at certain moments our own anger feels justified and absolutely right.

Let’s explore the emotion of anger by writing dialogue together.  I will write two lines to get this scene started.  Pitch in with up to two more lines of your own.  (It can also be interesting to see what kind of combined creation we can come up with.)

“If you tap that pen on your teeth one more time, I’m going to climb out of my chair and strangle you,” Norma said,

“Ah, you don’t mean that.” Brad tried to make a funny face.

29 responses to “Showing Anger

  1. “Try me,” Norma grunted through clenched teeth.
    “You sure are getting worked up over nut’n,” Brad whispered as he tapped the top edge of his desk with his pen.

  2. “Considering how many times I have calmly and nicely asked you to stop the tapping, maybe you should consider getting worked up.”
    “Oh my gosh, I am not touching you or anyone else. How can this tapping be annoying? You really need to get a grip,” Brad exhaled.

  3. Norma rolled her eyes now, “If you want to be a drummer go join a rock band.”
    “Why is this bothering you so much?” Brad grinned.

  4. Norma stood up and took a step toward him. “It…is…bothering…me. Isn’t that enough?”

    Brad’s face twitched. “Perhaps we should explore this extreme reaction to something so minor.” He made a steeple out of the first fingers on each hand and placed them against his lips below drawn brows.

  5. Ann used ellipses! Ann used ellipses!

  6. “Oh my gosh, don’t pull that holy-than-thou attitude with me. Where is your respect? Where is your Christian behavior of selflessness, grace, forgiveness? You have no respect for me or my feelings. You only care about what you want.”

    Stunned by the backlash, Brad just stared at Norma. Calculating his passive, aggressive comment, he retorted, “I was just tapping on the desk, Norma.”

  7. “It’s just that I’m a woman. That’s the only reason you won’t stop.”
    Bred leaned back in his chair now. Not believing what she just said, “Really Norma, You had to go there?”

  8. Yes Brad, to go where no man has gone before. And, Buckwheat, you ain’t going to be the first either, so flatten that crease in your pants.

    • Dear Professor Linquist,
      My name is Sean. I apologize for the breach in etiquette in posting here about a subject not related to the evolving story play. I noticed in your FAQ that your contact information is kept private. My question is in regard to some Business Writing courses you are offering this fall on ed2go. My friend and I are uncertain which one to take. What are the differences between the Business Writing and the Writing Essentials? My e-mail should be listed in the Reply Form if you wish to reply in that way. Thank you for your time.

      Sincerely,
      S. Mills

      • Hi Sean,
        The Effective Business Writing course addresses the skills you need to write well on the job. I’ve taught it for over ten years, and have found that students feel it’s very helpful when they write at work.

        Writing Essentials is a course that addresses more basic language skills: word usage, spelling, punctuation, word choices, sentence writing, paragraphing, organizing, and more. It’s set up to be a review class for anyone who wants to take a step back and make sure they’ve nailed down the basics. There is also an online course called Grammar Refresher that focuses entirely on grammar review. I don’t teach that one, but I’ve taken it, and it’s quite good.

        You can start with any of these three. Pick the one you think fits your needs. Thanks for the query! –Ann

  9. With that, Brad slid back into his chair and ceased the repetitive din.

    “You know Norma, I’ve recently read a very good book that I believe offers some insight in understanding situations exactly like the one we have here. It’s by a man named Swartz, from Cambridge. His work has been scientifically proven so there is little doubt of its veracity. Now, this fellow Swartz, a Harvard man as I recall, contends that irritability of this type is most often caused by a deficiency of some sort. Generally a deficiency in some very basic, and natural, human need. He also states that the longer this need goes unmet, the more intense the resulting level of annoyance, and the more trivial its potential cause.

    Norma looked at Brad unable to hide her shock and disgust. “Oh, my god. You are not seriously blaming this on…”

    “It’s all been scientifically proven Norma. Scientifically proven. Perhaps you should read material of a more intellectual nature.”

  10. Norma’s eyelids dropped to half staff. “Ah yes. Perhaps you thought my subscription to “Nature” magazine was too fluffy. Too bad. I was hoping we could discuss the new research on gliotic participation in neuronal communication.” She sniffed. “But probably not, since you can’t seem to decide whether this guy is from Cambridge or Harvard.”

    Brad made a movement with his mouth that suggested a guppy, then caught himself. Gliotic participation? He began tapping his teeth with his pen again. Escalation like that demanded a strong comeback.

    • Norma was on a roll and just had to add another quip to the litany of her brillance. “Brad, somehow you have failed to recognize that tapping your teeth with a pen has no power to ignite your cerebral neurons.”

      Clinching his jaws to the point of breaking off points on his molars, Brad launched his next attack. “Norma your pathetic attempt to sound brilliant only confirms your dim-witted stupidity. It is Neolithic precipitation in Neanderthal communication.”

  11. A strong comeback indeed.

    His last gambit had been very well played and Brad knew it. The sniff was good, but not the walk-off-homer he had planned.

    “Reading ‘Nature’ now are we?” was the best Brad could do to keep the ball in the air while he pondered options.

    “Yes ‘we’ are. And, did you know that senseless repetitive motion is typically a harbinger of neural implasticity? According to Dr. Bäcker of the Munich Institute, ninety percent of men who fidget noisily die within days. Or, in many not-so-rare instances, just hours”

    Brad knew round two was hopelessly lost. It was time for ‘outside the box’ thinking.

    • galelikethewind

      “I think what really pisses me off is you breaking up this story with an inane question about my writing classes.” she glowered.

      “i was using the pen as a metaphor for my desire to improve my craft,” Brian said through gritted teeth, “sorry if I offended you.”

  12. Norma was on a roll and just had to add another quip to the litany of her brillance. “Brad, somehow you have failed to recognize that tapping your teeth with a pen has no power to ignite your cerebral neurons.”

    Clinching his jaws to the point of breaking off points on his molars, Brad launched his next attack. “Norma your pathetic attempt to sound brilliant only confirms your dim-witted stupidity. It is Neolithic precipitation in Neanderthal communication.”

  13. “I’m not offended. I know Dr. Bäcker. We are, shall I say, intimate friends.” Norma pierced him with icy blue eyes. “The good doctor has an excellent grasp of…human nature.”

  14. Thinking outside the box, as was his nature, Brad said, “Hold that thought. I have to go see a man about a dog.”

    Norma aways wondered why men said that, as it was obvious what they intended to do. “Well, go then.” And she let herself smile, if just for a brief instant.

    Brad never made it to “La salle de bain”, as the French might say, and he never talked to any man about a dog. At least that day. Instead, he found his tablet pc in the foyer and nervously researched “Gliotic”. He was sure, in his own mind, it would turn out to be a ‘female problem’ of some sort, perhaps no more or less severe than prickly heat or fainting.

    While waiting for the search engine, the one that derives its name from a very large number, to populate his screen, Brad noticed a strange, yet very familiar object on the dining room table.

  15. She’ll never guess what I’m seeing on the dining room table, thought Brad, or how I’m going to use it.

    (Several extra characters also raised their eyebrows. There was Brian [Brad’s evil twin], the dog and his owner who had never been visited much less seen, a certain Dr. Backer [umlouts {sp?} optional], a fuzzy image of a Neanderthal man, a stranger named Sean, and a man named Swartz. They all rolled their eyes and wondered how soon they could get back to their own plots. Certainly not before they found out what was on that table.)

  16. So there it is! Snatching it off the table, Brad stuffed it deep into the back pocket of his jeans and tugged his shirt down low.

  17. Finding that membership card on the table confirmed what he had suspected about Norma for the past several months. She was, indeed, a card carrying member in good standing of the Gang Glia.. and.she was headed for a nervous breakdown for sure.

  18. As I believe this thread is nearly over, if Brad had actually talked to a man about a dog, the dog would have been a Dachshund named Pizzlitz

    “Everybody in the German army’s heard of Pizzlitz.”
    ―Werner VonLederShosen

  19. I bet you didn’t know that Pizzlitz was owned by the guy who emigrated to New Jersey and invented Pez, based on an old German snack from WWII made out of molasses and wood chips soaked in beer.

  20. Talk about making something out of nothing, wood chips soaked in beer….I am all over this treat !

  21. Yes, but I can’t beat the Gang Glia.

  22. Stepping from around the corner, Norma raised her petite Gang Glia and swiftly, accurately shot Brad between the eyes. “I asked him nicely to stop tapping. He was so evil. . .”

  23. “If you tap that pen on your teeth one more time, I’m going to climb out of my chair and strangle you,” Norma said,

    “Ah, you don’t mean that.” Brad tried to make a funny face.

    As she hurled a plate across the room in his direction, Norma shouted, “Maybe this will convince you I mean it.”

    She’s going into one of her rages again, Brad thought to himself. This one looks like it’s going to be worse than the last one. The anger management treatment she was forced to take just made her angrier.

    I don’t know how much more of this I can take, Brad told himself. An escape might be possible if I time it carefully, but if she catches me, I’m afraid she may kill me. I could load my car while she’s out getting her hair done this afternoon and be out of town before she gets back. I wish I knew what to do, or had someone to turn to. I’m terrified!

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