#594: St. Anger


As a half-Italian, part-German, part Scottish guy, I was born with a fuse.  Sometimes that fuse can go off.  Nothing makes me angrier than when my wife, who has epilepsy, is told to “fuck off” because of her need to be away from flashing lights.  We’ve written extensively about epilepsy and our experiences, good and bad.  We are very open about it, happy to answer questions and eager to educate.   So when I hear that my wife had a seizure at the mall because of flashing lights and a guy who told her to “fuck off” and “stay indoors”, I feel like I could explode!

Here’s what happened.  Our wedding anniversary is August 31.  We had a nice dinner booked at Borealis, our favourite local eatery.  Jennifer went out to the mall that afternoon to get some things we needed for the weekend.  At the Walmart checkout, there was a child with those shoes that have flashing lights in the heels.  I don’t understand the need for those shoes.  At night, sure, I get it.  In a brightly lit Walmart, they’re a hazard to people prone to seizures.  An actual hazard as real as a slippery floor.

My wife asked the closest lady if that was her child.  She said “No.”  But it actually was her child.  Jen covered her eyes as the kid danced around the checkout aisle with the flashing heels.  She asked the lady to tell her when the flashing stopped so she could uncover her eyes.  The lady said it stopped.  She opened her eyes and the kid was still dancing and the shoes were still flashing.  She covered her eyes again.  She was getting upset.  Suddenly the lady’s husband showed up out of nowhere and began berating my wife.  He told her to “mind your own business”, that she should “fuck off”, and “stay indoors” if she had a problem with the shoes.

And so, she had a seizure in the checkout.  She doesn’t remember anything after paying for her things.  She remembers telling the cashier that she was probably going to have a seizure.  The next thing she knew is that the paramedics were there and she was in an ambulance.  I will give Walmart and the mall credit for being proactive about this.  They know my wife (unfortunately from past seizures) and they have my phone number on file.  They called me immediately.

I took Jen home and she had a good rest.   We didn’t have our dinner out that night.  But we had a great dinner in, and a lovely anniversary at home.  We went out the following night instead.

Here’s the kick in the nuts.  At the exact time I got that phone call from the mall about my wife, I read the story about how our friend Kenner Fee, who has autism, will not be allowed to bring his service dog to school. It was a painful one-two punch.

The anger simmered in me.  I came home and keyboard-warriored my way around Facebook, to the ignorant trolls on the Kenner Fee threads.  I wrote a few zingers, and before I knew it, two hours had gone by.  But by the end, I wasn’t angry anymore.  It might not have been the healthiest method of anger management.

I think there are two really healthy ways to let the anger out.  They are music, and being physically active.

I like to kill two birds with one stone.  My favourite thing is to put on something fast and heavy.  Metallica works as a go-to.  Testament, even Sabbath, they all work.  Hit play, turn up the volume.  Then I just fucking thrash.  Air drums, air guitar, headbanging, whatever.  Just physically moving with the tunes.  Air drums work fantastic for this.  Lipsynching helps.  Or, sing along if you’re not too self-conscious.

“And I want my anger to be healthy” — Metallica

I remember when I was younger, there was this one girl named Tracy that I really liked.  But she just kept me hanging along for months.  One night she had a friend of hers crank call me, pretending to be somebody from my history class that liked me.  I fell for it and got crushed.  And I was pissed off.

The music that came in handy that time was Motley Crue.  “Primal Scream” might have been their heaviest tune at the time.  The lyrics were in sync too.  “You just got to scream!  And shout!  Let that mother out!”  And I believed that.  Sometimes you do have to let that mother out.

Whatever you do, do it healthy!  I recommend a solid soundtrack of heavy metal to go with it.



  1. Sorry to hear about that mall incident. Hope your wife is okey. For me the way to vent is by excercise and listening to music. Sepultura helps me. Or anything aggressive. Whitechapel is one of my favorites. Seems like it’s the times. Some people seem to think that it’s ok to act an asshole and looks like that nation just keeps on growing. At times it feels like the bad guys are winning. Hopefully not for good. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is enough to out everyone over the edge. Glad you ended up having a nice evening at home together. Sometimes that is all you need. And with music to help with your anger…my Road Rage playlist is meant just for those times!!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t played it yet :) I just got the 5 disc Marillion Misplaced Childbox box set yesterday! Hot on the heels of Def Leppard. Hoping to take a chunk out of it this weekend, particularly the album in 5.1 surround.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my God Mike. I knew some of the story but not all. I would never have guessed that those shoes can cause seizures.
    All I can hope is that the knuckle dragging family learn an ounce of compassion and do a bit of research on epilepsy. I would have loved to have been within earshot of that jerkoff.

    For me Metallica, Megadeth, Maiden, Pantera, Voivod, Gojira, Anthrax all work. But perhaps my favourite band to get it all out is System Of A Down.
    I’m a pretty mellow dude but if anyone would try and mess with my family shit would would get real.

    I’m glad your anniversary dinner in went well. Sometimes those are the most cherished.
    Happy anniversary and hears hoping to many more, and a treatment or cure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man, the good news, I think the medicine is working. There have been two major seizures but both (LIKE THIS ONE!!!) had triggers that could have been avoided. The rest of the seizures are rapidly diminishing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That sucks about Kenner. My son is austistic too and I would be fucking livid if that happened to him. Sadly to say he has some flashing light shoes as well, but if you told
    Me They could give you seizures I would politely excuse us and not berate you. Thats some bullshit right there. Some people.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry to gear about what happened to your wife. I personally would be considerate if someone in for,ed me of them being prone to seizures. You should treat others like you want to be treated. As for the other story of the child and not being allowed his dog, that makes me angry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vinnie, I will be posting a followup to the service dog story tomorrow. If you wish, I’d really appreciate everyone sharing! It’s an important story and I’ve even been sending tweets to the Pope over this matter.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. He’s been dealing with my love of hockey, shoes and purses for nine years. We’ve had many adventures together with many more to come in the future. I love him more and more every single day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 9 years of growing stronger together! Congrats! So wonderful when you find where you need to be and then go forward in awesomeness (and hockey, shoes and purses too)! My lovely wife and I are coming up on 14 years and she knows all about dealing with my collections…

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Glad the dinner was lovely. Haha I remember the blueberry conversation… see, I like blueberries, and I like creme brulee… I just have a hard time imagining them together… maybe I just need to try it. Are they all the way through or just on top? And if they’re on top, surely they go on AFTER the torch?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes exactly! And of course you could ask for it with no blueberries. They torch it as normal and then add a small spoonful of blueberries to the top. Just delightful, oh goodness, I am thinking about it too early in the morning.


        2. And of course you can ask to hold the blueberries, but we never do! Man that was a good dinner on Friday night. And last night we had a steak BBQ and I made mine a perfect rare. Oh baby.


  6. Ugh… People can be so frustrating. We are soooo slow to change sometimes. That ol’ analogy again, if Jen or Kenner had a visible disability like a missing arm we’d all jump in to help. Why we continue to choose to ignore what isn’t in front of our faces is baffling…. And, What was Lars thinkin’ with that snare drum?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Listening to Get in the Ring while reading this made a lot of sense. The kid was wearing those stupid LED shoes that come with a charger to keep the power full force. They come with a freaking OFF button!!!

    I just can’t get over the crap that Kenner is dealing with. I don’t need to be in a Wal-Mart. (that sells these shoes with pride) Kenner NEEDS to go to school and be safe when he’s there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry your wife had to go through this. There is no more downward pull into the depths than waiting in the Walmart checkout. Glad you too could get a positive out of the negative. Dinner in or out, as long as you were together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a good dinner in! We ordered burritos. Mine was like a football! Then on Friday night we went out for real and it was great. Take a look at this baby! This was some kind of mushroom rose pasta at Borealis, all locally sourced. Even my wife liked it and she doesn’t like this kind of thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh, those stoopid runners with lights! They should ban those. I understand Jen’s struggles. You guys are good people. I hate reading that you guys are going through this.


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