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Anger Room Is Where Dallas Hotheads Pay To Break Stuff (VIDEO)

Posted: 03/24/2012 5:33 pm Updated: 03/25/2012 12:44 am

Anger Room
Danny Gallagher attacks a mannequin with a baseball bat at the Anger Room, a Dallas-based business that lets people pay to smash things.

Say what you want about anger, but the emotion is consistent.

There are going to be angry people, regardless of how the economy is doing, and Dallas businesswoman Donna Alexander is hoping to scratch out a living catering to pissed-off people.

Alexander owns the Anger Room, a one-stop shop where folks who are mad at their boss, mad at their spouse, or just mad at life in general can let out their aggressions by breaking stuff in a room in five, 15 or 25-minute smash sessions.

A person with wrath over work can destroy a room set up to look like an office, while another who is cross about cooking can go to town on a kitchen set, or get livid in a living room. Alexander also says she can customize a room with everything from balloons to inflatable punching bags.

Alexander's idea sounds mad, but it's one that has stayed with her through the years.

"I had this idea when I was 16 and living in Chicago," she told HuffPost Weird News. "I wanted a place where you could punch holes in walls, but I figured someone else would do it. Finally, in 2008, I started doing trial runs in my garage, letting my friends bash stuff that I'd find on the streets and thrift stores."

There have been similar attempts, such as Sarah's Smash Shack, a now-defunct San Diego business where people paid cash to break dishes and vases in a room.

Alexander, 30, has yet to break even, but she says business has been smashing.

"It's growing extremely fast," she said. "I am trying to catch up with things. I get a lot of requests for franchising."

It seems like a natural for bachelor parties and other man-oriented events, but Alexander says the joy of breaking stuff is not limited to the males of the species.

"In the beginning, the business was female-dominated," said Alexander, who was the marketing manager for a steakhouse before starting the Anger Room. "However, we're getting more guys now."

One person who sampled the Anger Room is writer Danny Gallagher, who documented the experience for ManCaveDaily

"I picked the office room because I worked at a newspaper and always wanted to go 'Michael Bolton' on a printer with a baseball bat like in the movie 'Office Space,'" Gallagher told HuffPost Weird News. "I booked 15 minutes, but only lasted 13 -- and I'm a big guy. I was surprised."

Alexander says most customers are.

"It's more of a workout that people expect," she admitted. "We recommend doing stretching exercises beforehand."

But while conventional wisdom suggests that aggressively breaking stuff may be a good way to relieve stress and tension, San Diego-based psychiatrist Dr. David Reiss says that's not necessarily the case.

"It's potentally healthful at certain times, and some people do need physical exertion to get in touch with feelings, so it might be therapeutic," Reiss told The Huffington Post. "But if it's not part of a real program with a goal, any effects are going to be brief."

The Anger Room website emphasizes that the facility does not claim to be a mental help or medical facility, and that the business is classified as entertainment.

Still, Gallagher, who admits having a temper at times, admitted feeling better after his bout with the printer.

"I felt like a boy who built a sand castle just for the joy of destroying it like Godzilla," he laughed.

And while Alexander is providing a service to the angry people of Dallas, she may not be her best customer.

"I haven't used the room myself since December, when I started the business," Alexander drawled. "I'm not really an angry person."

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