A Smashing Good Time

By Rachel Turner

 

I

don’t think I’m a high stress person. I could be wrong. It could depend on the situation though. I don’t sweat the future a whole lot, but I do get a little riled up the fourth time I knock something off the counter with my flatiron chord. I get pretty irritated when someone eats my very clearly marked leftovers. The fact that my children and husband are not able to read my mind is fairly maddening.

I guess I fall into that category of the stressed out, working, carpool mom. Why didn’t you tell me you had a project due this morning? Didn’t I ask you to take your shoes upstairs? Why is your brother crying? How do you lose your toothbrush? For the love of all that is holy, why aren’t there ever any matching socks?

So, I took my futile sock-hunting-mom-stress down to The Break Room, part of Mastermind Escape Games, to blow off some steam. As the ad says, it’s a great way to constructively channel my anger. Wait, is yelling not constructive channeling? I’m confused. People move faster in my house when I yell.

Mastermind Escapes is a nationwide chain that hosts mostly escape rooms, the ones where you get clues and have an hour to break out of your room, solve the mystery, etc. The Break Room is a relatively new addition and is exactly what it says, a room where you break stuff. I met up with Grace, a Mastermind Escapes employee, who walked me through the safety information.

Fun fact: I’ve signed a lot of waivers since I started writing Fish Out of Water.

After layering a fine selection of rubber garments over myself and donning a very serious helmet, I was lead into The Break Room. Glancing around the room at the two padded platforms, punching bag, and steel cage on the walls, I definitely felt like I was not the sort of gal who needed this room. I kept reminding myself that I was not a frustrated person and this experience may just be lost on me.

Then, on cue, a memory popped into my head of me playing miniature golf with my family at age six. I got so angry that I wasn’t getting my pink ball into the hole that I picked it up and bit it as hard as I could, leaving impressive teeth marks. I remember looking up at my mom and dad with their shocked faces that also had the undertones of worry. I now know what they were thinking: She just bit a miniature golf ball; should we be worried about this?

Fun fact: I’ve signed a lot of waivers since I started writing Fish Out of Water.

In fact, I had had my own similar parenting moment just that week and I completely understand how much pressure exists when you are trying to raise children. Perhaps I do have some pent-up anger and frustration that needs to be let go.

Grace was now lining up dishes, bottles, clay pigeons and other breakable items for me to destroy in my 20 minutes of being locked in this room alone. On the wall was a line of hanging bats, crowbars, golf clubs, and a Thor-style hammer, which I’m sure has an actual name.

As Grace was about to leave she pointed to a stereo and told me I could blast any of my music through the speaker while I raged and broke things.

I looked down at my phone. My music was not rage worthy. I felt intense pressure to have awesome, headbanging, metal music playing while I took a baseball bat to every lined up item in that room. What music do I pick? I could really only choose once and then it had to last several songs because taking the gloves on and off to change music in between was too much.

Had I known, I could have made a playlist. What if I hit shuffle and the soundtrack to Moana started playing? The opening song from Veggie Tales? What if someone found out how big of a Fresh Prince fan I really am?

I needed to pick an artist that I was confident would last a few songs; something that I was not completely mortified to listen to loud while breaking stuff. Suddenly, I knew what I had to do.

I select a bat and a glass vase and hit shuffle on my phone under the singer Pink: the holy queen of awesome femaleness, who is also a mom. Let’s do this, Pink.

 

I’m comin’ up so you better you better get this party started

I hit the vase with the baseball bat as hard as I can. Glass goes everywhere.

I’m comin’ up so you better you better get this party started

I stand here with anxiety rifling through my body. Purposely breaking sharp things sends shockwaves of mom alarms through my body as I fight the urge to yell, “NOBODY MOVE,” while I clean it up.

Get this party started on a Saturday night

It’s like putting a mother in a room full of half-drunk milk glasses with Cheerios all over the floor, then telling them to step all over the Cheerios and knock cups over, for fun.

 

 

Everybody’s waitin’ for me to arrive

This is against my mom nature, I can’t do this.

Sendin’ out the message to all of my friends

I grab an empty whiskey bottle and hurl it at the wall. Why am I so afraid to make a mess?

We’ll be lookin’ flashy in my Mercedes Benz

The whiskey bottle hits the steel cage and shatters. This feels kind of great.

I got lotsa style, got my gold diamond rings

Didn’t I see a crowbar over there? And a Christmas mug?

I can go for miles if you know what I mean

I smash the ever lovin’ yuletide heck out of the Christmas mug and find myself laughing maniacally.

I’m comin’ up so you better you better get this party started

I’m so glad it’s just me and Pink in here. She gets me.

I’m comin’ up so you better you better get this party started

In no time my 20 minutes is up, Pink never let me down, and the shards of destruction are everywhere. The breakable body count is high and I think this may be the first time that if she could see what I’ve done, that I’d be a disappointment to my grandmother. What did I do to all of those perfectly good dishes?

I grab my phone, step through the sharp layers of my rage, return my riot gear, and make my way to my car.

The realization of what just happened hits me while I’m sitting in the car Instagramming my heart out. I just made a huge mess that I wasn’t responsible for cleaning up. I smile to myself.

Rachel Turner is a freelance writer and humor blogger. She also runs a traveling murder mystery party business called Make it a Mystery. Georgia born and raised she lives in Woodstock with her husband and two sons. Drop by her blog, www.rachelshumor.com or email her at justpeachy1123@gmail.com.

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