Feeling angry? Try smashing things in a rage cage
New business in Perth is encouraging some 'out-rage-ous' behaviour
Most stores enforce the policy, "You break it, you buy it." In Lawrence Rogers's shop, you buy it to break it.
Rogers recently converted his family's auto body shop on the outskirts of Perth, Ont., into a rage cage.
"My son saw [the idea] online. It looked like a lot of fun, so we built one. It's the only one in eastern Ontario so far that I know of," said Rogers.
The concept is part of a larger trend across North America, and goes by names such as smash room, rage room or rage cage.
Customers at The Axe Shop Axe Throwing and Rage Cage take out their stress on an assortment of glassware, electronics and appliances in a safe environment. They select "weapons" like bats, sledgehammers or golf clubs to decimate items.
A friend of Rogers supplies the rage cage with flea market objects that would otherwise be headed to the dump. Vacuums, lamps and even stereo equipment can all be smashed. Packages range from $10 to $100. Rogers also offers his patrons "tea time," where they can tee up and smash cups with a golf club.
Jesse Wright uses the rage cage to blow off steam at the end of the day.
"I work in a brewery, and it takes a lot of hard work to make good beer. Instead of taking it out in the workplace, I can take it out here," said Wright.
After a few minutes in the rage cage, Wright said he feels calmer and ready to go back to work.
Debra Clark finds time spent in the rage cage helps to manage her mental health.
"I am bipolar. I'm up and I'm down. But when I am in the middle, I have a hard time. And things like this — sports and activities that allow you to really do something — are what I really need sometimes," said Clark.
Does raging bring peace?
Although some may shed pent-up emotions in the cage, experts warn that rage rooms are not an effective form of anger management.
Latchman Narain is a psychotherapist who specializes in anger management.
"It temporarily relieves physical and psychological pain, which may provide psychological relief. But it could also prolong one's angry feelings and make it worse," he said.
But for Rogers, if someone leaves his rage cage a little less stressed, he feels he's done his job.
"It's good fun. And, I've never seen anybody leave without a smile," he said.