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Smash Up Your Telly with a Crowbar at The Rage Cage

11 March 17 words: Ali Emm
video: Raphael Achache

Out in the sticks there's a lovely little place where you can pick a few items, take them into a room, and smash the absolute shit out of them with your choice of crowbar, baseball bat, hammer... you name it. Earlier this year, our Editor Ali Emm decided to take them up on their offer of household-object violence...

If I had a Top Ten Years of My Life list, 2016 stands no chance of getting onto it. I know, 2016 bashing is so last year, but apart from all the crap that went down nationally and globally, on a purely personal level, shit levels were high. Don’t get me wrong, I had some good times and wouldn’t change it for the world, but sometimes life dumps all the lemons on you and there just isn’t enough sugar to hand to make your lemonade even close to palatable.

Now when it comes to repression, I’m the living embodiment of the British stereotype. Add to that a Catholic upbringing and you’ve got a whole new level of squashing down bad feelings into a tiny hot ball of internal destruction. So what’s a girl to do when she’s got a jug of minging lemonade and can’t afford some good old-fashioned psychotherapy? Beat the living hell out of inanimate objects, that’s what.

There are places popping up where you can pay to go into a room with an arsenal of hitty sticks and a selection of hand-picked breakables to work through some of those unresolved issues in a non-destructive, destructive way. Considering my current general life mood, when I discovered that The Rage Cage had opened in Nottinghamshire, it took all of five seconds to decide that I would be its next customer.

Situated in an old chapel in Brinsley, the reception is pretty minimal but the fairy lights that adorn the seating area are a nice touch. With prices starting at £13, you get to go into their storage room with a basket and pick out all the nice things that you want to destroy. From printers to soap dispensers, chintzy ornaments to XBoxes, everything in there is yours for the smashing. And, if you’ve got some of your own bits and pieces that you wouldn’t mind destroying, you’re more than welcome to bring them along too.

Loaded up with junk, we were taken upstairs, each given a hard hat and a pair of goggles, and then shown where we would be spending the next fifteen minutes letting loose. In the centre of the room was a barrel with a plastic wrapped pillow-stuffed platform, and on the wall was a selection of weapons: baseball bats (metal and wood), a crowbar and a hammer. Lovely.

Hat and goggles on and timer started, I was ready to go with my choice of the classic baseball bat. Well, I thought I was. Bizarrely, even though I had been daydreaming about how amazing it would be to make dust out of anything put in front of me, for some reason I couldn’t just let out a primal roar and charge full pelt at the first object with pure abandon. Rather, I tentatively went up to it and hit it almost apologetically.

That oddly-placed politeness didn’t last, though, and after a few swings and nervous giggles, the adrenaline kicked in. They were no longer the pathetic attempts of some kid who can’t be arsed to play rounders in PE, I was going for it full bore. Repeatedly slamming the bat down, there was shrapnel flying everywhere –  the bat was taking as much of a kicking as the objects, splinters and chips appearing down its shaft as I went wild.

The fifteen minutes, unsurprisingly, flew by as we took it in turns to pulverise stuff to a soundtrack of generic chart music. But, despite the naff tunes, the endorphins threw my brain a party like no other and I can honestly say that it felt really good to release my anger in such an unhealthy way.

Unhealthy? I reckon so. Apart from a few sore muscles the next day, I didn’t do myself any damage either physically or emotionally. And yes, in the moment and for a few hours later, it felt pretty cathartic. But all the anger, pain and frustration that I put into every swing, dear reader, it’s still there. Smashing shit up is indeed fun, maybe more so for someone like me who doesn’t like violence, but it’s just that. Daft fun.

The Rage Cage, Chapel Buildings, Plainspot Road, Brinsley, Nottingham, NG16 5BQ. 07851 022815

The Rage Cage on Facebook

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