The sledgehammer smashed into the old television, its guts crumbling beneath my blow. My adrenaline surged. I swung again, reducing the TV to bits of glass and plastic, now scattered on the floor.
I had come to the Rage Room, a new entertainment experience in Hackensack, full of frustration—something there’s no shortage of in New Jersey, thanks to insufferable traffic, unreliable trains and other annoyances.
Opened in April, the Rage Room is designed to be a safe place to blow off some steam. Armed with tools of destruction, you can lay waste to unwanted housewares, electronics and furniture. It’s the first facility of its kind in New Jersey.
The Rage Room gives you options. I went with the Stressed option ($100), which includes five small breakables, two medium breakables and one large breakable. You can also choose the Frustrated ($140), the Angry ($180), the Furious ($240) or the Raging ($300). The number of breakables goes up with each price increase. And it is pricey, yes, but somebody has to pay for the discarded items the Rage Room hunts down for your destructive pleasure. If you BYOB—bring your own breakables—the price starts at $60.
Two guests (18 and over) are allowed in the room at a time. You have up to 30 minutes to rage out. My rage moved swiftly. In a little more than 10 minutes, I ran out of items to obliterate.
To get started, I suited up in protective gear: a white full-body suit, gloves, and a hard hat with a visor. My first weapon of choice was a metal baseball bat. Other options include a crowbar, mallet and sledgehammer. You can prepare your own playlist of music for the session. I opted for the song “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit. It helped.
I took my first swing at a wine bottle, smashing nothing but air. This embarrassment only added to my anger. On my next swing, I made contact, but the bottle just toppled to the floor, unbroken. (Wine bottles are surprisingly difficult to shatter, I learned.) On my third swing, I connected with the neck of the bottle. Glass fragments went flying. My stress began to melt away.
Next, I turned my rage on some old ceramic plates and mugs. Owner Jeff Sherfer tossed the dishware in the air for me to shatter mid-flight with the bat.
Finally, I hefted the sledgehammer for the main event: sending the television to its doom. In the end, the room was littered with unrecognizable shards of once-useful objects. My anger and frustration had been smashed, too.
The Rage Room’s slogan is: “Come angry, leave happy.” I’m not sure happiness was the emotion I felt while stuck in traffic on my way home, or that the experience was therapeutic. But my visit to the Rage Room certainly provided some short-term relief.
You might call it a smashing success.Click here to leave a comment