by Anton Wills-Eve

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mad-as-a-hatter/”>Mad as a Hatter</a>

the last time you flew into a rage.


Personally I have never flown into a rage in my life. I fell into one once when ski-ing in the Alps and missed a slalom gate. Boy was I flaming as I shot off the piste into the spectators. I really was piste off.

But rages and flying and I have yet to form a triumvirate. I drove into a rage when I was nineteen and had had a few drinks too many on the cobbled streets of Brussels. They found the front of my sports car, complete with unharmed driver, wrapped round a lamp post and the rear seat and wheels some one hundred metres further up the road. I loved that car, it was my first genuine racer. But the rage came when I was told my ‘accident’, what unwitnessed highway stupidities are called in Europe, meant I was withdrawn from that weekend’s formula two motor race at Francorchamps. Imagine missing a key race in a series you were leading and in your first season in the sport. Now that really was being driven to distraction. Rage time with a vengeance.

I have encountered rage in other ways too. Have you ever stormed into a rage? Not easy to do usually, but this was in a thunderstorm on the cliff road between Barcelona and the Pyrenees and in persuit of a felon who I had watched knock down a small child. It was twlight and the summer sheets of lightning were throwing walls of fire across the Western end of the Mediterranean sea. Incredibly spectacular but I was more concerned with catching my crook. The boy was not very badly hurt but I did not know that as set off after the villain. It really was straight out of Edgar Wallace, without the cups of tea. My father’s German saloon car was no match for the baddy’s Spanish tortoise and I finally pinned him on a corner overtaking him on the coast side of the cliff where he least expected me. The Spanish police hailed me as a hero and the French police as an idiot who could have killed himself driving like that in such an ‘orage’. I had never forgiven the officer who called me that until today when it allowed me to make the most awful bi-lingual pun!

Another brush with rage came when my wife dropped one of a pair of crystal champagne flutes which had been given to us as a wedding present. Hand crafted for us, too, by a leading glass blower in Florence, and a true work of art. How I kept my temper I do not know to this day. But she wept so contritely as she brushed up the shards of glass that the scene ended in rag time, not rage time; the pair of us just cuddling each other until our love outlived our chagrin.

So, you can see that though I have a temper of sorts,  it is simply something into which I have never flown. But I have a friend who flies into rages all the time. He is in the Royal Air Force and his wife’s name really is Rafaella. Apparently they fly into rages regularly, but always out of them again afterwards, deo gratias! But you’ll never believe the tag line to this story. His name really is Roger Wilco.