I grew up on movies where a hysterical woman could always be brought to her senses by a good slap or two. It was a movie cliche, and there was barely a movie star who didn’t slap at least a few of his female leads. The slap was usually accompanied by a serious and controlled “get a hold of yourself” or “calm down!”
In a moment of desperation once, I tried it. I wasn’t in a slapping mood, not even angry. But the image from so many movies popped into my head. I had already tried everything else, even reason. I didn’t think it would work, but how could I know for sure unless I tried?
It didn’t work.
In fact, it more than didn’t work. I learned there was a whole new level of hysteria above the usual “God, please take me anywhere in the universe that is away from this lunatic woman.” In fact, I don’t think the universe is big enough for a hyper-slap-charged hysteria.
Things got really ugly. I was kicking myself being such an idiot – using stuff from movies in real life is the very essence of stupidity. I didn’t know what else to do after that. So I left. But even that was not easy.
She was in full banshee mode, and did her insane best to block the door. I still got out. As crazy hysterical as she was, she retained enough of her senses not to chase me outside the flat without at least a bit of make-up, and maybe some clothes. That gave me plenty of time.
I ran out of the building into the cool San Francisco air. Free at last. As I neared the crest of the hill on Polk Street leading away from the apartment, I heard a familiar voice screaming, “You can’t run from me, you son of a bitch! I whored for you! I whored for you!”
A few people turned around to look where the craziness was coming from. I kept my eyes ahead, and picked up my pace just a bit until I was over the hill and out of sight.
Last I heard, she was advising the US government and others on matters of internet security.