Hell hath no fury like a Greek man scorned!

Hell hath no fury like a Greek man scorned!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mediterranean men (and women) have a fiery temper. By “fiery” I mean of course, completely irrational and unreasonable.

A Greek man can AND WILL make a mountain out of the tiniest molehill.

For example, upon finding that the television remote no longer works, my father will proceed to give it a thoroughly good bashing accompanied by loud grunts and senseless rambling about why no-one has already fixed it.

By the time he has finished his rant half an hour later, one of us has intervened and changed the batteries, so that he is still yelling while holding the now working remote.

In general my husband is a fairly easy-going guy. However, when angered by the slightest thing, (e.g. not being able to unscrew the child-safety cap off a bottle of medicine), the Hulk gene goes into full effect.

Personally I am convinced that most Greek men have some sort of unhinged inner madness, which I have diagnosed as being the result of the Hulk Gene.

The Hulk gene has been passed down through the generations and shows no sign of diluting.

If you have not yet seen a Greek man in Hulk mode let me enlighten you:

  • The initial warning that the gene is about to go into overdrive will be an obvious gritting/grinding of the teeth.
  • The body then starts going into spasm: clenched fists and violent twitches occur.
  • The eyes will roll back into the head like a sharks; a clear indication that the feeding frenzy is about to begin.
  • The face will start to turn a very deep shade of red.
  • Within seconds, you will be faced with The Red Ape.
  • The Red Ape will scream something inaudible at you and start banging his fists against his chest.
  • Be sure to remove any pots and pans at this point – my mother’s favourite moussaka tin was hideously deformed during one of my father’s Hulk moments.
  • The Red Ape will continue to fit until he no longer has an audience/grows tired/is offered food.

My father, of course, has a very strong Hulk gene. My mother’s simple yet effective technique is to just ignore him when he starts swinging from the chandelier. With no audience to perform in front of he eventually slinks off for a cigarette (or a banana) and returns a short while later.

His usual line is, “I’m sorry but you make me so ANGRY!”

You don’t say!

My brother has recently started to record the Red Ape/Hulk gene episodes in the hope that they will catch the attention of David Attenborough who will turn them into an award-winning documentary.

One good thing about temperamental Greek men is that they tend to forget about their bouts of rage very quickly. One minute they will be screeching like a rabid animal and dramatizing the smallest thing and the next they will be quietly playing a game of Tavli.

Women in general seem to take far longer to get over an argument. Even though she has forgotten why she is still angry, my mother will continue to give me the cold shoulder and tell me that she is “not pleased” for at least a week, or until I offer to give her a foot massage. By the time she has forgiven me, my father will already be on his third Red Ape episode.

On the flip side, a Greek man’s enthusiasm for rage is just as ardent as his enthusiasm for everything else, which when life is good, is very infectious. Most people think that my father is an incredibly charming, humorous, ouzo-glass half-full kind of man.

But then they have not witnessed his alter ape ego.

Other than darting a Greek with a tranquilizer, not much will subdue him when the Hulk gene reacts. So if you do come across one in the wild, RUN.

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29 Comments

  1. 23rd February 2015 / 9:54 am

    Haha well laughter IS the best medicine! 🙂

  2. Mike Boosalis
    23rd July 2014 / 4:40 am

    Greek males all have some kind of mental illness and I speak as a Greek American male. My father was very verbally and physically abusive to us all and was jealous that I, his son, was attaining more than he ever did. I know that not all Greek fathers are like this but the Greek upbringing in Greece and the lack of education made for a difficult time. There were many periods that he just didn’t like to talk to his son and daughter and we would not bother him with anything. I do hope that fathers of other ethnicities are NEVER like this.

    • 23rd July 2014 / 8:00 am

      I’m sorry to hear that you had a difficult time with your father – as you said, thankfully, I know of many Greek (and non-Greek) men who definitely do not fit this persona but it is a sad truth that there are some abusive people out there. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  3. Bella
    23rd May 2014 / 10:15 am

    My Greek grandmother was a passionate woman . Her daughter my mum had a father from Palestine so you can imagine his anger being thrown out of his own country from the Israelites .
    I have this hulk disorder now !!!

    • 23rd May 2014 / 10:26 am

      It’s definitely hereditary!

  4. 15th April 2014 / 11:45 am

    That brought a much-needed laugh from me this morning. Thank you for posting. 🙂

    • 15th April 2014 / 11:46 am

      You are most welcome! Really glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  5. 15th April 2014 / 3:36 am

    There is no Greek blood in my family but you have very accurately described the rage process of both my father and myself. Then again, my Mum spent some time in Greece as a kid just after the war perhaps it came from her via some kind of osmosis… Who knows. I spend a lot of time and effort shouting at inanimate objects I’ve stepped on, blundered into or barked myself on. I am the lone female red ape. This made me chuckle hugely.

    Cheers

    MTM

    • 15th April 2014 / 5:48 am

      Haha yes clearly the Greekness has rubbed off somewhere!

  6. 14th April 2014 / 8:27 pm

    My other half is Italian…enough said, bless him…so I can relate to this 😀

  7. 14th April 2014 / 5:04 pm

    I enjoyed this. I’ve known a few people like that……

    • 14th April 2014 / 5:25 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! Yes there are a fair few out there…

  8. Cressida
    19th January 2014 / 4:14 pm

    Hi, I d love to buy your book ! Please tell me how I can do this ! Not a member of Facebook but this could be my incentive to join ! I could really do with some help as I am finding things a bit bewildering at times. We were together for some time before moving in together , and the Hulk was carefully hidden until we actually shared a home full time ! Probably very wisely ! I might well have run a mile
    Thanks for the sympathy
    Cressida

    • 19th January 2014 / 4:17 pm

      Have no fear – I am surprised that the Hulk remained hidden for so long – usually they can’t restrain it. This leads me to believe that he can be tamed. I have sent you an email! 🙂

      • Cressida
        19th January 2014 / 4:23 pm

        Just ordered 2 copies of your book from Amazon. One for my English sister in law too. Can’t wait !

        • 19th January 2014 / 4:25 pm

          Fantastic! Really hope you like it 🙂

  9. Cressida
    19th January 2014 / 3:56 pm

    I am a fairly reserved English woman, my partner is Greek with a full on hulk gene. I have never seen anything like it in a person over the age of 3. I am amazed that the tantrum tendency is coupled with an enormous sense of his own dignity. He couldn’t possibly demean himself to help with any domestic task…….. Which leaves you feeling that women are regarded as second class citizens. I found this article both comforting and informative, I wish he came with a full instruction manual ! I think the Greek women in the family pander to them not expecting men to lift a dish ……. Unexpected culture clash as he came to Britain as a baby. Love him to bits. Frequently feel I could kill him ! Help ????
    Cressida

    • 19th January 2014 / 4:04 pm

      Hi Cressida, many many thanks for your comments! I really feel for you – you should join my group The Greek Wives Club on facebook – we try to help and support each other through the HULK times! You could also check out my book – there is a whole chapter on how to deal with a Greek man! (It involves always having food or a tranquilliser to hand! 😉 Deep breaths are always good too. I would love to talk more to you about this – unfortunately the Hulk gene will never subside, but as a strong woman I am sure you can overcome it with a little help from all the rest of us who have shared your experience! 🙂

  10. 9th January 2014 / 8:35 pm

    …my late husband used to complain when he was ill, if he had a cold he thought he was dying…”Nobody loves me in this house”, would be what he would chant like a priest at his Sunday sermon, and then when he did start to get ill, we thought he was crying “wolf” only for him to have a massive heart attack and die, so girls, just ignore them and let them get on with it, to a certain extent, as one day they might just not be there anymore, and I would give anything now to hear the whinging and the sighing and the chanting like a priest, round this household….. 🙁

    • 9th January 2014 / 8:58 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss Rhonda. Memories are so important whether they be funny or sad. All the very best to you and your family and thank you for reading and commenting.

  11. Jokka
    21st January 2013 / 4:51 pm

    I laughed so hard! Good stuff 🙂

  12. 21st January 2013 / 3:23 pm

    I DID laugh – LOTS…! I have a male friend who has just returned from his beloved Greece. He has the Hulk gene too…. ! LOL! Thanks Ekatrina – you just made my day!

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