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.