Rage room in Humble helps guests find relaxation in smashing
In Theresa Padon’s household, “tsunami,” the Japanese word for tidal wave, is a catch-all term for scenes of chaos.
So the owner of Humble Market found it fitting to name her latest attraction after the natural disaster. Tsunami is a rage room that asks every visitor to enter with safety equipment and an acknowledgement of rules — and smash everything within reach into pieces.
“I just had a friend come into the rage room earlier and he said, ‘Oh my God, you are not going to break this stuff. I feel like I need to save it!’” I was like, ‘If you save it, you’ve got to go.’” Padon said with a chuckle. “There are a bunch of Christmas, Easter, Halloween and birthday stuff here — things that we get aggravated with, that make us anxious.”
Tsunami is at the back of the market and currently has two rooms, each has a table on one end and a metal shelf on the other. Both are populated with items to smash. The main objective here is to use the items on the table to throw at those on the shelf.
Only two rooms and two variations, Simple and Kids, are available for now. The latter features softer items such as stuffed animals or plastic dishes for children between 3-12 years old. Two more units and three other versions, one among them will provide weapons, are scheduled for April.
Padon emphasized that this is a by-appointment only activity, and that if an attendee is going with a friend, or friends, they must let her know. Prior to letting the rage out everyone will be given hard hats, gloves, goggles and a waiver to sign. Attendees must be wearing close-toed shoes, long pants and long-sleeve shirts,
“You can have both rooms to yourself — you can throw things separately or together,” she said.
Tsunami won’t just serve as entertainment, Padon said. Having observed how the older generation of people that care more about collecting items are going away, she said rather than seeing antiquities going straight to landfills they could instead receive second life.
A couple of ways to use crushed glass, for example, are paving driveways or decorating items.
In a way, Tsunami is Padon acting on her therapist’s advice of freeing oneself from negative emotions. There is debate among mental-health professionals regarding its effectiveness, however.
“First, research shows that venting anger doesn’t work,” said Julia Babcock, an associate professor at University of Houston’s Department of Psychology, in an email. “In fact, it makes people feel angrier. Back in the 1970’s, primal scream therapy was all the rage (no pun intended). People would scream at the top of their lungs to vent their anger but they didn’t feel better. They felt angrier.”
Despite that, there is demand for rage rooms. Prior to its official opening date on Feb. 15, Padon said Tsunami was booked 15 times.
“That iron board fell off of the wall,” she said, recalling one of the sessions that had two attendees, “and it landed on the ground, everything broke everywhere, and they just started giggling and laughing. They thought it was the funniest thing ever. They had a great time tearing stuff up.”
As for the ensuing mess, Padon said attendees needn’t worry as she will be the one cleaning it.
The rooms are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and availability can be checked on Humble Market’s Entertainment age.