I realized the other day that Shakespeare gave me one of the techniques I have for coping with Gary. From now on, I shall call it the "Petruchio Technique."
It is modeled after "The Taming of the Shrew," and specifically the scene toward the end of Act IV when Kate breaks to Pertruchio's mad will. She's still got a spark of shrewery left, but Petruchio starts in ranting about how bright the moon is. Except of course it's daylight. The final straw is when he just keeps jerking her around until she gives up.
Gary can get shrewish. Something sets him off on these wild ranting tears. He'll start bellowing and waving his arms, but unless something snaps him out of it it can escalate from there until his foul mood turns on me. And that will not stand. When he starts to get out of control I want him to either:
1) Shut up, or
2) Shut up and go away
It is then when I apply the Petruchio technique.
For example: the stem cell initiative TV ads during the World Series have been setting him off. He screams at the TV like a crazy man whose wife has MS. Then there'll be a bad call at the plate. More raving. Then I don't invite the dog up on the couch. The foul mood is directed at me. I deflect it, so:
"What is up with those skinny beards the ball players are wearing?" I ask.
"I HATE THOSE BEARDS. I WANT TO SLAP THAT SOUL PATCH OFF SPEZIO'S FACE." (Spezio had just grounded out.)
"I don't think thats a soul patch. A soul patch is just under the lip."
"WHATEVER IT IS, I HATE IT. IT'S STUPID."
"Oh! I remember. That type of beard is called a Brazilian."
"NO, IT ISN'T."
"Yeah, a Brazilian Runway. That's what it's called. I've heard of it."
(Blessed horrified silence.)
Gary then either has to explain to me why I'm wrong, or be quiet. He elected to be quiet.
I really can't wait for the next time Gary even TRIES to yell at me in public:
"ELLEN! WE'RE LEAVING! PUT ON YOUR COAT!"
"Take off my clothes?"
"NO! PUT ON YOUR COAT!"
"Dude, it's cold." (Unzipping jeans.)
"AUUUGHHH!" (Gary runs away screaming.)