Rage Clicks and Vampires

Rage clicks. There’s a new one for me. I came across this term while researching analytics tools for my website. I guess I’m late to the show since a game about it was released a few years ago. That just tells you my day job keeps me busy. I find it all intriguing because rage is fascinating. A little disclaimer: Sometimes, other people’s rage is a source of amusement. Is that a terrible thing to say? Is it a terrible way to be?


Maybe not.

Lets get into the basics. Rage boils down to a response to certain stressors.

Of course, I experience rage myself…especially behind the wheel. One of the first things I told my wife when we were dating was that I should probably have my driver’s license taken away. Thankfully, she didn’t experience a Byron-drives-like-a-lunatic episode until after we married. Someone in a compact Honda cut us off on a three-lane stretch of highway, and I lost my mind. The driver of that car displayed some serious skill zipping in and out of traffic during the chase. Of course, I broke all sorts of laws, swerving through lanes, speeding on the shoulders to jump ahead of traffic. We hit 90 mph at one point. My mind boiled with chaotic images of dragging the driver out of the car and throwing them into a ditch. I just had to catch them. I didn’t, and thank God for that. The smaller car not only proved a bit faster than my hulking pickup, but I calmed down when I saw my wife’s what-the-hell-have-I-gotten-into look. “What if they had a gun?” she asked. Good point.

Speaking of guns…firearms and rage make for a dangerous cocktail. I have a friend, we’ll call him Dave, who used to mix the two during our misspent youth. I remember hanging out with Dave one day in Shreveport, Louisiana. We were riding in his new Chrysler Laser, and that was the first time I had ever seen a digital speedometer. Anyhow, Dave was trying to get onto the interstate but had problems with a car whose driver would not move over to the left lane to allow us onto the highway safely. I don’t remember if Dave was unable to slow down because of a car behind us, but I do remember the entrance ramp was short.

So was Dave’s temper.

He rolled his window down and shouted, “Merge!”

The other car held its course.

Dave screamed a few choice expletives.


Before I knew it, Dave had popped open the center console, and a pistol seemed to leap into his hand. He drove like he was ready to die…or kill, one hand gripping the steering wheel and the other holding a Ruger upright. I would say that he looked like the Terminator, but since he was blonde, and glam-rock big hair was the style, his appearance was more like David Lee Roth imitating the Terminator. I’m sorry, an angry David Lee Roth imitating the Terminator.

The other car sped away. Dave didn’t chase them. He returned the gun to the console and asked if I wanted to try a Chinese restaurant he really liked.

Crazy times.

Looking back, I see that I was just acting like an animal. So was Dave. An argument can be made that the younger we are, the closer we are to our base instincts. I still lose my temper, but it doesn’t happen often. I think age gives us a great toolbox for coping with stress. So when I see faces twisted in rage at some event, be it a political rally, protest, or counter-protest, I always have the same thought. Animals.

Aren’t we all?


Maybe not.

Let’s take a look at rage clicks. Microsoft’s Clarity Blog defines rage clicks as repeated clicks/taps in a specific area of a webpage in a short amount of time that does not result in any change on the page. We’ve all done that. We’ve all clicked or tapped refresh if a page takes longer than a few seconds to start loading. I don’t think that puts us in the animal zone. I don’t think we’re even angry when we do that. I think what we have here is clever terminology. I like it. Just like the concept of a day of rage. I have to go to work, and I don’t like it. I need a day of rage. Harpsichords are marginalized in the arts. I demand a day of rage, dammit!

What does any of this have to do with vampires? I use several vampire tropes in the Long Is The Night series. They have fangs, drink blood, and they can’t endure sunlight. There’s more, but you get the idea. There’s a lot of tradition baked into them, but I decided to add a few afflictions to make them more interesting. One of these is that they are subject to extreme mood swings. They have a hard time controlling their impulses, and their short tempers get them into a lot of trouble. Animals.

Some vampires have discovered how to manage their rage. Simon Howe, my favorite vampire to write, is an expert. To find out how he copes, sign up for The Fang and Bullet Feed, and get your free copy of The Dead Still Sin.

Don’t get mad if the connection times out.

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