It costs $25 for five minutes of smashing and prices rise to $500 for custom room set-ups, with the most expensive so far being a replica of the Oval Office with a Trump mannequin
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Ever since coming to power, Donald Trump has stoked America’s anger – but you won’t hear Donna Alexander complaining.
In fact, you probably won’t hear anything at all, given the noise emanating from her Dallas warehouse.
For, ever since Trump was elected President in November, the former restaurant marketing manager has seen a “yuge” surge in her business.
Donna, 31, is the owner of the Anger Room, where America’s despair, pent-up emotion, exasperation and rage towards Trump are all being tackled – with the help of a baseball bat.
She charges $25 for five minutes of smashing up TVs, sofas, desks, computers, potted plants, old videos, printers, pictures and any other item asked for.
Prices rise to about $500 for custom room set-ups, with the most expensive scene so far being a replica of the Oval Office, with a Trump mannequin sat at the desk.
“Forget Donald Trump’s pledge to make America great again,” says Donna, “he’s made America hate again – the bookings have gone through the roof.
“I know the President has spoken about wanting to make American businesses succeed, but he helped mine long before his inauguration.
“There is no fake news or anyone with a fake fuse here. The anger is very real. People leave here feeling a whole lot better, having whacked the hell out of something. It’s like therapy to them.”
Despite being based in a staunchly Republican state, anyone doubting the anger felt toward the President need only take a quick glance at the warehouse’s graffiti to see how some locals feel.
Messages such as “F*** Trump” and “Dump the Trump” are daubed on the “Wall of Shame” ,which provides the backdrop to the stress-relief sessions.
Customers can choose from a whole variety of tools to use, including lump hammers, two-by-fours, table legs, crowbars and even crutches. So as Trump’s favourite Rolling Stones song You Can’t Always Get What You Want blasts out, the Mirror chose a trusted Louisville Slugger baseball bat.
It was easy to see how the exhilaration of smashing an old TV to smithereens or bashing a table to pieces has helped calm down angry Americans. It is, as I’m sure many rock stars will testify, surprisingly satisfying to smash up a room.
Donna came up with the idea as a teenager growing up on the tough South Side of Chicago in the late 1990s.
She says she was dismayed as she watched prisons become overcrowded with men jailed simply for punching a wall or smashing up furniture and wanted to provide a place they could let off steam.
In 2008, living in Dallas, she began to explore her idea further. “I began to fill my garage with old items and would ask friends to come along and smash it up,” she explains. “Word quickly spread and before long, strangers were knocking on my door asking if this was the place to pulverise stuff.
As it grew, she began charging $5 a session, as locals began donating items for weekend wrecking sprees. In December, 2011, she made the decision to quit her job at the steakhouse to officially start the Anger Room in a 1,000sq ft space in downtown Dallas.
The Anger Room accepts donations of items for its themes from residents and businesses in the local area. Its four employees also go out on rubbish pick-up days looking for crushable items.
Mental health professionals have questioned the benefits of legalised rampaging. Psychologist Dr Jennifer Hartstein said: “The problem is, for some people, this can actually increase their aggression, increase their sense of anger.
“It doesn’t actually solve the problem.”
But Donna responds: “You can’t tell me that you have never been angry before,” she says. If you haven’t ever felt like that, maybe you are the crazy one.”