BALTIMORE—Stressing that such coping strategies helped with setbacks ranging from losses in the coal markets to a decline in family fortunes, a study released Wednesday by Johns Hopkins University found that the best way of dealing with life’s disappointments still remained casting a snifter of rare Scotch into a roaring fireplace. “Our research found that there’s simply no better method of overcoming frustrations such as missing out on a sweetheart land deal than hurling a Waterford crystal snifter of 28-year-old Scotch whiskey directly into the hearth as it casts a long, flickering shadow of you across the parlor walls,” said head researcher Peter Lancaster, adding that subjects reported a 48% decline in anxiety merely from staring intensely into the resulting burst of flames, the raging fire mirrored in their eyes like a reflection of their own simmering fury. “Furthermore, if a servant arrives to see what the clatter was about, we found a significant reduction in stress simply from swinging a ruby-crested cane at them while screaming ‘Get out, damn you! Get out!’ and slumping in exhaustion into a wingback chair in your now-empty mansion. Of course, it can also be helpful to throw the entire decanter into the blaze, in which case the flames would be large enough to flicker onto the sneering portrait of your robber baron uncle hanging above. But the important thing is just to get these feelings out, one way or another.” The study also noted that such techniques had proven far more effective at alleviating personal blows than sitting alone in one’s handsomely appointed study and setting fire to an optimistic letter from your childhood self urging you to never stray from the guidance of your moral compass.

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