Getting mad, Perry Mason style

A discussion of tactics between the lawyer Perry Mason and the private detective Paul Drake that occurs on page 128 of The Case of the Amorous Aunt by Erle Stanley Gardner:

“ ‘Tomorrow I’m going to be dignified, injured, and perhaps just a little dazed by the rapidity of developments.’

“ ‘Are you going to be an injured martyr or are you going to get mad?’ Drake asked.

“ ‘It depends on which way will do my client the most good,’ Mason told him.

“ ‘My best hunch is that you should get mad,’ Drake said.

“ ‘We’ll think it over,’ Mason said.

“ ‘Won’t you get mad anyway?’ Drake said.

“ ‘A good lawyer can always get mad if somebody pays him for it, but after you’ve been paid a few times for getting good and mad, you hate like the deuce to get mad on your own when nobody’s paying you for it.’

“Drake grinned. ‘You lawyers,’ he said.”

Well. I feel a little odd agreeing with a fictional lawyer, but it occurs to me that that religious professionals are wasting their time if they get mad while at church, unless they’re getting paid to get mad. I guess what I mean to say is this: while getting mad is a natural reaction to many things that happen in church life, you rarely get anything out of getting mad, except getting mad.

Not that I think we should draw life lessons from a pulp fiction hero.