True confessions: only recently did I figure out what <3 meant. That symbol has confounded me since the day I first saw it who knows when. Love? I always thought it looked like testicles and assumed it was an insult. Not recognizing ASCII art is shameful (almost as much as calling my iPod a Walkman every so often). I’m quite certain I have more people who see (or at least rapidly skim past) what I say on Twitter than here, so this is safe. I couldn't admit it there. You won’t tell anyone, right?
Ok, I feel better now that I stumbled upon someone who didn’t know what a troll was. Thank you.
The word troll is funny to me because it’s a shared nickname I have with a friend (weirdly, I have a different shared nickname with another friend I’m barely in touch with anymore: Seaver. We both called each other, and a third friend, Seaver). I’m Troll, he’s Troll.
I was about to say that these nicknames pre-date internet trolling, but that’s not exactly true. At work, we, rather a number of coworkers would totally post horrible messages regarding children’s photos on strangers’ guestbooks. Putting your kids’ photos on the internet seemed so absurd at the time that the parents needed to be harassed. If I only could’ve foreseen Facebook where all grownups’ avatars are actually their offspring. Children truly were the future.
The Troll nickname started because we were both non-needy, loner types and felt weird about asking normal things like “Where are you going for lunch? Can I come?” without feeling like an ugly unlovable creature who lives under a bridge. Showing interest, admitting you wanted to hang out with someone and tagging along was trolly behavior in our eyes. Trolls are solitary but they get lonely too.
When I moved to NYC in ’98, we had to abort our plan to eat lunch at every restaurant in the food court at Pioneer Place Mall, the compact, upscale shopping center downtown that doesn't really seem upscale now. We only made it as far as Cajun Grill. Regrets, I have a few. Now they have a Yucatan Grill, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Gyros N’ Grill. So many grills!
I happen to own the world's scariest book about trolls. Read a story here and tell me I'm wrong. Or just look at that cover, jeez (I left the camera phone pic–too lazy to scan on a Friday night–really large so you can click on it and scare yourself).