Ind imellem dukker der i nyhedsgrupperne en troll op. Det er – meget kort fortalt – en person der udelukkende poster indlæg for at provokere. Det bedste middel mod den slags, så jeg første gang i Image Scandinavias (nu Tiscali) interne nyhedsgrupper, postet af Martin Østerberg, som altid er god for en sproglig finurlighed.
Lidt efterforskning har vist at det – vist nok – er en Weasel, der er ophavsmanden til forklaringen. Første gang den optræder på usenet er i hvert fald i alt.philosophy.
“Private Jenkins!” yelled the Captain. “Get over here
immediately, there’s something you need to see!”
“Right away, sir!” Jenkins shouted back, crossing the open area
in the center of their camp at a double march.
“You see these tracks, Jenkins?” the Captain asked, neither
requesting nor expecting a reply. He continued, “And that smell?
Private Jenkins! Are you paying attention to me!?”
“Sir, I am positively brimming with attention, I assure you.”
“Don’t be a smart-ass, Jenkins”
“I blame my parents, sir.”
“Don’t we all, Jenkins. Don’t we all.” the Captain sighed. “Tell
me, Jenkins, in light of my on-going efforts to provide you with what
we in the army like to call An Edjukayshun, what creature leaves
tracks like these, accompanied by such a horrific stench?”
“A troll, sir?” Jenkins replied cautiously.
“Bang on, Private Jenkins. Nicely done. A troll. You must be on
your guard at all times. They are Very Very Nasty.” the Captain
“But what shall I do if this creature attacks me? Shall I feign
death? Shall I hurl pomegranates, in the manner so effectively
demonstrated by you last week when we were assaulted by nuns in the
market?” asked Jenkins, noticably agitated.
“No no,” the Captain replied, “pomegranates will just make
things worse, and feigning death is a bit extreme under the
circumstances. Mark my words, boy, if you are ever confronted by a
troll, there is only one thing you can do…”
“Tell me, tell me!” pleaded Jenkins, interrupting.
“You must ignore him. The troll feeds on attention, Jenkins.
Ignore him and he will die. It will not be pleasant. You will be
tempted to watch the squirming, the cries of agony will reach deep
down into your underpants and grab you by the … well, you get the
idea, Jenkins. Trust me: ignore the troll, be strong, and perhaps you
will live to hurl pomegranates at nuns another day.”
“Thank you, sir. It is truly an honour to serve with you.”
“You’re right about that, Private. Dismissed”