Normally I just complain about things and I will get back to it–I have a list on my phone of things that bother me on a daily basis. So instead of my usual rants, I have a story. This is my greatest story of being a troll on the Internet.
It was around 2002-2003 and I was a member of a music forum online. We would discuss playing, recording, and writing music. Obviously, everyone flocked to the “General Discussion” area of the forum to discuss a plethora of topics. There was a kid that always fought with everybody and made sure to disagree with everyone–about everything. He was a staunch republican and a conservative Christian, even though he didn’t really act the part most of the time. This fueled everyone’s hatred toward him. For the life of me, I cannot remember how I got it, but I managed to get my hand’s on this kid’s password. Luckily he was one of those people that used the same password for all of the websites that he frequented–including AIM.
It was late one night and we had been arguing on the forum yet again. It was probably about gun control, religion, or something like abortion. Who knows? The important part is that everyone was fighting and everyone was angry. I saw that he signed off of AIM and I knew it was my chance to be the best troll I could be. I didn’t have a plan, but I signed in anyways. I was going to improvise.
After I signed in, a friend messaged me with something like “I thought you were going to bed.” This was my chance. I decided this was my only chance so I rolled with it. I wish I had the chat log but it went something like this:
Me: Yeah, I was going to, but I don’t know…
Him: Oh ok. Is there something wrong?
Me: I don’t know anymore. Things are just… confusing.
Him: How so?
I decided I was going to “come out” to his friend. I kept talking to him and kept alluding to something being wrong and being confused and I was going to keep it up until he just asked me what exactly was wrong. He bit the bait and asked. I told him that I felt like he was a good friend and told him that I didn’t want him to think differently about me. He assured me that he wouldn’t. Then I told him. I said that I had known for a while that I was attracted to men, and I confirmed it with a church friend. I had “come out to myself” within the last couple of years and it was tearing me apart.
After a while, he assured me that he was okay with my lifestyle and that he, too, had feelings like that. I told him that that comforted me, but I didn’t want to discuss his feelings, as I was not even comfortable with my own. He told me that he understands and assured me it would all work out. I kept telling him that I didn’t think it would work out. I was majorly depressed. This made him even more drawn into my story.
I told him I had to get off of the computer and he asked if he could call me. He told me he wanted to make sure I was safe. I thought this would be the perfect way to end the conversation so I agreed. I came up with a plan. I didn’t want the phone to ring and wake everyone up (it was about 3 AM) so I told him that I would turn all of the phones on silent (this is the days before cell phones) and he would call me. The plan was once I signed off, he was to wait 1 minute then call me. I told him to just let the phone ring and ring and I would answer my phone a short time after that. This would ensure that my family did not wake up and that we could talk.
I wish I could have been there for the result but the post on the forum the following morning was great. “To whoever hacked into my AIM account,” was the title. He followed up with “I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to come out to a friend of mine on AIM, then get him to call my house and wake up my ENTIRE family from a good night’s sleep! What is wrong with you people?” The plan went perfectly. I eventually came out as the guy that did it all a few years later and all was well.
Over all it was the single greatest trolling moment of my life. I do feel bad that his friend started to come out of the closet to me, but to this day the guy (who I still talk to from time to time) has never mentioned his friend coming out to him so I’m pretty sure his secret was safe with me. I am not one of the best pranksters out there but this is most definitely one of the greater pranks that I’ve ever pulled.
Edit: After many years, of not being a complete Internet nerd, I have to ask myself what was wrong with me? Regardless of the fact, this was a pretty solid prank even though I clearly had issues at the time.