Troll Hunting…

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about keyboard warriors  - the kind of person who is quite happy start an argument or fling an insult at you for something you write or post on Social Media. They also tend to use language and attitudes that they would never dare use if they were in the same room as the person they are attacking. It’s called Trolling.

Having worked in Media in one form or another for over three
decades, I’m used to getting a bit of flack. ‘If you can’t take it, don’t dish
it out’ tends to be my mantra. I was once called a ‘Bald B****stard’ on Central
Night Live TV (which made Davina McCall laugh) and have been accused of being a
dictator on my own radio shows. (I like to think I’m a benign one, by the way).
It comes with the territory.

What I won’t stand for, however, are attacks on family. In
my last column, I wrote about my beautiful and talented Goddaughter, Ziggy, who
had performed her first gig in Spain. Ziggy’s mum, Tiffany, was my best friend and
tragically died of cancer was she was only 29. Ziggy was two-and-a-half. The
family moved to Australia and I lost touch, until Ziggy found me on Facebook
and we met In London six years ago.

As her mum’s best friend, I’ve been able to tell Ziggy about
her and, because Tiffany spent a lot of time in Spain, I can take her to places
that her mum and I used to hang out in. I don’t have children, so my
Goddaughters – I have three – are the closest thing I get to that, and my
relationship with Ziggy is an integral part of my life.

The piece was all about being a proud Padrino, plus describing the outfits she wore for her Burlesque show. Ziggy is 22, by the way. I sent it to her before it went to Press, she loved it, and I posted it on Social Media.

And that’s when the Troll struck. A certain, Ceri Jones
Harrison, who I have never met, wrote in the comments “Your
goddaughter??? Should you really make comments such as applying nipple tassels
just for you or that you didn’t look like a normal ex pat couple .....don’t
like the underlying tones in your report . You really need to reread before
posting as it appears you are either in a relationship with her or fantasize
about . Both are quite perverted”

In case you didn’t know, I’m a Celt. My
Dad is Welsh and Mum was born in Glasgow. And I have to admit, at that moment,
I went off the scale, as a supercharged combination of the Pontypool  front row and The Black Watch coursed through
veins. I fought back the urge to go full Liam Neeson ‘I don’t know who you are
but I will find you etc.’ and replied

‘Thank you for your reply. I can assure
you that I am not in a relationship or fantasize about Ziggy. In fact, I will
be acting as celebrant at her wedding this year. I suggest it is you who is
quite perverted.’

‘Quite a sizzling backhand down the
line’ I thought to myself, somewhat smugly.

‘Professional arsehole ..... you need
to re read your article’, came the Trollish reply.

‘Professional arsehole’. Well that’s
certainly a new one and, let’s be honest - only one of us in this conversation
was getting paid.

‘Duck it’ I thought (not my actual
words) as I hit the share button and unleashed my followers on her. The
reaction sent her scurrying back under her cyber stone. I grabbed the phone and
called my long suffering Swedish/Cuban friend, who is also mother to another of
my Goddaughters. She’s used to my strange requests and, having Scandinavian
heritage, is well versed in all sorts of Nordic customs.

“Sorry to bother you, Bambini… Do you
have any Swedish Traditional Troll hunting equipment over there?”

“I’ll call my mother. She’s bound to
have something in the Finca” she replied, completely unfazed. As I said, she’s
known me a long time.

Well, now that ‘Game of Thrones’ is
over, I have to do something with my spare time, and Troll Hunter’ does have a
certain ring to it…

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