Well, it’s the beginning of July. Americans everywhere are proudly showing their patriotism by grilling various forms of flesh and igniting Chinese imports in fabulous displays of American protectionism. More importantly, it means we are more than halfway through the worst time of the year, the time between the end of spring football and the beginning of fall camp, another summer of discontent. As there is hopefully a hard ceiling on the number of times one can scour message boards for reports on which walk-on guard was truly pushing the limits of the human body during that eighth set of Bulgarian Lay-me-downs, I thought I would divulge some of my tried-and-true methods for partially filling the void that is left in all of our lives by football’s extended vacation.
- Become a pseudo-expert on the relationship issues of anonymous posters on certain large UT football message boards and offer terrible advice to people in their time of need.
During football season and the height of recruiting wars, I tend to pass over any thread titled “Girlfriend Help Needed” or “The One I Love Walked Out the Door Today.” However, if it’s July, these titles might as well be air raid sirens announcing free beer and cookies. At times, these threads can be thoroughly depressing, walking you through the gory details of the dissolution of a marriage, custody battles, etc. Avoid those at all costs. Focus instead on the guy from East Texas whose mail-order bride doesn’t look like her pictures or the 19 year-old who doesn’t understand why the “dancer” he met at the Men’s Club won’t stay faithful. These threads can be goldmines and offer a treasure trove of trolling experience with which one can carefully hone his trolling skills for the upcoming season. Avoid the easy, crude responses and focus more on offering terrible advice disguised with a sympathetic tone. Suggesting that the jilted mail-ordering husband seek marriage counseling or that the young pup should perhaps surprise his dexterous beauty with some ice during his next trip to the club may not make me a good person, but we’re teaching life lessons here.
- Form a deep personal relationship with your local Comcast agent.
This one may be a little tired for some of you, but the Longhorn Network is currently a source of derision for anyone with an ax to grind against the empire Mack and Co. built. As a passionate and bored Longhorn fan, it’s your duty to remind your local cable provider that despite the fact they have no control whatsoever over the on-going negotiations, you are FURIOUS that they are preventing you from watching Manny Diaz poke recruits on Facebook. This task becomes quite a bit less tedious when you have a friendly customer representative, such as “Shelly.” From what I have gathered, “Shelly” is a 25 year-old college grad from Southern India living and working in Mumbai. She and her boyfriend, Praveen, are thinking about marriage but are waiting for him to finish his masters in engineering first. More importantly, Shelly understands that I am deeply troubled about Comcast’s current stance on the LHN. She really doesn’t want to deprive me of the “one thing that makes this miserable life worth living” and is doing her best to make sure the top brass knows just how upset I am. We talk once a week. The highlight of these conversations tends to be when I ask for Shelly by name whenever another representative answers at the call center. I would describe the typical response as charmingly befuddled, similar to Hugh Grant. No one asks for call center employees by name except for very lonely people, which is what I am without the LHN.
- Build some “respected poster” capital for your screen names on TexAgs.
TexAgs is the gift that keeps on giving. Anyone who disagrees with this statement is lying to himself (or maybe he’s a well-adjusted adult with a fulfilling career and family life but let’s not split hairs). If you want to maximize your TexAgs user experience, you can’t just roll in after Mississippi State hangs half a hundred on the Wreckin’ Crew, crank out your first ten posts and expect people to buy that you’re an honest-to-god Fightin’ Texas Aggie. No, the true troll spends July establishing a little board cred. For instance, OlArmy76 spend the entirety of the summer of 2009 complaining about the lack of rain in Karnes County, detailing the trouble he was having with gophers on his lawn, and posting pictures and videos of people shooting wild pigs from helicopters. OlArmy76 was a good socially-conservative Republican who was excited about Perry’s prospects for a potential White House run and didn’t understand the players’ obsession with “that hip-hop culture.” OlArmy76 was a good guy who offered advice on the best methods for smoking a brisket, who congratulated his internet friends on the births of future Ags, who was quickly accepted as one of their own. OlArmy76 was also the most successful trolling exercise of my life. He never started his own threads, nor drew too much attention to himself, but he was always quick to question whether Sherman was really the man to lead A&M back to its “rightful place” on top of the college football hierarchy whenever the topic was broached. Was firing R.C. the right decision? Was firing Fran? Did Mark Farris have communist sympathies? Who would be the next Cody Carlson and would he have more hair this time around? These questions bother OlArmy76 to this day wherever he is in internet purgatory.
- Look with envy at the pictures posted on Facebook by your friends who live in Austin.
It’s not their fault you were an idiot and chose to not live in a place where you can spend every weekend drinking beer on a boat surrounded by attractive women. No, on second thought, it is. Screw those guys!
You may find these tips extremely helpful in your efforts to fill the summer void or you may just see this entire piece as the ramblings of a miserable person as you head out for another afternoon on the lake. Either way, it’s less than 9 weeks until our ballyhooed clash with Wyoming. Hopefully, Shelly will have the LHN available by then.