(*Illustrations by my awesome colleague Josh Heard, who was inspired by this tale of terror.)
I had the misfortune to run into an unsavory character on the train yesterday. Not that this in itself is anything remarkable, it happens at least once a day. What makes this story remarkable is not that he was unsavory, but that he was A TROLL.
On this day, I was sitting on a bench seat made for 2 people. The unfortunate thing about the bench seat is there is no designation of division of seat. Anyone with common sense (and a reasonably normal sized ass) can figure it out. But on this day, a gigantic ape of a man strolled up to where I was sitting, shoved himself (much like a giant warthog trying to fit through a port-hole) in between myself and the seat in front of me. He then proceeded to whip me in the face with his jacket while removing it, flailing around like an over-sized pigeon, and literally shoved me down the bench with his enormous thighs. As if this wasn’t enough, he stood up, sat down, then shoved me again with his ass while gyrating side to side, then had the gall to ask me to move over.
Clarification here: I’m 5’4″, and weigh about 110 pounds. I do not take up a lot of room on any seat. I also do not like strangers rubbing up against me— especially if they have bloodlines more related to trolls than humans. So I told him as much.
He then responded (grunted), “I asked you to move” (this, apparently, being his justification for physical assault by ham-like thighs and over-sized ass). It was here I realized he must in fact, be an actual troll. Recognizing he must be limited in his understanding of the English language, I carefully explained to him that shoving someone, then grunting at them to move, is not polite, and is not actually a request. I also shared my thoughts about his bloodlines.
I’d like to convey his response, but I don’t speak troll, but the reader can find comfort in my defending myself and everyone else on the train by TASERING HIM THROUGH MY PURSE. Let me explain.
I have a knife and a taser in my bag at all times. This is for many reasons. The knife is for cutting and buttering bread. The taser is for bears, trolls, over-enthusiastic dates, and for threatening beaver when he misbehaves.
”What is a taser?” some of you might ask. A taser is handheld device that sends out an electrical jolt that disrupts the natural electrical communication within the body, but does no permanent harm (unless done for an extended period of time). For exceptional jackasses, an extended period of time is always an improvement. They are already so far gone it almost has a reverse effect and they become halfway decent.
If zapped with a taser for a split second, the bear, troll, or date, will feel a painful (but quick) shock. If tasered for 1 or 2 seconds, he will be dazed and lose some muscle control. If tasered for more than 3 seconds, he will become dazed and confused, unbalanced, and will lose almost all muscle control. Since a taser is high-voltage, it will travel through clothing. But it is also low-amperage, so it isn’t like grabbing hold of a giant electrical fence with both hands (like in Jurassic Park).
The beauty of the taser is this: since most people (save police or millitary) don’t really know what a taser is, or what it does exactly, one can safely taser an unsavory character every now and again with limited consequences. I prefer to use the taser, especially in close quarters like a train, for about 3 seconds. This gives me just enough time to give them a friendly reminder what a jackass they are, and if that message doesn’t sink in, I’ve already stolen their wallet and am about 5 cars down getting off at the next stop. In this particular instance, I gave the troll enough of a jolt that he didn’t know what was going on, and in all likelihood would not notice where his wallet went until he had his car keys in hand and luggage in the trunk.
On my way to the next car after this quite successful operation, I casually mentioned to the friendly conductor, a rotund, boisterous lady, that the gentleman down the stairs had physically shoved me out of the seat and told me to find another. This always strikes a cord with them; they have to deal with these sorts all day long. I pointed him out, dazed and drooling in his seat, and I let her take it from there.
And that is the story of how I found one of the last trolls, and how I bested him with my cunning. Trolls are very stupid, you see.