Doing The Trolling
Posted on 04/25/23 at 8:02pm by Ivan Stanislav
Special thanks to Holz for this!
The Dollar Tree. It’s the place one were to go to if they needed a cheap and quick replacement on a kitchen utensil, or some snacks on the go, or a greeting card without paying the Hallmark Store prices. It was at a location somewhere in Chester County, PA, where The Anglo Luchador and his son, Vinny, were stalking the card aisle.
“I don’t even understand, dad,” said the seventh grader. “You don’t even like those crumbs.”
“First off, son, if you keep calling people crumbs, I am not going to let you watch ReVival anymore. The last thing I need is Cancer Jiles rubbing off on anyone living under my roof.”
Vinny rolled his eyes.
“Second,” dad continued, “Something you need to realize in life is that the only thing a man has at the end of the day is his word. If he doesn’t have his word, then he doesn’t have anything, really.”
“Okay then, why are we in the church aisle then? I thought they was Russian Orthodox or whatever.”
“I’m pretty sure Ivan’s an atheist, but I just need to find the perfect card for him.”
Tom turned his head and held it at rapt attention as if he were a dog who just spotted a piece of steak hitting the floor.
“A-HA!” he shouted as he ran over and picked up the card. It read, “So Your Dog Died” with a caricature of two sullen children overlooking a casket with an outline of a bone on the outside lid.
“Uh, dad, I thought they wanted cards because you were angry with them on that Jabber thing.”
“Oh, they totally are expecting some kind of conciliatory greeting, but the thing about your word is you can be as specific as you want in keeping it, kid. I told them I’d send them a card. I didn’t tell them what kind of card I’d be sending them.”
Father and son both snickered as the older Battaglia saw yet another card he thought would be perfect to send over. It was a picture of a vampiric flying rodent wearing a yarmulke that read “Have a Batty Bar Mitzvah!” on the front.
“Is it my turn, Ivan Sergeiovich?” Alexei Ruslan asked excitedly.
“Yes, Alexei, I am done. You write something now!” Ivan Stanislav chuckled to himself.
The two Russians were in Stanislav’s Kaliningrad office, with Ivan in his oversized chair and Ruslan seated across from him. This was a surreal moment for any fly on the wall. They were both on their phones. Stanislav’s phone was called “шлакоблок” or “cinder block” for its enormous, boxy size and reinforced steel frame. Ruslan’s was your more mundane phone that a human being of normal dimensions would use. Together, they were in a “meeting’ which in reality was the two of them trolling PRIME roster members on Jabber. Or as Ivan would call it, “doing the trolling.”
Young Arina, one of Stanislav’s gatekeepers to his office, opened his office door while the two were chuckling and Alexei was typing on the phone. With a start, Ruslan nearly dropped his lifeline to the West and Stanislav slammed the “cinder block” down.
“You are supposed to knock when we are in meeting!” He bellowed.
“This was information of state security!” Alexei echoed.
Arina’s eyes went wide as the two men stared at her but by now, she knew they were “doing the trolling” to their many nemeses. She blushed. “I am sorry, Praporshchik Stanislav and Agent Ruslan.”
Stanislav rolled his eyes. “It is quite all right. What is it, Arina Timofeyevna?”
Arina held in her hands two cards, with quite a bit of postage on them, and offered one to Ivan and one to Alexei. “Two cards were delivered today. They are addressed, well, to each of you.”
The ever paranoid Alexei snatched the letter and stared down at it. Stanislav did the same, albeit by first putting on his glasses. “To us?” Ruslan asked.
Arina nodded. Alexei looked at Ivan. “This is strange.”
“No return address.” Stanislav added.
Alexei flung the card to the desk and nearly fell out of his chair. “Drop it!”
Stanislav did the same with a loud “What?!”
“They could be bombs!”
Arina was already running out the door.
Zhivenkov Vitalievich, lead officer for the Kaliningrad Bomb Squad, stood in Ivan Stanislav’s office. The two Russians stood side by side and faced him. Ruslan’s hat was under his arm as he dabbed his brow with a red handkerchief with golden hammers and sickles. Stanislav had his hands on his hips and his expression was grim. It was, as always, raining in Kaliningrad and the droplets on Ivan’s window reflected the blue and red lights from what were certainly several emergency vehicles outside.
“You are sure these have no explosives on them?” Ruslan asked excitedly. He eyed the two suspicious letters as they rested on Ivan’s desk. They could have been staring back.
“Yes, Agent Ruslan. They are clean.” Vitalievich said for what must have been the tenth time.
“And there are no drugs? No biological or chemical agents?” Stanislav growled.
Ruslan asked. “No listening devices?”
“No tracking material?” Stanislav continued.
Unlike the two Russians, Vitalievich was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church, and indeed he could feel his soul leaving his body. “None, my friends. Now I must go.”
Ivan and Alexei watched him leave and the two moved back to the desk and stared at the letters. As they lowered into their respective chairs, with a leap of faith and a wordless word to Lenin and Stalin, they opened their respective correspondence.
Ivan was the first to say, curiously. “I do not have a dog.”
Ruslan voice was also laced with bewilderment. “I am not Jewish. Or a vampire.”
Inside was a simple phrase, the same in each: “Promises kept! K солидарности!”
It took a moment, until finally it dawned on both of them, but Stanislav was the one who spoke first with a throaty, annoyed growl. “That Luchador.” He lifted his hand and squeezed it into a tight fist. “He did the trolling to me!?” As Ivan slammed his fist onto his desk, he unwittingly pulverized yet another “cinder block.”
@russianbear again promptly disconnected from Jabber.