Several visits to bars when I was 13 taught me a simple thing: it's rarely good to insult someone who's larger and more muscular than you are.
The Web, though, offers some theoretical protection from this maxim. The object of your bile doesn't know who you are.
There again, they could find out. Which is what British boxer Curtis Woodhouse decided to do after a particular annoying human being mocked him on Twitter.
Woodhouse, you see, had just lost a fight for the English light-welterweight title. As so often seems to happen in this sport, the decision was controversial.
So he didn't take too warmly to tweets from someone who calls himself "The Master" on Twitter and has the handle @jimmyob88.
The Master had tweeted such masterful niceties as suggesting that Woodhouse was "a complete disgrace."
There are many ways to react to such tweeted mauvais-mots. Some tweet back, hurt or angry. Some simply retweet these nonsenses to show up the half-wittery.
Woodhouse decided on a different course of action. He decided to pay the troll a visit and perhaps even explain that he didn't like the cut of his jib by offering him an uppercut to it.
First, though, he had to find out who he was and where he lived. So he offered 1,000 British pounds (around $1,500) to anyone who could help him locate the Master.
It didn't take long. Money can be such a motivator.
To start his trip, he tweeted: "Just on my way to Sheffield to have a little chat with a old friend, get the kettle on."
When he got to the street that hosts the Master's lair, he offered: "right Jimbob im here !!!!! someone tell me what number he lives at, or do I have to knock on every door #itsshowtime pic.twitter.com/H1qnYnbE6P."
The Master suddenly became remarkably reticent.
"I am sorry it's getting a bit out of hand i am in the wrong i accept that," he tweeted, with obvious sincerity.
This was after he'd tried to offer: "Chill out pal I was only doing it so you would bite back it was only a bit of harmless fun." Yes, he had merely been joking when he called Woodhouse "a complete disgrace."
What an odd sense of humor he appears to have.
Woodhouse, though, ultimately decided that discretion was the better part of thumping a big-mouthed coward into a week to be named later.
More Technically Incorrect
Not being able to rouse the Master, he tweeted: "@jimmyob88 never came out to play so im going back home! maybe a bit daft what i did today but sometimes enough is enough."
Still, the boxer and former soccer player didn't leave entirely quietly. He created the hashtag #jimmybrownpants and jested that he'd not realized he could have merely blocked the Master and saved himself gas money.
Troll is an odd word that seems to have taken on a multitude of nuances. In this case, though, it offers a description of someone who is happy to express the uglier side of his character until someone confronts him with himself.
Then, he hides.
I wonder what the Master will be tweeting in the coming weeks and about whom. If he'll be tweeting at all.
He has deleted every single tweet of his own, leaving merely a few retweets.
A clue to his psyche, though, may have emerged from one of those retweets: "I like to attend self-defense classes for women every Monday. Just so I know what I'm up against."