I made it my mission to track down Poonmaster and teach him a lesson. Surprisingly it wasn't that hard to do. His clan was attending the XLAN 5 LAN party in Chicago. It would be easy enough to find him while I was there and punch his zit-pocked face.
I planned my attack out, including exactly what I would say before exacting my sweet, sweet revenge. I tried some badass lines from movies, and eventually decided on, "That's what you get when you fuck a stranger in the ass" which made a lot more sense than my second choice: "You know the handcuffs? I picked them."
XLAN wasn't what I'd call big, but there was still difficulty finding my quarry, mostly due to the fact that I was more than a little embarrassed to ask people, "Hey, you know, just wondering, do you know a guy named Poonmaster?"
Eventually I found a group of kids playing Counterstrike who knew who I was looking for. They pointed me in the direction of a group of teenagers who were trading Magic: the Gathering cards. I was close to taking my revenge on the little turd but I began to feel nervous. I walked closer to the group and listened.
"Cockatrice is a super rare card," said one of the taller boys.
"Yeah, but I've given you two Demonic Hoards and a Wrath of God already," said another boy.
They looked up at me as I approached their table. "Are one of you Poonmaster?" I asked hesitantly. The fat kid in the Iron Maiden t-shirt looked up at me in fear, almost as if he sensed my purpose for being there. Perhaps he thought he was in trouble, what other reason would an adult have to talk to him?
Was this the person that caused me so much grief, a boy barely past puberty? He was overweight and his scalp already showed the tell-tale signs of premature balding. His hands were covered in orange Cheeto cheese and he was drinking a liter bottle of coke. Half of me wanted to kick the Magic cards all over the ground and scream like a madman, while the other half wanted to ask him for a fist full of Cheetos and a swig of coke. His diet, his Iron Maiden T-shirt - he could have easily been me from ten years ago. My desire to break his nose was strangely diminished.
"Ya?" he asked.
"Nothing." I said, then realizing how odd it I must have appeared, I added, "I played BF2 with you a couple times."
"Wait, you played on our server?" he seemed less scared and more interested now that he knew I wasn't some sort of authority figure.
"Yea, a couple times."
"What's your name?" he asked while his friends looked impressed that someone over 20 was talking to Poon.
"Captain Picard" I lied. Before he could reply, I said "Picard out," and hightailed it for a piece of real estate overlooking the Counterstrike matches.
I sat drinking from a flask that was quickly becoming my only true friend. I argued with myself that I didn't need to get revenge - I was better than that. Soon I was arguing with Mr. Flask. He claimed that my mission had changed; maybe I was here to teach this miscreant a lesson about how to treat other people. He'd have to learn someday or he'd do it to someone else.
Now I am not saying that later that evening I drunkenly confronted a 13-year-old while he was unlocking his bike in the parking lot. Or that he called me some names that resulted in him being punched in the face. And I most certainly didn't steal his bike and bag of Cheetos before riding like a lunatic into the night screaming, "CoCKS Clan for life!" Of course, I'd never do anything like that - what sort of game journalist would do that?
Marion Cox also didn't appropriate a particularly delicious looking piece of candy from a baby.