No matter how wrong you are or how petty the infraction, the only rule of an online slapfight is to never, ever back down. As a result, a Russian novel’s worth of insults have been written on Our Cursed Internet, ranging from incisive quips to sourced-and-cited takedowns. For two Redditors with strong feelings and a limited vocabulary, however, their public feud amounts to 28 days worth of “twat.”
One month ago, a thread began on bike enthusiast community r/cycling simply titled “Vegan Nutrition on Rides,” which posed the non-contentious and frankly bland prompt:
If anyone else here is vegan, what are your go tos on rides? I’ll generally have a banana, bag of carrots, or a gomacro or cliff bar on me.
Curious what you guys like to bring along!
As is often the case with things pertaining solely to other peoples’ bodies, the conversation quickly became heated. Just four replies deep into the discussion, our first combatant, qwefhsdf, suggested veganism is a cult. A responder going by the Walking Dead-inspired handle Negansbaseballbat then called qwefhsdf a “mong”—short for “mongoloid,” an offensive slur rooted in phrenology for those with Down’s Syndrome. And with that, we were off to the races.
A dozen or so more barbs with no relation to the topic of veganism later, qwefhsdf threw down the first “twat” of many. This magical stream of pettiness was nearly dead on arrival when Negansbaseballbat replied with “quilt,” a British epithet unfamiliar to me, which, according to Urban Dictionary, is analogous to “pansy” in the States. Luckily, they corrected the course with a well-placed “twat” on the second go around.
Thus it has continued, for four unbroken weeks, with both Negansbaseballbat and qwefhsdf refusing to agree on who is or is not a twat, sometimes posting multiple “twat”s a day—69 in all.
Sadly, moderators of r/cycling locked the thread on Monday, robbing the rest of us from tailgating the stupidest fight in the website’s history.