By its very nature trolling is not a gentleman’s sport. But still, some rules should prevail.
Here’s one: It’s not a good idea to troll dead spouses.
A real estate agent in Peoria, Ill., did that on Monday night and ran smack into Patton Oswalt’s Twitter buzzsaw.
Now that agent appears to have lost his job and Oswalt says he is getting death threats.
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The row apparently began after Oswalt, not a fan of the current president, mocked Donald Trump’s firing of acting attorney general Sally Yates on Monday.
To which Tony Brust in Peoria, who posts pro-Trump messages on Facebook and Twitter, tweeted: “Oh (bleep), the little troll has an opinion again.”
Comedy writer Chris Conroy jumped in.
Then Brust tweeted at Conroy and Oswalt: “I’m a psychic and I’m channeling his wife’s opinions.”
He later deleted the tweet, but not before people saved screengrabs.
Oswalt’s wife, true crime writer Michelle McNamara, died in April 2016, leaving him a single father to their then-7-year-old daughter, Alice.
In an interview with The New York Times last fall, Oswalt described her death as “the second worst day” of his life. The worst was when he had to tell Alice that her mother was dead, he said.
Oswalt quickly shot back at the comment made about his wife.
In an epic series of about 20 tweets, posted rapid-fire in about an hour’s time, Oswalt mocked Brust’s real estate listings as thousands of the comedian’s followers watched.
“Totally Not a Murder House.”
“Personally crop dusted by Tony Brust.”
“(Harmonica Plays). Lotta great memories here. Lotta meth, too ...”
“All wood screams at me, Tony. ALL WOOD SCREAMS AT ME.”
Brust switched his Twitter account to private Tuesday morning, but later the account disappeared altogether.
And Oswalt? He deleted his Twitter storm, too, and issued what sounded like an apology, after one last swipe.
On Tuesday, Brust’s employer issued a statement of apology on its Facebook page that suggested that he has been fired.
“The management, brokers and staff of Jim Maloof Realtor regret the words of one of our former agents which were posted on social media,” the statement said.
“We apologize for the resulting angst his words have caused. His words and views are not those shared by the company.”
Oswalt also posted a lengthy essay on his Facebook page Tuesday night further explaining his actions, the lessons he learned from it all - and how Trump supporters have now come after him with death threats “and every variety of misspelled rage.”