Brian Tindle has become the latest name to be added to the Internet Hall of Shame, following accusations by his ex-girlfriend of an illicit holiday affair causing her a swift visit to the doctor.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and abroad have already been emailed the URL of the Watford FC newsgroup postings, where the 19-year-old, known only as Sarah and claiming a 34-26-36 figure, chose to vent her claims.
"I would like to tell you lot about brian the watford fan," it begins. "I have been going out with him for 3 years and he has been cheating on me and i found out last week that he hase given me hepatitis after his holiday in Greece. i know he spends a lot of time on here. some of you will know him."
What starts out as just another Internet spleen-venting soon turns into such fine theatre though that many couldn't believe it wasn't a stunningly clever hoax. Sarah - posting as Bimbo83 (a low number for the region) - offers small snippets about her former lover, causing many in the area to try to work out who he is. Emma at the local Boots may be implicit in the crime. Brian's mate Pete, who went with him to Greece, is also to blame.
But hang on, why has Brian called the police on Sarah and was that her Dad's builder sand in his CDs when he came round to pick them up? Did her grandad really play winghalf for Watford? On top of that, despite accusations of man-on-man and man-on-goat love, Brian claims that he never cheated on her in Greece.
And what of this "hepatitis" claim that apparently proves his infidelity? How did he pass on hepatitis? Does Sarah means crabs or HIV or what? Well, it would appear she means Hepatitis E - a form of Hepatitis A - which is mostly caused through drinking dirty water.
Does this mean it was all a terrible mix-up? When Pete mentioned he was having a hepatitis test, was this thanks to unbridled and unprotected sexual conquests with local Greek tarts, or just the result of drinking tap water at a cheap campsite? Has Brian been wronged and his name dragged through the mud for nothing? Did he really get a black eye last week and does the graffiti about him really exist?
As often in the shaky world of Internet postings, we may never know. Such has become the interest that Sarah and Brian have gone to ground, leaving the noticeboard free for thousands of entertainment voyeurs to send their greetings from around the world. Yes, it has become another Internet phenomenon, with people posting (very humorous) pictures of what they believe Brian may look like and other numerous examples of Net culture.
But what the hell, this is entertaining stuff. And with a good percentage of the population hinged on the inane mutterings of young, under-educated nobodies on Big Brother, what better than something with a touch more spice and the added incentive of realism?
The post, of course, can be found here. You might not be able to get onto it for a while. ®
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