Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign

Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype ringing once. Handset picked up.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

ZOA: (Telephone Filter) Johnny, it’s Zoa. How’s that report coming.

JOHNNY: Check your email. I set you a final draft a couple of minutes ago.

ZOA: (Telephone Filter) Ah hah. It just popped up.

JOHNNY: OK. I’ll drop a hard copy off at your office in the morning. Will you need me for the trial?

ZOA: (Telephone Filter) I don’t think so. I’ll get in touch if I do.

JOHNNY: I’ll keep the date open just in case.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out.

JOHNNY: The following is partial extract of the tweets sent and received during my investigation of Short-Fused Dud Matter. The Bomber’s lawyer had gotten him off on a peace order, but his victim had appealed the District Court’s decision to the Circuit Court. His lawyer had hired me to do so background investigative work on The Bomber.

ZOA TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @JohnnyAtsign. You aren’t needed for the trial.

JOHHNY: As I’ve mentioned before, you can learn a lot from a page that has been printed from a computer. Even the font can tell you something. There’s a standard joke among typographers that the use of Times New Roman tells you the person creating the document was an uncreative soul who was too lazy to switch from the default font in Microsoft Word. There’s more you can learn from a page printed from a computer, a whole lot more

Other kinds of digital documents have all sorts of interesting clue buried within them.

Take pictures as an example.

Many kinds of digital images contain information about the place and time they were created, the kind of equipment used, and even the kind of software used to process them. I had done some work recovering that information from pictures taken by The Bomber at the Howard County District Courthouse when he stalked Strider’s wife. He had published them on the Goodguys Unmasked website. That data and photo data from the BlogBash stalking tied the pictures to The Bomber. I had put all that in my report.

But I was told that I wasn’t needed for the trial, and that day was opening day of Rockfish Season. Since I’d already set it aside, I went fishing.

SOUND: Small outboard motor and bow waves in background.

JOHNNY: The Arabs have a saying that God doesn’t subtract the time you spend fishing from your allotted span. I hope so, because I’d rather go fishing than do most anything else. I’ve got my own secret spot for going after rockfish—that’s stripped bass for those of you who aren’t from around the Chesapeake Bay. And I was on my way to spend opening day of the season in my special spot.

SOUND: Outboard motor quits. Anchor splashing over the side.

JOHNNY: Really, there’s nothing more peaceful for me than a day on the water fishing.

SOUND: Lure being cast.

JOHNNY: I could do this for the rest of my life.

SOUND: Cell phone rings.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

THE BRAIN: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

PINKY: I think so, Brain … say, have you noticed that the Boss has Team Lickspittle mouse pads for sale at The Hogewash Store?

ANNOUNCER: That’s right, Pinky. A mouse pad is just some of the junk that a loyal supporter of Team Lickspittle can spend his money on—exclusively at The Hogewash Store. Drop by today and show your support for Team Lickspittle.

SOUND: Small outboard motor and bow waves in background. Fade in.

JOHNNY: One of these days, I’m going to learn to leave that phone on the dock. The trial had not gone as expected. A subpoenaed witness had not shown up. Documents sought in discovery had not been produced. And the judge had taken his ruling under advisement, meaning that it could be a while before a decision was taken about granting the peace order against The Bomber.

There was another peace order appeal pending as well, and based on what had come out at the trial, there were new leads that needed to be run down before their trails went cold.

The rockfish would have to wait.

SOUND: Boat background sounds fade out.

JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @Zoa I’m pulling into the dock. Back soon.

MUSIC: Theme up and under

ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.

JOHNNY: Next week? There are days when you come away from your fishing hole empty handed. And then there’s the day when you land the big one. Join us, won’t you.

Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Swell theme and under

ANNOUNCER: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign, starring W. J. J. Hoge, is transcribed in Westminster. Be sure to join us next Monday, same time and URL, for the next exciting episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign.

MUSIC: Theme up to music out.

ANNOUNCER: Johnny Atsign is a work of fiction. If anyone thinks it’s about him, he should read Proverbs 28:1. This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.

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