Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign

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

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

NERD: (Telephone Filter) Hey, Atsign.

JOHNNY: Uh, huh..

NERD: (Telephone Filter) I think you want to stop by my place.

JOHNNY: And why’s that?

NERD: (Telephone Filter) I’ve been taking a look at those document you sent me.


NERD: (Telephone Filter) … and they exhibit some very interesting properties.

JOHNNY: I’ll be right over.

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 Asign!

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.

NERD TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) Hey, @JohnnyAtsign These clues are for free. That’s free as in beer.

JOHNNY: The Grouch had filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing a group of bloggers of defaming him. He wound up withdrawing that suit, but one of the bloggers sued him for copyright infringement. After whining about how all the work and stress of a court fight would be bad for his already fragile health, The Grouch proceeded to crank out an answer and counterclaims and an extensive motion for an early discovery subpoena, and he seemed to do it essentially overnight.

That would have been quick work for a lawyer. It was amazing for a pro se litigant who claimed that he had difficulty typing. When I was provided with both digital and hardcopy versions of his filings, I passed them along to my document analysis Nerd.

SOUND: Door knocker.

NERD: (Muffled) Come on in, Atsign.

SOUND: Door opens and closes.

NERD: (Full mike) You didn’t take long getting here.

JOHNNY: Let’s just say I think this is an intriguing case.

NERD: Let’s see if I can demystify some of it for you.


NERD: I’ve got some of The Grouch’s recent court filings laid out on the table here. At the risk of sounding like Sesame Street, which one of these things is not like the other?

JOHNNY: That one.

NERD: Right, and you selected The Grouch’s Answer and Counterclaims to the copyright suit. What’s the obvious difference?

JOHNNY: It’s been done on lawyer’s pleading paper, that stuff with the numbered lines down the left margin. So what? He could have just ripped off someone else’s pleading and modified it to fit his circumstances. Lawyers do that all the time.

NERD: True enough. But the file wasn’t created on the same computer as the rest of The Grouch’s stuff.

JOHNNY: How do you know?

NERD: Metadata in the files. The word processing program that created the document was from an older version of the freeware office suite LibreOffice running on a Windows machine. The version of PDF used to create the dot pdf file is not the one used by Macs.

JOHNNY: And we know that The Grouch is a Mac user.

NERD: Assuming he hasn’t put a round from an AR15 through his computer yet. In any case, all the other files were created on a Macintosh using whatever the latest version of Mac OS X was when the file was created. That includes this.

JOHNNY: What that?

NERD: It’s his amended answer and counterclaims. It still uses the numbered pleading paper format, but it’s been ported to Microsoft Office on a Mac.

JOHNNY: Great. So what do you think this means?

NERD: Unless it turns out that The Grouch has a Windows PC loaded with the correct version of LibreOffice, it looks like someone is practicing law without a license.

ANNOUNCER: Are you a proud member of Team Lickspittle and a fan of Johnny Atsign? You can show you support by wearing Team Lickspittle gear. The Grand Hog, Johnny Atsign, Team Lickspittle, and Res Judicata merchandise is available exclusively at The Hogewash Store. Drop by today, spend some money, and show your support for Team Lickspittle. You can also show your support by hitting the Tip Jar.

JOHNNY: There were other clues that pointed to someone writing some or all of The Grouch’s court papers for him.

NERD: If you read the different filings, you’ll see other clues—vocabulary, turns of phrase, changes in format. Part of that might be explained away by these being Frankenfilings stitched together from different stuff found online.

JOHNNY: With a brain provided by Abbie Someone?

NERD: Something like that. But when you tie it to the metadata evidence, The Grouch’s claimed disability, and the time scale … it sure looks like someone else created those filings.

JOHNNY: OK. Write up a brief report for me, and I’ll get it to the client.

JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @Nerd I owe you that beer.

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? Why settle for a copy when you can have the original? 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.

Be sure to tune in on Friday at 6 pm Eastern Time for the next episode of Blognet. This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.

21 thoughts on “Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign

  1. I do seem to recall the Grouch saying that his “friends” convinced him not to give up on various lawsuits. By then he’d already withdrawn the Grouch vs. the World, but this would allow him to essentially continue it. And given that said “friends” were the ones to convince him to do it….

  2. The way he’s breaking down on Twitter right now, going through every last detail of his caper, it’s reminiscent of the criminal in tears on the stand finally realizing the lawyer’s got him.

  3. Interesting. Bill, who knows this is about him, tweets that he used a form he found online, deleted the text, and wrote his own.

    I’m not a computer expert, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if that was the case, the metadata would have shown that two computers were used to make the document?

  4. Is it about him? Sometimes WJJH cobbles different things together that may or may not have occurred. The thing is, BS seems to think that everything is about him. The first and last tweets of every day are about HOOOOOGE! and what BS imagines WJJH was implying in his latest Pinky and the Brain post, or Johnny Atsign, or fill-in-the-blank.

    • I don’t always get the right textual cues to visually show how I would actually say it. The “knows” in “Bill knows” would probably have read better as “Bill just knows”. But as you say, it some respects it doesn’t really matter, because Bill is absolutely, 100% positive, that everything WJJH talks about (unless he gives a specific real name) is about him. He is positive that he is Hoge’s white whale just as Hoge is his, and his reactions prove it daily.

  5. Oh. My.

    And now Bill is claiming that if you don’t tell him exactly which document you are talking about he is going to accuse you of fraud.

    I’m not sure how this particular discussion, even if untrue, could be classified as “”fraud”, but I’m sure Bill will tell us all how in excruciating (and probably excruiatingly wrong) detail.

    • Gryff, you forgot to include a (sigh) in your comment. One cannot (one word, for the edification of former editors) comment without a (sigh.)

      • Sorry. (emoticon for embarrassed blush).

        Admittedly when dealing with Bill that sort of thing is pretty much a given, such that one feels a bit like having to add “(do I really need to say this)” after the “Sigh.” or “smh”, just as one often does elsewhere after a /sarc tag.

Leave a Reply