MUSIC: UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 1
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Around Twitter Town and in the territory of the net—there’s just one way to handle the harassers and the stalkers—and that’s with an Internet Sheriff and the smell of “BLOGSMOKE”!
MUSIC: THEME HITS: FULL BROAD SWEEP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 2
ANNOUNCER: “BLOGSMOKE” starring W. J. J. Hoge. The story of the trolling that moved into the young Internet—and the story of a man who moved against it. (MUSIC: OUT)
JOHN: I’m that man, John Hoge, Internet Sheriff—the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job—and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.
MUSIC: MAIN TITLE—RECORDED—CUT 3
JOHN: The end of the year has always been a big deal for me. Maybe it’s because my birthday is New Year’s Eve. Yeah, I’ll be 67 next Wednesday. My last birthday was a bit mixed for me. On the downside, The Bomber had blown off a timely response to my motion to dismiss in the RICO Madness, and the judge had given him more time to get his response to my motion and the motions to dismiss from the three other defendants who had filed.
On the upside, as January wore on, The Bomber had filed bogus certificates of service with his RICO filings, and we had caught him at it. And made the judge aware of it. As a result, the judge took the unusual step of ordering The Bomber to report the status of service of process in the lawsuit.
The Bomber was clearly being stretched thin by all the work he had created for himself suing so many defendants in two separate lawsuits. It was beginning to show in the kinds of mistakes he was making.
SOUND: ROAD NOISE. CAR INTERIOR POV. BACKGROUND
SOUND: CELL PHONE RINGS TWICE.
AARON: (TELEPHONE FILTER) John, it’s Aaron.
JOHN: What’s up?
AARON: (TELEPHONE FILTER) Have you got your mail yet?
JOHN: No. It doesn’t usually come till late afternoon. I’m out running errands.
AARON: (TELEPHONE FILTER) The Bomber has answered our motions to dismiss in the RICO case. I found a thick Priority Mail package on my doorstep when I got back from the store this morning. He’s filed a single opposition against our separate motions.
JOHN: Was it one of those shipping boxes or the 9 by 12 envelope?
AARON: (TELEPHONE FILTER) An envelope.
JOHN: Good. That will fit in my mailbox. I’ll call you after it the mail’s delivered this evening.
SOUND: CROSSFADE BACKGROUND TO MUSIC.
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 4
JOHN: Well, I would have called Aaron that evening to talk about The Bomber’s opposition to our motions to dismiss, except that I didn’t receive the expected package in the mail. Since it was a Saturday, I’d have to wait until … hold it, Monday is Martin Luther King Day … until Tuesday.
And on Tuesday, there was nothing.
And on Wednesday, there was nothing.
And on Thursday, there was nothing in the mail, but there was something on PACER, the court’s online database. The Bomber had not only filed an opposition to the motions from Aaron and me, he had filed two other oppositions and a notice to the federal court concerning a ruling in the related state matter.
I was not amused.
I had previously complained to the court about the lack of service on The Bomber’s motion for that extra time that he’d been given to file his opposition, and now he was jacking me around with the same nonsense.
On Friday, I filed a motion to strike all four of The Bomber’s filings for lack of proper service.
ANNOUNCER: How do you plan to celebrate the New Year? My friends and I will be toasting the New Year with our favorite beverages in Team Lickspittle Drinking Glasses. Like all Team Lickspittle stuff, they’re available exclusively at The Hogewash Store. Drop by today and spend some money. It’s a great way to support Team Lickspittle. You can also show your support by hitting the Tip Jar.
And now back to our story.
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 5
SOUND: PHONE RINGS THREE TIMES.
JOHN: (GROGGY) Hello.
RULE 5 GIRL: (TELEPHONE FILTER) John, have you seen what The Grouch is tweeting this morning.
JOHN: Huh? No. I was sleeping in this morning.
RULE 5 GIRL: (TELEPHONE FILTER) He’s all over that thing about The Bomber not serving those papers on you. He’s tweeted a copy of what he says is the tracking information from the Post Office.
JOHN: Is the tracking number legible?
RULE 5 GIRL: (TELEPHONE FILTER) Let me look. Mmmm … Yes, it is.
JOHN: Good. I think I need to make a trip to the Post Office this morning.
And I did. When they ran the tracking number through their system, they got the same result as The Grouch had published. A notice had be left somewhere two minutes after the mail was sorted here in Westminster, and the package had been determined to be “Undeliverable as Addressed.” A search of the holding and sorting areas showed that they had noting on hold for either me or my address.
SOUND: (BUSY POST OFFICE. BACKGROUND.)
JOHN: When the postal clerk ran the tracking number through their system, she got the same result as The Grouch had published—a result inconsistent with the claim that the documents had been properly mailed. A notice had be left somewhere two minutes after the mail was sorted here in Westminster, and the package had been determined to be “Undeliverable as Addressed.” A search of the holding and sorting areas showed that they had noting on hold for either me or my address.
CLERK: That’s the best we can do on a Saturday. Let me have your phone number, and a supervisor will call you on Monday. It will probably be the Assistant Postmaster.
CLERK: If it hasn’t been returned already and it has your name or address on it, we’ll find it, one way or another.
JOHN: (FADE OUT.) Thanks. It will probably be easiest to reach me in the afternoon …
SOUND: (ROAD NOISE. CAR INTERIOR POV.)
AARON: Thanks for buying lunch.
JOHN: No problem. I figured that we both had something to file today, so we might as well meet face-to-face down here near the courthouse.
AARON: Well, thanks again. That’s a good pho shop.
JOHN: One of the Vietnamese guys I used to work with turned me on to it.
AARON: Did you ever get The Bomber’s package?
JOHN: Not the first one. It was returned to him as undeliverable. He sent a second one the day after I filed the motion to strike his stuff for lack of service to me.
AARON: Sent to the correct address this time.
JOHN: Yep. The first one was addressed to 29 Ridge Road instead of 20. We’ll probably never know whether he put the tail on the zero that turned it into a nine on purpose or from carelessness. But either way, it’s a problem for him.
AARON: Uh, huh. Either he was messing with you, or he didn’t show due diligence. That’s a no-win situation for him.
JOHN: Ah, here’s the courthouse. And … there’s a good parking spot. I’ll snag it, and we can go on in to the Clerk’s Office.
SOUND: (FADE ROAD NOISE.)
MUSIC: CLOSING TITLE UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 6
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Who knows what drivel lurks in the hearts of men? Perhaps we will find out in a future episode of “BLOGSMOKE”! But for now we wish you all a Happy New Year!
MUSIC: SWELL AND CONTINUE TO MUSIC OUT
ANNOUNCER: The Legal Department wishes the following declaimer read: “‘BLOGSMOKE’ is a work of fiction. Anyone who feels it might be about him should read Proverbs 28:1.” Be sure to tune in on Monday at 6 pm Eastern Time for the next intriguing episode of “Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign,” and join us again every Friday at 6 for alternating episodes “BLOGSMOKE” and “Blognet.” This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.