SOUND: Cell phone rings twice.
JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.
PRODUCER: (Telephone Filter) Johnny, where are you? We’re coming up on the deadline for today program.
JOHNNY: I’m in the Caribbean. Didn’t they tell you?
PRODUCER: (Telephone Filter) No. Have you gone fishing again?
JOHNNY: No. This is business.
PRODUCER: (Telephone Filter) Great! What I’m supposed to do for this week’s episode.
JOHNNY: Recycle an old one, I guess. Look, this case will make a great set of episodes, but I’m not at the bottom of things yet.
PRODUCER: (Telephone Filter) OK. I’ll see what I can rustle up.
SOUND: Old fashioned telephone bell rings four times.
JOHNNY: (Groggy) Johnny Atsign.
PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) Good morning, Johnny. Did I wake you?
JOHNNY: Ah, yeah. It’s 5 o’clock out here on the West Coast.
PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) Sorry about that, but this is important. You’re done out there, aren’t you?
JOHNNY: I’ve run down all the leads we’ve got.
PRO BONO: (Telephone Filter) OK. Look, I’ve got you booked on a 9 am flight from LAX to Chicago. There’s more digging to do there.
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.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @ProBono You’re not going to enjoy the bill for copies.
JOHNNY: PACER is a wonderful thing. It’s the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system. The cases in the federal courts are available online for ten cents a page. Well, the electronically scanned records are. Almost everything before roughly 1990 is still on paper sitting in warehouses. I had flown to Chicago to look through court document stored in a warehouse there.
You tell a clerk what you want to view, and he sends off for the files. I had sent the staff looking for cases related to the The Bomber.
CLERK: Here’s the first file you asked for. Are you really sure you want it copied?
JOHNNY: I’m afraid so.
CLERK: OK, our fee is 50 cents a page, so that will be $136.50 for the main file. A bunch more if you want all the exhibits.
JOHNNY: Whoa! I thought appeal briefs were limited to 50 pages.
CLERK: They are, and this one has 273. That may have something to do with why it was rejected.
JOHNNY: Look, I’ve got to have it. Here’s my card. Can I run a tab?
CLERK: Yeah. Let me set that up for you. Meanwhile, what else ya’ got?
JOHNNY: Here’s the list.
CLERK: Yeah, we should have all this … except, number 11 and number 14. We don’t have files from those circuits.
JOHNNY: OK, when should I come back.
CLERK: Honestly, with this much copying … we may not finish with all this until after lunch tomorrow.
JOHNNY: That’s fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Chicago is a great town for food. I knew of a really first-rate Chinese place up on Clark Street. I went there for an early supper. Then I turned in early to make up for my missing beauty rest caused by that 5 am wakeup call.
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JOHNNY: My other favorite Chicago food is a hot dog. You can guess what I had for lunch. I got over to the document warehouse around 2.
CLERK: Mr. Atsign, hello! We’ve got those files copied. Here’s a copy of the charges on your credit card.
JOHNNY: Wow! Where’s the stuff.
CLERK: It’s on that two-wheeler by the door.
JOHNNY: Three file boxes?
CLERK: Not quite. The top one’s only about half full. Will you need help getting it to your car?
JOHNNY: Yeah, sure. Thanks.
CLERK: Do you mind if I ask you a question?
JOHNNY: No. Go ahead.
CLERK: Is this guy you’re investigating who I think he is?
JOHNNY: What do you mean?
CLERK: I was on the high school football team in Speedway in 1978.
JOHNNY: Yeah. It’s him.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @ProBono This expense report is gonna hurt. Wait till you see the excess baggage charge.
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? Even fewer degrees of separation. 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 every Friday at 6 pm Eastern Time for an episode of Blognet or Blogsmoke on alternating weeks. This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.