ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for —
SOUND: Skype rings once. Receiver picked up.
JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.
DEEP VOTE: (Telephone Filter) Good evening, Mr. Atsign.
DEEP VOTE: (Telephone Filter) I have some more information for you. Meet me at the usual place and time.
SOUND: (Called Party’s POV) Line hung up. Dial tone.
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 the Kindness of Stangers Matter.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @DeepVote Can we find a warmer place to meet in the winter?
JOHNNY: At 12:15 am, precisely, the next morning, I drove into the designated parking garage, parked on the second level, and took the stairs up to the fourth level. I began walking to the far end.
SOUND: Footsteps with echo.
JOHNNY: As usual, the voice came from behind me.
DEEP VOTE: Good morning, Mr. Atsign, …
SOUND: Footsteps stop.
JOHNNY: I turned around, and he was standing in the shadows like always.
DEEP VOTE: … were things rather slow during the holidays?
JOHNNY: Slower than normal, but not completely dead. And part of one case came to closure with the dismissal of The Grouch’s LOLsuit. Of course, there are still several open files dealing with him.
DEEP VOTE: Oh?
JOHNNY: Yes. Several of my clients aren’t done with him yet.
DEEP VOTE: I’m not surprised. Do you know where he is now?
JOHNNY: Yes and no.
DEEP VOTE: Meaning that he’s trying to hide again, right?
JOHNNY: Yeah, it’s down to [redacted], but I’m not sure which one.
DEEP VOTE: Perhaps I can give you a useful lead.
JOHNNY: What? “Follow the money.”
DEEP VOTE: (Chuckles) No. There’s no money to follow. You’re dealing with someone who’s gone from driving himself across country just of few months ago to riding the dog cross country. He can’t afford to keep a car in repair. Don’t follow the money. Follow the lack of money.
DEEP VOTE: Have a good day, Mr. Atsign.
ANNOUNCER: Winter has decided to stick around for a while. It’s gonna be one of those cold nights when you want to something warm to drink, say a good cup of coffee in a Johnny Atsign mug. Another good way to fight that chill is a Team Lickspittle blanket wrap. Why not get yours today? Along with Team Lickspittle sweatshirts and hoodies, they’re just some of the trinkets you can waste your hard-earned cash on, stuff exclusively available at The Hogewash Store. Drop by today and show your support for Team Lickspittle. You can also show your support by hitting the Tip Jar or buy doing your Amazon shopping via the link on the Home page.
JOHNNY: It was well past 1 am by the time I got back to my place. I figured that I could sleep in just a bit. I set the alarm for 7:30.
SOUND: Alarm beeping, followed by NPR’s Morning Edition through a small speaker.
JOHNNY: (Groggy) Ugh.
SOUND: Clock radio pounded. Morning Edition quits abruptly.
JOHNNY: I stumbled through my morning routine and, after several cups of coffee, made it into my office. I began to puzzle though the lead I had been given earlier.
Follow the lack of money. How do you do that? Let’s see … If The Grouch were short on funds, he would have to be relying on support from other people. He’d never been any more successful at maintaining that sort of support than he has in anything else in his life. Wisconsin. Iowa. South Carolina. All were part of a path of burned bridges.
OK. Where were the signs of smoke?
JOHNNY TWEETS: @TheGrouch Pro Tip: Wait to burn the next bridge until after you’ve crossed it.
ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.
JOHNNY: Next week? More resemblances of things past. 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.