Perhaps the Gentle Reader who has been following Hogewash! for a few years may have noticed a certain similarity between fiction and the real world. This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran three years ago today.
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SOUND: Skype rings once.
JOHNNY: (Telephone Filter) Johnny Atsign.
DD: (Telephone Filter) Good morning, Mr. Atsign, my name is Dinah Daley.
JOHNNY: Yes. How can I help you?
DD: (Telephone Filter) I believe you have some experience with investigations dealing with a fellow know as The Grouch.
JOHNNY: Yes, I do. Quite a bit, actually.
DD: (Telephone Filter) I may wish to hire you to get some more, Mr. Atsign.
JOHNNY: Well, that is how I make my living, and if we’ll be working together, please call me Johnny.
DD: (Telephone Filter) OK, Johnny. Let me explain.
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 Which St. Francis? Matter.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch Did you ever have a heart to leave in San Francisco?
JOHNNY: The Grouch had recently left Maryland and settled in St. Francis, Wisconsin. He claimed that he was moving to get away from legal hassles, but within a few months he had filed another of his ill-thought-out LOLsuits. He named many of the usual suspects from his previous defeats in court and a few new defendants as well. One the newbies was a lady from San Francisco who wanted to hire me to prepare a background report for her lawyer.
(Fading in) … so what is the name of your blog?
DD: (Telephone Filter) I don’t have a blog.
JOHNNY: Really, how about your Twitter account?
DD: (Telephone Filter) I don’t have a Twitter account.
JOHNNY: Then what is he suing you about?
DD: (Telephone Filter) Not much as near as I can tell from his Complaint. I’ll email a copy to you as soon as we finish this call. I guess he doesn’t like some comments I made on other peoples’ blogs.
JOHNNY: Let me guess. He thinks you’re a zombie. Has he ever accused you of being Pete Candler?
DD: (Telephone Filter) [Chuckles] I don’t think so, but …
JOHNNY: Yeah, but if he hasn’t, that would put you in exclusive company. I’ve lost track of everyone he’s tried to pin that on. OK. Send me that complaint, and I’ll get started.
DD: (Telephone Filter) One more thing: When you read the complaint, you’ll see that he’s suing my employer as well.
JOHNNY: Hmm. That’s something new. In the past, he’s just limited that sort of harassment to phone calls.
DD: (Telephone Filter) I think he’s trying to take advantage of their deep pockets. I’d appreciate any information you can turn up for them as well.
ANNOUNCER: [insert commercial]
JOHNNY: I like to fish, and a cousin invited me to go ice fishing with him near Lac du Flambeau in northern Wisconsin. I decided to take a long weekend and go for it. Then I realized that I would have a long layover at the airport in Milwaukee and that the airport is just a few minutes from St. Francis. I called ahead before my flight, made an appointment, and took a quick cab ride while I was waiting for my connecting flight.
SOUND: Quiet office background.
CLERK: Can I help you?
JOHNNY: Yes. My name’s Atsign. I have an appointment with Sergeant Bunsen.
CLERK: Hold on. I’ll call him.
SOUND: Telephone receiver picked up. Buttons pushed.
CLERK: Sergeant, there’s a Mr. Atsign to see you. He says he has an appointment. … OK. I send him back.
Mr. Atsign, you can go on back. Sergeant Bunsen is in the first office on the left.
SOUND: Telephone receiver hung up. Door buzzer. Door opens. Footsteps.
BUNSEN: (Off mike) Mr. Atsign, come in. Close the door if you like.
SOUND: Chair pulled out.
JOHNNY: Thanks. And thanks for seeing me on short notice. We can leave it open.
BUNSEN: (Full mike) You’re welcome. What can I do for you?
JOHNNY: I running an investigation related to a lawsuit that has been filed by a resident of your town. Have you heard of someone called The Grouch?
BUNSEN: As a matter of fact, we have.
JOHNNY: Really? He’s only been here a few months.
BUNSEN: Yes, but he came to our attention fairly quickly. He hadn’t been in town long when the Sheriff had to serve an out-of state restraining order on him. We were notified.
JOHNNY: Is that so?
BUNSEN: Uh, huh. It was from someplace back east in New England. He’s also had an order served from next door in Illinois and another from someplace else. I can look them up if you need them.
JOHNNY: Massachusetts and North Carolina?
BUNSEN: That sounds about right.
JOHNNY: It sounds like we’re talking about the same guy. Has anything else come up?
BUNSEN: Yeah. The Sheriff has handled serving court orders, but we’ve been called to his place for several complaints he has made about people harassing him.
JOHNNY: Was there anything to any of them?
BUNSEN: Not that we could find.
JOHNNY: OK. Well, I think that tells me what I need to know. Here’s one of my cards. Let me know if I can be any help to you folks.
BUNSEN: (Fading out) Sure thing …
JOHNNY: And then I got back to the airport to keep my appointment with a walleye. The trip went well, and when I got back home, I was able to draft a report for Dinah Daley’s lawyer.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch You didn’t leave a brain there either.
ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.
JOHNNY: Next time? More stuff looks fishy. 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.
Hey, guys! you never gave me any copy for a The Hogewash Store spot. How are we supposed to make any money? Sheesh!
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Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction is supposed to make sense.