This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran five years ago today.
* * * * *
SOUND: Cell phone rings four times.
JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.
DNR COP: (Telephone Filter) Mr. Atsign, this is Corporal Anderson with the DNR Police.
JOHNNY: Yes. My fishing license is up to date.
DNR COP: (Telephone Filter) I’m sure it is. This is about an investigation we believe you may be able to assist us with.
JOHNNY: I’d be happy to help you, but can I call you back? I’m about to drop a rental car at the airport.
DNR COP: (Telephone Filter) Where are you?
JOHNNY: Portland, Oregon. What’s a good number to call you back in about an hour?
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 extended investigation of The No Pings Only Matter.
SNARK_IN_MD TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch There’s no way that guy will keep his security clearance.
SOUND: Airport background.
JOHNNY: As I’ve told you before, The Grouch isn’t able to abide by a request to leave someone else alone. As a result he wound up in front of a Circuit Court judge at a show cause hearing for contempt. That was a result of his sending pingbacks and other messages in violation of a peace order. The judge let him off with a warning, but told him that there had better not be any further violations.
Meanwhile, TheGrouch violated the peace order again by sending an email, and the Sheriff’s Office filed a criminal charge.
The Grouch then switched from directly contacting his victim to harassment via contacting his place of employment—a tactic he learned from his excellent friend The Bomber.
The Bomber had used that tactic recently on one of his perceived enemies. The corporate counsel for his employer and the security office of the employer’s customer had asked me to assist with their investigation because of my experience. It turned out that the two investigations provided a great number of leads for each other.
I was headed back home via a roundabout route and decided to return Corporal Anderson’s call while I was waiting at the gate for my flight.
SOUND: Phone ringing, caller’s POV. Line picked up.
DNR COP: (Telephone Filter) Anderson.
JOHNNY: Corporal Anderson, it’s Johnny Atsign. What can I do for you?
DNR COP: (Telephone Filter) We’ve got an investigation you might be able to help with. Do you know someone named Kemmelring?
JOHNNY: Not personally, but the name’s come up before. That name’s associated with some harassing emails sent to a client’s workplace.
DNR COP: (Telephone Filter) Ever seen emails from someone called SNARK_IN_MD?
JOHNNY: That’s the same guy. He uses it as a Twitter handle too. What’s up? What’s Natural Resources’ angle?
DNR COP: (Telephone Filter) Kemmelring has been in contact with us.
DNR COP: (Telephone Filter) We’ve opened an investigation as a result.
JOHNNY: I see. Look, I have some files in my office that you may find useful. I’m flying to Texas this afternoon, but I’m scheduled to get back to BWI around midday on Monday.
SOUND: Airport background out.
ANNOUNCER: Winter’s almost over. With warmer-but-not-hot weather coming, a Hogewash! Res Judicata long-sleeve t-shirt could be just the thing for casual wear. It’s exclusively available along with lots of other goodies at The Hogewash Store. Stop by today and spend some of your hard earned cash in support of Team Lickspittle.Or hit the Tip Jar. They’re both ways you can support the Team.
JOHNNY: After more than a week on the road, I was looking forward to getting home, but first I had to swing by the office and get those files copied for Corporal Anderson. I was just getting the last one through the copier …
SOUND: Knock on door.
JOHNNY: Come in.
SOUND: Door opens and closes.
DNR COP: Mr. Atsign? I’m Anderson.
JOHNNY: Please to meet you, and call me “Johnny.”
DNR COP: OK, Johnny. What have you got for me?
JOHNNY: It’s that stack of files on the desk there plus this one.
DNR COP: All that?
JOHNNY: Yeah. He and his buddies have been busy.
DNR COP: Whew.
JOHNNY: This last file is contact info for other agencies running investigations.
DNR COP: Uh, huh.
SOUND: Pages being flipped.
DNR COP: All these?
JOHNNY: He’s not directly implicated in all of them, but his associates are. There’s a lot of lead swapping among the cases.
DNR COP: I guess I get to join the party too.
JOHNNY: Good hunting. Oh, one more thing … When are they gonna post the limits for Rockfish on the Bay?
DNR COP: The season opens in about a month. They should have something posted online soon.
JOHNNY: OK. Call me if you need anything else.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch No pings only! No emails either! Including third parties. And don’t use sockpuppets either.
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 time? Sometimes, in a game of Fizzbin you really don’t want to draw that third jack. 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.
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.
* * * * *
It’s interesting that there’s never been a story surface about people contacting The Grouch’s employer about his background, but it may be that he’s never held a job long enough for that to happen.
Whatever. It all just fiction. Right?