There’s a Chinese curse that goes, “May you come to the attention of the authorities.” This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign from five years ago today provides an example of how engaging in bogus finger pointing can … well, here’s the episode.
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SOUND: Skype rings once.
JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.
MALLORY: (Telephone Filter) Good morning, Johnny, Rob Mallory.
JOHNNY: Hey, Rob. What’s up over at CID?
MALLORY: (Telephone Filter) Someone’s been sending emails to my boss and my boss’s boss.
JOHNNY: Really? Who would do a thing like that?
MALLORY: (Telephone Filter) The Grouch, and the emails are profusely illustrated.
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 Copyrighted Gotcha Matter.
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch TMI.
SOUND: Car door opens and closes. Footsteps in parking lot.
JOHNNY: Rob Mallory’s call wasn’t exactly a surprise. When The Grouch senses his threats directed to the subject of one of his investigations fails to frighten him or her, His Lardship will try to apply additional pressure by sending some sort of bogus information to his victim’s employer or family or to the cops. Rob and I decided to sit down together swap leads. We agreed to meet up at the Carroll CID office in Hampstead.
SOUND: Door opens and closes.
RECEPTIONIST: Hi, Mr. Atsign. What can we do for you?
JOHNNY: Good morning, Joyce. I’m here to see Rob Mallory.
RECEPTIONIST: He said to meet him in the conference room.
SOUND: Buzzer. Door opens.
RECEPTIONIST: Go on back.
SOUND: Door closes.
JOHNNY: When I got to the conference room, I found that Rob wasn’t there by himself.
MALLORY: Come on in, Johnny, and meet our boss. This is Major Tom Fuller, Chief of Detectives.
JOHNNY: Pleased to meet you, Major. What’s your interest in this matter?
FULLER: I’m one of the addressees on this email. So is the Sheriff and all of his department heads.
JOHNNY: Uh, huh. I haven’t seen a copy yet, but from Rob’s description it sounds pretty disgusting. But you folks see lots worse on a regular basis.
FULLER: Of course, we do, but take a look at who was cced.
JOHNNY: Yeah, that’s one of my clients. He said something about another email, but he didn’t seem concerned about it.
FULLER: He may not be, but we’re not the only law enforcement agency asking about that picture near the top of the email.
MALLORY: The Grouch sent the picture out to us, ccing your client, saying that if the picture was published it would be because your client leaked it. It seems he also sent it to a sheriff’s department up in Massachusetts with the same sort of implied threat against someone up there.
JOHNNY: Right. I’ll bet the guy in Massachusetts is one of the people The Grouch is trying to sue in federal court.
MALLORY: Hmmm. That seems to be a common theme. Each of these incidents involve someone who was in a lawsuit with The Grouch.
JOHNNY: Yeah. And this is the fourth time around for my client.
JOHNNY: Yeah, twice The Grouch complained to the feds, and the third time he wound up sending his complaint to a state agency.
ANNOUNCER: Here in real world of Westminster, we’re having one of those pleasant summer evenings when it’s nice to sit on the porch and sip a cold drink while listening to crickets and watching the lightning bugs. I’ve been sipping mine from a Murum Aries Attigit travel mug. It’s just one of the goodies exclusively available for you to spend your hard-earned cash on at The Hogewash Store. Stop by today, and spend some cash to support Team Lickspittle. You can also show your support by hitting the Tip Jar.
JOHNNY: We spent the next hour or so going over the evidence in various cases. A pattern emerged.
MALLORY: (Fading in) … is pretty much the same in every case except the one with the DNR.
JOHNNY: Still, it’s the same M.O. He was probably doing it for The Bomber’s benefit to apply pressure because of the false peace order petition.
FULLER: Yeah, this ties our cases in with the state, federal, and out-of-state cases. Have you got all the contact info you need, Mallory?
MALLORY: I’ve got emails and phone numbers for everyone.
FULLER: OK. Get this boiled down to a report I can brief the Sheriff with. Atsign, thanks for coming in and helping us tie these together.
JOHNNY: Major, believe me—it’s been a pleasure
JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch A picture can be worth a thousand words or three to ten years.
ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.
JOHNNY: Next time? Copyrights and copy cats. 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.
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.
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This Grouch character sure does wind up being noticed by Sheriffs wherever he seems to go.