Sometimes, when you open a can of worms, it’s impossible to get them all collected and put back in the old can. This episode of Blogsmoke from four years ago today hints at how one of the character’s overreach would end up causing more trouble for him than he ever caused for anyone else.
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SOUND: MODEM CONNECTING FADES UP TO FULL MIKE—SINGLE SHOT—RICHOCHET
MUSIC: UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 1
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Around Twitter Town and in the territory of the net—there’s just one way to handle the harassers and the stalkers—and that’s with an Internet Sheriff and the smell of “BLOGSMOKE”!
MUSIC: THEME HITS: FULL BROAD SWEEP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 2
ANNOUNCER: “BLOGSMOKE” starring W. J. J. Hoge. The story of the trolling that moved into the young Internet—and the story of a man who moved against it. (MUSIC: OUT)
JOHN: I’m that man, John Hoge, Internet Sheriff—the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job—and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.
MUSIC: MAIN TITLE—RECORDED—CUT 3
JOHN: Building a case is usually slow, tedious work. That’s certainly been true in a couple of them that started out as criminal matters but eventually became civil suits. The first criminal charges in those cases were filed back in 2013.
AARON: (Telephone Filter. Fading up) … but we haven’t been served yet.
JOHN: I’m not sure how they would do that in your case. You’re in another state.
AARON: (Telephone Filter) Still, the whole thing is obvious nonsense. The online database says that the harassment by the other defendant began in January, but he never wrote about The Bomber until May.
JOHN: I’ll go by the courthouse and pick up copies of the charging docs.
AARON: (Telephone Filter. Fading out) Good. That will give us a baseline …
JOHN: But when I went to courthouse, the Applications for Statement of Charges had been pulled by the State’s Attorney. The clerk at the service counter said that was usually a sign that a charge was being dropped. Sure enough, the charges were dropped the next week.
After his attempt at filing criminal charges failed, The Bomber tried a series of civil suits. As those began failing, he tried to file a peace order. When that failed, he tried to spin up another set of criminal charges.
AARON: (Telephone Filter. Fading up) … and I wasn’t even the target of that peace order.
JOHN: Uh, huh. I’ve been looking over these Applications for Statement of Charges you emailed to me, and the typewritten addenda for both of them are identical.
AARON: (Telephone Filter) That’s right. Notice that The Bomber’s name has been crossed out as one of the complainants on the cover sheet, but its still at the top of the first typed page. The only differences in the narratives supporting the Applications are on the handwritten last pages.
JOHN: So what are you going to do?
AARON: (Telephone Filter) Try to get the charges dropped against both of us, same as last time.
JOHN: That’s all?
AARON: (Telephone Filter. Fading out) For now. There are other things pending, and the statute of limitations is three years. There’s plenty of time to …
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 4
ANNOUNCER: When we take coffee breaks here at Hogewash!, we use a set of Johnny Atsign Coffee Mugs that are kept in our break area. You can get a set for yourself, but only from The Hogewash Store. Stop by today and spend some of your hard-earned cash in support of the Team. You can also support the Team by hitting the Tip Jar.
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 5
SOUND: Soft fan noise.
PINKY: Howdy, Sheriff. What’s up?
JOHN: Just grabbin’ a cup of coffee at the end of a long week.
PINKY: Pull up chair.
SOUND: Chair pulled out.
PINKY: A long week?
JOHN: Yeah. There’s a bunch of hearings next week. The BLOGNET crew and I have been hustling to get as much information together as we can.
SOUND: Fan noise stops. Beep.
PINKY: Ah, supper’s done. Hearings?
JOHN: Uh, huh. They all involve The Bomber in one way or another. Aren’t you going get your food out of the microwave?
PINKY: I’ll let it cool for minute or two. So what do you think will happen next week?
JOHN: Who knows? Going to court is always a bit of crap shoot. A lot of effort has gone into preparing for the hearings, but … if I had to guess, I’d say that things won’t turn out as well as they could but that it will be a bad week for The Bomber.
PINKY: Let’s hope so. Got big plans for the weekend?
JOHN: I’m going fishing with Johnny Atsign. He says he’s found a nice trout stream in Garrett County. How about you?
PINKY: I’ve got to head back to my cube and finish the gags for this weekend. After that, I don’t have any plans.
JOHN: Say, did The Brain make this coffee?
PINKY: Probably. He keeps saying he’s the only one who does around here.
JOHNNY: Tell him it could be just a bit stronger.
MUSIC: CLOSING TITLE UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 6
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Even with a good imagination, we can’t come up with stories as strange as The Bomber and his buddies provide for episodes of “BLOGSMOKE”!
MUSIC: SWELL AND CONTINUE TO MUSIC OUT
ANNOUNCER: The Legal Department wishes the following declaimer read: “‘BLOGSMOKE’ is a work of fiction. Anyone who feels it might be about him should read Proverbs 28:1.”
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.
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The Bomber bombed when he tried reimagining himself as The Election Protector, and it’s beginning to look as if 2020 has decided that it’s time to simply ignore his further efforts.