This episode of Blogsmoke first ran seven years ago today.
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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
SOUND: Street noise background. Footstep on sidewalk. Door opens. Crossfade from street noise to nightclub background.
JOHN: Hello, Miss Betty. What are you doing behind the bar?
MISS BETTY: Hi, John. The help has the night off. What’s up with you this evening?
JOHN: It’s been quiet … mostly.
MISS BETTY: The usual?
MISS BETTY: Sure. Here you go.
JOHN: (Sips) Ah. Thanks. Yeah, it’s been kinda quiet since The Bomber and his buddies started coming out on the short end of the stick in court. Although it’s beginning to look like they’re starting to figure out new ways to harass …
SOUND: iPhone email ping.
JOHN: … I’d better check that. (Pause) Rats. Just when I thought I’d get a night off …
MISS BETTY: Now what?
JOHN: One of the members of the Vast Hogewash Research Organization is getting harassed.
MISS BETTY: What’s unusual about that?
JOHN: Nothing, but in this guy’s case it could be dangerous. He’s an ex-con and someone is filing bogus complaints with his probation officer.
MISS BETTY: Ouch!
JOHN: Yeah. If it gets to be enough of a problem for the probation officer, the easiest bureaucratic solution would be to revoke his probation and let him finish his time in prison.
MISS BETTY: Not good.
JOHN: Uh, huh. I’d better head back to the office.
SOUND: Nightclub background out.
ANNOUNCER: Here in 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 one of the Hogewash! Res Judicata travel mugs. 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.
And now back to our story.
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 5
JOHN: Pat Citrus is a con man, and he got caught by the feds. He wound up doing time and is currently out on supervised release. How he got to be a member of the Vast Hogewash Research Organization is a convoluted story. He was a member for a while, but when he came under pressure from The Bomber’s friends, he wound up working with them for several months. Then he rejoined the VHRO, and when he came back, he brought a great deal of emails and other documents. Many of them relate to the internal workings of The Bomber’s Goodguys Unmasked website.
Pat’s email stated that the current editor of that site and one of the previous editors have been calling his probation officer and complaining about the posts he makes to his own blog and comments he leaves at other blogs. They say that they are “offended.” Of course, Pat’s a con man, so the first step in dealing with his report was to verify it.
SOUND: (Telephone ringing. Caller’s POV. Answered on fourth ring.)
DONALDSON: (Telephone Filter) Special Agent Donaldson.
JOHN: Hello, Ray. It’s John Hoge from Twitter Town.
DONALDSON: (Telephone Filter) Howdy, Sheriff. Long time, no see. Are you down here in Florida?
JOHN: No, I’m back home. I need a favor. Can you check on a Parole Commission case for me?
DONALDSON: (Telephone Filter) (Fading out) Probably. Shoot me an email with the particulars so I can …
JOHN: Pat Citrus’s story checked out.
My inquiry also set some wheels in motion. You see, it’s a federal crime to lie to a federal agent. That’s what Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby and a whole host of other folks were sent to jail for. Normally, the charge is used to punish white collar criminals who have impeded an investigation. Occasionally, it’s used when someone keeps filing bogus complaints. So now there’s an 18 USC § 1001 investigation open.
We’ll see how it turns out.
MUSIC: CLOSING TITLE UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 6
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) It’s a sin to tell a lie, but is it a crime? We will see in a future episode 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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It’s was intriguing where that investigation led, but if that story ever comes to light, it will be a matter from Johnny Atsign’s case files.