This early episode of Blogsmoke first ran ten years ago today.
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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
SOUND: FOOTSTEP DOWN HALLWAY
JOHN: (VOICE OVER FOOTSTEPS) Well, I guess I’d better go down stairs to the Clerk’s Office and file an appeal.
AARON: Yes, and it will be a trial de novo. You’ll be able to introduce and emphasize the evidence that he was on notice.
JOHN: Maybe he’ll pay attention to what his lawyer just told him and knock it off.
SOUND: FOOTSTEPS FADE
JOHN: And I got a new trial date for the appeal in the Circuit Court, the 14th of June, 3-1/2 months away. The Grouch didn’t heed the judge’s notice to stop contacting me. He didn’t take his lawyer’s advice about not harassing me. He kept up send me tweets until the night before the trial.
THE GROUCH: (THROUGH A SMALL SPEAKER) 8:39 pm. On this night before I have to drag my ass up to Westminster to face @WJJHoge one more time, there are some things I want him to know. 8:40 pm. @WJJHoge. You are wrong. You are wrong about everything. I do not work “for” The Bomber. I have never worked “for” The Bomber.
8:42 pm. Other than a few times, I have never pushed a “thumbs down on your blog, @WJJHoge, because I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU! 8:43 pm. If it were not for the fact that you are forcing me to make, what is for me, a very arduous and difficult trip to Westminster, @WJJHoge, I would not necessarily rejoice over seeing your obituary, sir, but neither would I weep a bitter tear.
8:45 pm. Make your argument about how dangerous you think I am and I will try not to laugh out loud as you outline your weird conspiracy. 8:46 pm. I hope the judge can maintain his decorum as well. We will prevail, @WJJHoge. Nothing has changed in the intervening time that changes the original decision. 8:47 pm. My hope is that after my lawyer has disposed of you, you FINALLY realize you can not not use me as a weapon to GET The Bomber. @WJJHoge. 8:48 pm. My hope is that after my lawyer has disposed of you, you FINALLY realize you can not not use me as a weapon to GET The Bomber. @WJJHoge.
8:51 pm. It just amazes me that a man who can show the occasional flash of brilliance, like you @wjjhoge, is so consumed by hatred of The Bomber that you’ve LOST YOUR MIND where he’s concerned. 8:52 pm. @wjjhoge and will hurt whoever you have to hurt, cause untold pain to “Get” your personal white whale. 8:53 pm. You will not get “Moby” through me, Mr. @WJJhoge.
8:54 pm. Now, make fun of me some more as I dread the physical suffering I will endure tomorrow just to satisfy your ego, @wjjhoge.
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 4
ZOA: I show you Petitioner’s Exhibit 2. Can you identify it?
JOHN: Yes. It is a tweet I received. It was sent by The Grouch early in the afternoon of the day I posted my demand to stop contacting me. His tweet contains a reference to my blog post presumably indicating that he was aware of it.
JUDGE: Mr. Kim?
KIM: No objection, Your Honor.
ZOA: (FADING OUT) Here are Petitioner’s Exhibits 3 and 4. Can you …
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And now back to our story.
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 5
JUDGE: (FADE IN TO FULL MIKE) These are ways we communicate today. What your doing is the same as junk telemarketing calls or spam emails, and it has been directed to Mr. Hoge. That’s an important distinction. It’s communication to Mr. Hoge rather than writing about him. Thus, the Cassidy case does not apply.
Therefore, I find that you did engage in a course of conduct to harass Mr. Hoge during the 30 days prior to the filing of the petition and that you are likely to continue to do so. I will issue the peace order. For the next six months, you are not to contact him, and that includes in person, on the phone, by mail, by email, on Twitter, or any other means. You are not to attempt to contact him. You are not to harass him. You are to stay away from his residence.
Ms. Barnes, your client is retired?
ZOA: Yes, your honor.
JUDGE: OK, we don’t need the usual part about staying away from work. Does that cover every thing?
ZOA: Yes, your honor.
JUDGE: It is so ordered. Mr. Hoge, you can pick up your copy in the Clerk’s Office upstairs. Mr. Kim, have your client wait here, and a deputy will serve him after Mr. Hoge has left the courthouse.
ZOA AND KIM: (TOGETHER) Thank you, your honor.
MUSIC: CLOSING TITLE UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 6
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) In spite of the judges’ order, The Grouch kept up his harassment and acted to keep the case alive in the Circuit Court while appealing it to the Court of Appeals—as we will see in the next 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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The first of a dozen restraining orders against The Grouch.