One day in 2002, several of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's staff received urgent pages ordering them to return to the office.

The source of the urgency? A surprise viewing of "The Simpsons."

[Among Ashcroft's hobbies? Singing in the Singing Senators quartet, speeding around his farm on a motorcycle, and playing basketball. "He has this old-school court-clearing left arm as he goes in," one friend, who refused to play with Ashcroft, recalled. "I care for my body way too much."]

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