Monday, April 27, 2009

Live-Blogging Jury Duty

Do you guys know what jury duty is good for? An amazing, hand-delivered blog entry. The heavens opened up, the sunshine camp spilling in, and lo: the good Lord hath delivered me more country folk and 35-year-old grandmas (seriously) than I ever could have imagined.

The hillbilly PO-lice man at the front of the room likens the morning to “Let’s Make a Deal” or “Judge Judy.” Then he said if we didn’t squish in on the jury pews, he would bring in “them folding chairs that give you a zap if you move around too much in ‘em.”

A lady just told us, “We do things casually around here. If you’re eatin’ a donut outside and you get called in, just bring your donut on in with you. Ya never know, the judge could be eatin’ one too!”

I fantasize about breaking into song and standing on the pews and then having everyone else join in one by one. I smile a little to myself.

It’s silent in here, save for the buzzing of fluorescent light bulbs, coughs, the rustle of newspaper pages, and the two ladies behind me occasionally laughing or complaining about the cold temperature.

Halfway through planning my delightful recap of the hilarity that is jury duty, I freeze. Is it illegal to blog about jury duty? Is that an accusation, jury blogging? Blogging while jurying? Must check on that and--

OH MY HEAVENS they just said “All rise” and called the judge that walked in “The Honorable.” This is so a movie. And there’s even a score! Holy everything I think there is music swelling while the judge talks about our duties. Where is that coming from? Oh. The street outside. It’s car horns. So, maybe not so much...with the score... Man I've been in here too long.

Hey, you know what should be illegal? Smoking smelly cigarettes before being forced to sit in close quarters with your fellow jurors. Sick. I am ready to get out of this cramped hallway and back into the courtroom.

After a group of us misses the last exemption, a man across the hall quips, “I don’t guess I should buy any lottery tickets today.” Everyone chuckles. We have a camaraderie now, I suppose. We’re all this together! Again I suppress the urge to break out into song.

Oh. Em. Gee. I’m back in the courtroom. They are asking questions about why we wouldn’t be a good choice to serve on this case. Nothing that comes up applies to me, and therefore HOLY MOSES I’ve just been selected. I am a juror now.

Umm... could they not warn a person that in the event of your being selected for jury duty, you could end up having to stick a giant JURY pin through your shiny new-ish shirt? I mean really. Talk about hardship.

I am listening to the facts of the case. I really am. But at the same time, I may also be thinking of all courtroom dramas, songs about juries, crimes, and lawyers, and certain Veronica Mars jury duty episodes. The worst thing is that even as I sit here viewing evidence and hearing testimony, the song “Crime of the Century” from Ragtime is reverberating in my head. I've never been more glad that people don't know what I'm really thinking....

We ushered to a tiny room lined with boxes and boxes labeled “Warning Tickets” and the like. Very official.

Annnnnnd it’s freezing. I want to get out of here. But I don’t want to be like Juror Number 7, here! No way, I am here to be Henry Fonda! I will stick it out. I will fight. Bring it on.

In the end? Guilty.

Don’t cross me, fool.


dc said...

You're amazing.

Brent said...

This is why I read blogs... thanks!!!