August 17, 2004

All Rise. Well, not *you*.

So I had jury duty. Which, for reasons best known to others, means you have to get to the courthouse at some ungodly hour, like 8 am. Given my present sleep schedule, this leaves precious few hours for repose the night before; hence, that morning consisted of a desperate lunge out of bed to silence the alarm placed thoughtfully across the room, then a Frankenstagger to the bathroom. A shower did nothing to help, save clean me; I pulled on clothes blindly and headed off. I managed to make it on time (yay me!) and was, of course, promptly handed a card and told to wait for the orientation film to start at 8:30.

Sigh.

At 8:30, we were given a well-polished briefing by the gent in charge (he had a uniform with a radio handset clipped to his shoulder, that's all we needed) and then he hit 'play.' Two TVs gave us a 17-minute video presentation in which several people with the demeanor of those in the airline safety videos walked through the process of a jury selection. Between that and the judge briefing us later during the selection process (oh, and the speech given at the start of the tape by some superior court justice) we were told our duty was 'sacred' something like nine times.

After the video, we were told we had fifty minutes break time and that this was normal (I got up early because...?) but to be back by ten of ten OR ELSE. So we were.

Finally, I was called (along with forty of my peers) to a courtroom, where a genial superior court judge gave us another pep talk - although that might have just been to irritate the surly-looking plaintiffs and defendants who were sitting along one wall in their best court clothes, looking annoyed. A civil case, involving a promissory note, thousands of dollars, yada, yada, default, yada. Well, if you've ever been for jury duty, you know what happens then - you're called up one by one to the sidebar to let the judge ask you questions while the lawyers (potentially cloned fat Masshole Italianates) decide how to bounce you off the jury if you're not white, mid-to-lower class and surly, just like their client. I watched this happen for about an hour and a half. Just as they filled the fourteenth and final seat with a white person, it hit 1pm - lunchtime. The judge dismissed us with his thanks, and the rest of us - free - filed out.

That's when the embarrassing bit happened...the judge, on his way out as well, came out a few minutes later. There was a bit of a wait for an elevator (we were on the 10th floor, and fifty people at once was a bit much, so I was still there) and he remarked to me, in a friendly way, that he had never seen the funny-looking animated character on my T-shirt before, what was his name?

I had totally forgotten the T-shirt.

So I was left to mumble my way out of explaining by saying something along the lines of "I beg your pardon, your Honor, it's rather obscene..." because better that than to admit I'd just sat in his courtroom proudly wearing a Fruit Fucker 2000(tm) shirt.

I am a loser.

Posted by jbz at August 17, 2004 2:00 AM | TrackBack

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