Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jury Tales (aka The Trials of the Blonde)

My younger daughter received a Jury duty notice recently. She wasn't called (which is just as well, because I think her father would have perished from jealousy - he wants to be on a jury ever so badly, and is never called), but it did remind me of my first foray into the legal world via the jury pool nearly a decade ago. And as I didn't scrap back then, I wrote some of my impressions...

Subject: Trials of the Blonde

Date: 10/28/1999

Okay, here it is in a nutshell: I am not serious enough to be a juror. They knew what they were doing when they confined me to the alternate position; I'm sure folks all over town are fervently praying or hoping, or sacrificing to magic crystals in the hopes that no "regular" juror becomes ill or is unable to attend.

I just can't shut up. We get into the Jury room, and it's deathly quiet because we know we can't talk about the case, and you can only complain so long about them never letting us out when they SAY they are going to let us out. I picked up a very bad habit with my college piano professor -- he was a very quiet man, and I couldn't stand the silence, so if he didn't say anything, I would just start to jabber. I became VERY adept at this over the course of four years, and the unhappy habit has trailed me ever since. The odd thing is, I'm not really a very outgoing person, and I'm not terribly comfortable with groups of strangers, but here I am chattering away in a manner that would put a Furby to shame (and often making just about as much sense as our fuzzy little friends, too, I might add).

And I'm in love with the bailiff. He is the quaintest, cutest little guy, with a grey beard, and a twinkle in his eye. Today he wore a tie with a picture of an ice cream sundae on it. I had a really tough time not making a quip about it when I filed past him to get into the jury box (in front of God, witnesses, judge and defendant -- this would have really gotten me in deep trouble, I can sense it). He teases us about little stuff, like stealing the Jury badges, and closing the door to the Jury room when we come out (this is MY job, and I'm getting EXTREMELY good at it). He teases us about our chairs squeaking, and even oiled one gal's ;-) The other bailiff is a very refined woman whom I would judge (see, I'm using legalese, here) to be in her early sixties. She's very precise, and quite nice. Today when I handed her my parking permit for stamping, I said "Will you sign my note, Mom?" I got a very refined little smile; no teeth.

I don't mean to be squirrely, it just happens. I guess it has always been my way to deal with uncomfortable situations... lighten things up a bit. I actually have to bite my tongue sometimes to keep from doing or saying something inappropriate. I stare at my shoes and the divider wall in front of me to avoid making eye contact with someone and looking unduly sympathetic or twinkly or.... The unfortunate thing is that someone has carefully etched the following into the divider wall:




Obviously, the latter two are unfinished (one can faintly see the beginnings of a c and possibly another consonant after the larger one. I am consumed with curiosity as to how someone managed to accomplish this feat of carving (and spelling) without being observed. I contemplate different methods of duplicating the deed; for one wild moment I even toy with finishing the unfinished project. This final thought sends me into such a state of horror that I would even THINK of doing such a thing that I tuck my hands under my knees, and concentrate VERY HARD on the witness. Unfortunately, the witness at this time is the defendant, who I will admit that I am reluctant to be kindly towards, and as this is probably another violation of my sacred trust as juror, the action sends me into an agony of indecision as to where to look next. I compromise by closing my eyes. Then it occurs to me that they might think I'm not paying attention, so SNAP go the eyelids, and I look at the defense attorney. Unfortunately, another juror has pointed out just this morning that he looks a lot like the local weather guy, and this likeness distracts me again. I affix my eyes upon my steno pad (which we have to leave on our chair when we leave the courtroom) with its pencil neatly tucked into the spiral ring. (The first day I opened it up and held my pencil poised and ready, but the urge to doodle was SO strong, that I closed it up and stuck the pencil back in the spiral, because I am under the impression that doodling jurors are frowned upon.)

So there you have it -- I am a disgrace to my fellow jurors, and constantly living on the edge of disaster. My goal is to make it through the trial without any of the legal professionals present pointing at me and loudly declaiming



Jeanie (aka Scrapdoctor Designs) said...

Julie - I jut had to subscribe to your posts. Not only is your work lovely and unique, but your your witty posts are SO much fun to read! I'm looking forward to looking backward through them to catch up! LOL I particularly love your writings on the subject of housework. In that respect, we are kindred spirits! I am a "professional parent" - certainly NOT a housewife! After all, I married my husband, not the house...

Ann_Ominous said...

tee hee hee!!

Glad you got a kick out of my "username" - though I have to admit I stole, er borrowed it from some one. She is now deceased and not hauting me, so I guess it must be ok with her.

Thanks for all the extras to Urban Geometry. :)

DanisDelusions said...

Look Julie, you have followers! How cool! *L*

And I just had to chime in and say ... No way I would resist doodling!

Hummie said...

lol....oh...what a hoot...I'm sitting here with my belly bouncing up and down as I silently laugh....I can just imagine you trying to finish that always, love your writing style!

Miss Chris said...

Julie, your gift for the written word is second to none. Thanks again for allowing us a peak into your very entertaining mind!