Sunday, April 06, 2008

the long arm of the law

it started the day i got back from hawai'i.

there i was, minding my own business, sorting through the pile of mail that jumped out of my box as soon as i opened it.

fabulous credit card offer i can afford to pass up
important looking envelope from the dentsville magistrate
rolling stone
other random envelopes and catalogs that aren't really registering right now because i'm trying to figure out what i've done to warrant correspondence from someone of a legal nature.

long story short (because i the paperwork is actually holding my place in my current reading material):

1. the body still hasn't been found.
2. nor have those stashes or hardcore drugs i'm constantly pulling out and snorting/smoking/shooting/sticking in my bellybutton.
3. i haven't been caught sleepspeeding on my way home from work again. (uh oh- hope i didn't just jinx myself with that one.)

it seems i've been called to do my civic duty. in the last major election, i voted for the candidate no one else in my state wanted (i seem to be a blue amongst the reds), and now i must pay my penance by sitting in a courtroom and listening to hardcore check-bouncers spin their tales of woe.

getting excused was not an option, though i was advised to yell out "nuke 'em all" during jury selection, so i'd be able to resume my regularly scheduled toilet scrubbing and floor sweeping at work.

don't get me wrong- there are some things i really love about my job: the coworkers, the kids, the flexible vacations, the way the puppies refuse to let me go out to the mailbox all by myself......

.....but i don't love scrubbing toilets and sweeping floors...especially when the dry lawn necessitates doing the latter on a daily (at least once, if not twice) basis.

so, the thought of spending my time raking in the big bucks while catching up on my reading and possibly giving those serial check bouncers an opportunity to practice balancing their checkbooks while doing hard time in whatever the south carolina equivalent of alcatraz may be......well, it had a little appeal. i mean, after all, it worked for pauly shore, didn't it?

(egads- did you know pauly's 40 now? i had no idea.....)

but i digress.

i agonized over what to wear for my first day of jury duty. i mean, i'm a jeans and sneakers sort of girl, and i was informed that such an outfit would hardly be appropriate for such a serious matter.

jeans were out, but that didn't mean i didn't have other options. i mean, i could have played this several ways:

~stilettos and a mini (in case there was some sort of "brawling in a strip joint" case on the docket.)*

~sweats and those stupid boxing gloves i paid twenty bucks for when i took tai-bo several years ago (for a hit and run case, of course)**

~eyepatch and crutches (surely they haul in the folks who park illegally in handicapped spaces every now and then. this is the one instance when i would be likely to yell "nuke 'em all!")

~plain black dress, sensible shoes (i'd have to borrow some, since i doubt the plaid doc martens would count), cardigan, and glasses (just in case there's a case involving failure to return overdue library books.....or a lawsuit brought by a librarian against the adult film industry claiming slander or perversion of a formerly respected occupation....and why am i reminded of the episode of "tales from the crypt" that starred adam ant and took place in a library?)

sorry- digressed again.

i finally settled on a plain shirt and khakis...but drew the line when it came to footwear. the plaid chuck taylors just seemed to tie the outfit together.***

i'd told the bosses the night before that i had jury duty and that they'd see the whites of my eyes only if i finished before i had to meet a friend/coworker for the def leppard concert that night.****

as it turned out, my stint as a juror was technically over before it began.

i was supposed to show up at the courthouse (actually a storefront in a strip mall, if you can believe it) at 10am sharp. in a rare show of overpunctuality, i got there at 9:55. i parked my car, took a wrong turn into (and back out of) the storefront for the DMV, and wandered toward the proper office at 9:57. as i approached the door, a woman came out and held it for me.

"are you a juror?"


"well, we had a lot of cases on the docket this week, but all of them have been settled, so you're off the hook."

dammit- there went my chance to convict the most ruthless check bouncer in the whole county, which would surely lead to a book deal and an appearance as a member of a panel on some hard-hitting news show, which, of course, val kilmer/matthew mcconaughey/johnny depp would be watching on the edge of his seat, and he would be so dazzled by my brilliance and ability to walk in stilettos while wearing an eyepatch and using my boxing gloves to carefully drape my cardigan around my shoulders that he'd show up at my front door as soon as he could possibly catch a flight to columbia and ask if he could balance my checkbook.....

whoa- sorry about that. digressing again.

perhaps i'll go ahead and write that book anyway....just as soon as i'm done sweeping the floor.

*this would never have worked. i'm still learning how to walk in some 3" stilettos i bought on sale in phoenix last year, in the hopes that i'll get that particular goal off my "to do before 30" list.

**blame my dad for that one. i was raised to always smell the bad pun coming and to jump on it with enthusiasm.

***sorry about that. blame dad for that one, too.

****i will save the bulk of the concert for another post, but i can't help but take the opportunity to openly admit that:
1. phil collen has always been my favorite member of def leppard- and i have the posters ripped out of metal edge magazine to prove it and
2. i'm glad i called dibs early on, because he may be 50, but he's built more like a buff twentysomething. i can certainly think of far worse ways to spend a morning/lunch break/evening than having that torso invade my personal space.


Stef said...

i was called for jury duty last fall, but couldn't serve because of school... so i was able to postpone it until this june... oh. joy. i've served jury duty before in virginia, and i know how boring it can be. not looking forward to it, and i can't get out of it this time...

Callie said...

I've been called into jury duty about 6 times, but have yet to serve in an actual jury. There must be something about me . . . maybe it's the crazed look in my eyes. Or the stilettos I still have yet to learn how to walk in . . .

Larry said...

I just hope that if there was a case involvong librarian porn, you would side with the porn industry. I mean, come on, is there anything sexier than the transition from glasses wearing conservative to full on freak in 3.5 seconds?

Other than midget porn, I would have to say NO.

bricotrout said...

ive never been summoned to do jury duty in a state that i still reside. i envy you and the chance to say 'im prejudiced against all races!' and 'burn baby, burn!' at the top of my lungs.

duff said...

stef: perhaps you'll get stuck on a major case, that will drag on for months, make all the newspapers, and net you a book deal afterwards. after all, isn't o.j. in trouble again?

callie: ah, yes- stilettos. two months left to master mine.

larry: midgets, eh? check this out.

bricotrout: "prejudiced against all races"? wow....i could use that.

Ren said...

Me? I'm a non-citizen, so jury duty is not something I worry about.

Neither is voting.

I am a brown amongst the reds and blues.

duff said...

ren: brown? i always thought of you as a muted chartreuse....but that could just be because i love saying the word "chartreuse".