Thursday, March 06, 2008

It’s Juroriffic

Or is it Jurortastic? Jurorlicious, perhaps? Whatever you call it, I came one-step closer Thursday to becoming a full-fledged juror as opposed to a juror-elect. That is when I had my first day of jury duty. In the wonderful county in which I currently reside, you have to call in each night for a week until you finally get to Thursday night and hear the glorious recording tell you that by merely calling in for the past 5 nights that you have fulfilled your annual jury duty service. As glorious as that is, they have yet to send me the sticker commemorating by jury fulfillment. Or sucker. Yes, I wouldn’t mind a jury fulfillment sucker. Preferably, grape flavored, though I’d settle for watermelon if that was a deal breaker. In my lovely county, if you make it to Wednesday night without having to report for jury duty, you are usually home free.

So, you can imagine my horror delight surprise when I was told that I did indeed have to report in person this year. It made me wonder what I had done wrong. My phone calls have always been good enough before. Why is it now that they aren’t good enough to fulfill my jury requirement? Did I not enunciate clearly enough into the automated system? Did I punch the digits on my cordless phone too hard, thereby giving off a violent air? Maybe the phone system heard me yell ‘woo-hoo’ Tuesday night after I called and was told I didn’t need to come in on Wednesday.

Whatever I did to offend the phone system, it was with a great deal of trepidation that I entered our county courthouse Thursday. Well, I mean as much trepidation as one can have when you are skipping along the sidewalk celebrating not having to go into work. I wondered if I was a marked man for whatever I did to the phone system and sat down to take my place among the 300 other people to wait for the county’s revenge like we were heads of cattle in the stockyards. I will say though that the smell was slightly better, although I swear I could hear somebody mooing off and on. Oh wait, that was me. But in my defense, the icebreaker worked and I found several people to have a very nice conversation with.

It was just minutes later as we were discussing the architecture of the room (I tried bringing up cheese, but I guess its popularity as a conversation topic is not as high as I always thought) that I found out what my revenge would be. Fortunately, they read off the selected jurors alphabetically, so my wait wasn’t very long. My fate: possible jury selection for a 10-day criminal trial. (Go ahead and ooh and ahh, but pretend you hear that annoying and fast metallic sounding duh-duh sound from Law and Order while you do it). Initially I was as mad as 12 angry men (get it? Now all I need is the obligatory LA Law reference), but then I realized I might enjoy 10-days as a juror (which is translation for being out of the office). Heck, I might want to make a career out of this and travel from courtroom to courtroom as a professional juror. Though I think the $15 a day that they pay might force me to adjust my style of living a little.

Now granted I have to return Friday with 80 other potential jurors for only 14 spots, but my mind is racing as the possibility of me as a juror. Is the fact that I am a daily Monday-Friday blogger a significant reason to be excused from being a juror? What if I tell the judge that I am a blogger and can’t promise that I won’t divulge all the juicy info from the trial on my blog? Ok, yeah, the threat of being held in contempt will probably keep me from doing that. Do I offer up my blog for the judge and both counsels (see, I’m learning the lingo already) to see what I really am about? Do they really want to put the fate of a criminal alleged criminal in the hands of someone like me? Let’s face it; what am I going to do when one of the lawyers makes a statement that is just begging for a ‘That’s What She Said?’ Am I going to have to hold my hands over my mouth, am I going to start squirming, will I jot it down on my legal pad (which will finally be used to write down ‘legal’ things) and then show a fellow juror only to have them give me a dirty look, am I going to ask to approach the bench so that I can tell the judge or am I just going to blurt it out and have to be hauled off by the bailiff? I’m seriously worried about this. It’s not like it has affected my appetite or anything; but still, I’ve got serious concerns about how I’ll perform as a juror.

Then there is always the chance that all of this could be a moot point. Maybe the suspect will be accused of holding up a fondue restaurant or deli. After all, don’t they have to excuse me from the jury when I tell the judge that as far I’m concerned, not doing the same thing too would have been very, very hard? That’s what she said…

****Remember to get your questions in for Q & A Monday. Well it's more of a suggestion than a reminder, really. It's not like I have the power to hold you in contempt or anything. Though I am hoping they sell the authority to do so in the courthouse gift shop.****


Janna said...

Fifteen bucks a day?
Are you serious?
That's hardly worth the trouble of making the metallic Law & Order sound. ("tung-TUNG!!")
Each "Tung" has got to be worth at least twenty.
At least.

Michael C said...

Janna: Yep, 15 lousy small ones. And your 'Tung' was much more descriptive than my 'duh.' I thank you for that!

Anonymous said...

I gotta say, I'd love to see you on a Jury.

chefmom said...

OKay, my favorite line was this: "Let’s face it; what am I going to do when one of the lawyers makes a statement that is just begging for a ‘That’s What She Said?’ Am I going to have to hold my hands over my mouth, am I going to start squirming, will I jot it down on my legal pad (which will finally be used to write down ‘legal’ things) and then show a fellow juror only to have them give me a dirty look, am I going to ask to approach the bench so that I can tell the judge or am I just going to blurt it out and have to be hauled off by the bailiff?"
Until I read the last 2 lines of the post. You are SO FUNNY Vladamir VS the 3rd!!!
As for my question: What is the one deep fried food you could never live without? Or rather..What is your favorite deep fried food?

Anonymous said...

I had to serve jury duy once. It was mostly boring, but had a few highlights. The distressing part was how ignorant jurors were about considering the evidence. ("Well, I know they have proof he was selling drugs to kids, but he seems like a nice guy...")

Michael C said...

Silver: I really, really hope the judge does not agree ;-)

Michael C said...

Chefmom: Let's face it, when you hear the need for TWSS, you've just gotta say. It's the law!!

Citizen: I bet that happens much more often than we would be comfortable to admit.

Casdok said...

Good luck!!

Michael C said...

Cadok: Thanks!!

Natalie said...

I have never got called for jury duty and I really want to be. I think it would be incredibly awesome. they do need to do something about raising payment though.

Why is it that when mold grows on most food we throw it out but when mold grows on cheese it becomes desirable and delicious?

meleah rebeccah said...

I really want you to be on the jury. Imagine 10 days of trials and stories about OTHER jurors...the blog fodder alone is worth it.

Those posts would be entertaining..... for US.

FRIGGA said...

Oooohh, I'm super jealous! I actually enjoyed Jury Duty and was disappointed last time that after a week of calling in I was done.

I like it back in the day when receiving that Jury Letter meant at the very minimum a morning off work.

What is your FAVORITE type of cheese?

best bud's wife's sister said...

I had to sit thru the selection process once for a murder trial. Imagine my surprise when I was seated for the jury after I had just divulged that I knew several attorneys, most of the Marshal's office, had family in the state justice system - on both sides of the law :p - and knew many of the courtroom staff. How'd you like to have been that defendant? Anyway, I think you'd get great blog material. Like when they asked me if I could stand to look at pics of a dead body and before I knew what I was saying, told them only if it was a skeleton. I think I heard a few chuckles. (btw, I was going to abbreviate my name, first letters only, but I googled it first - YOWZA!! I'll think of something shorter.)

Patti said...

I never heard of a fondue restaurant.

As for jury duty, I hope you got picked. It would offer you plenty of blog fodder.

I had a question the other day and now will go see what it was.

Patti said...

OK I'm back with it. My memory ain't what it used to be.

Q: If beef jerky is like cheese to you, what, pray tell, is cheese like?

Carrie said...

WTF; 15$ a DAY? That's ridiculous...

Michael C said...

Natalie: After being there today, I can say that it is really cool!

Meleah: I have to go back Monday but the prospects of me landing on a jury don't look too good at the moment.

Frigga: So far my jury duty letter has meant 3 days off of work ;-)

Best Bud's Wife's Sis: Yeah, you do know a few people in court land ;-) I won't bother googling the abbreviation. I'll just take your 'yowza' for it.

Patti: I think out your way there is a lovely fondue chain called The Melting Pot. I'm so jealous!!!

Carrie: It didn't even cover the cost of my lunch today!! Of course I didn't need the steak at the Irish pub across the street, but that's not really the point now, is it. ;-)

Open Grove Claudia said...

HOLY CRAP!! Is it really true!?! I finally made your WEBLOG??

I feel like a contestant on the price is right. Guess I'll have to add you again.... :)

Selma said...

I did jury duty once. It was a dispute over a garden fence that went on for weeks. It became violent. It was brilliant!

I have two questions this week -
1. Has anyone ever spread a rumour about you?
2. What's your favourite tongue twister?


Odat said...

...I'm so glad someone I know will almost be writing legal things on a legal pad!!! How exciting! hehe.
Have a good weekend!

Question: Do you think there really is a man in the moon????