The People of the Courthouse

“I have Jury Duty.”

You might as well tell your friends you have the Ebola Virus.

They will feel SO BAD for you… but will secretly celebrate that they don’t have it.

Quite honestly, I don’t mind jury “service.”

The term “service” has replaced “duty” (perhaps to sound less obligatory and more honorary?) But it’s kind of like a colonoscopy, you can call it whatever you want, there’s still a tube going up your ass.

Nevertheless, it’s our civic responsibility, and we should take pride in it!

The other jurors were complaining.  About missing work. About the limited options in the snack machine. About having to “wait around ALL DAY.”

Five hours to sit and read? Sounds like a vacation to me.

The reason why I dread jury duty is not for the waiting, nor the process itself. It is for the inevitable forced interaction with the People of the Courthouse.

Who are actually the People of Walmart. They are just at the courthouse on this particular day either for “service” or for trial.

In fact, the only differences between Walmart and the Courthouse, are the metal detectors and the “dress code.”

I use this term loosely.

There are placards on each courtroom door that read, “No tank tops, shorts or GUM.”

I find it odd that GUM be emphasized over shorts or tank tops. In fact, I believe these signs should be re-thought all together.

An alternative idea might be: “No exposed cleavage or cracks allowed. Belt and Bra required to enter.”

It should also be clarified that pajama pants do not not REALLY qualify as “pants.” They are, in my opinion, more offensive than shorts.

Especially if you are not wearing underwear, and you are a man. With only a layer of flannel between me and your wiener.

There is such dichotomy in the courthouse between attorneys and their clients. A handsome young man in his Brooks Brothers suit and fancy cuff links. His client in her acid wash skinny jeans and T-back.

Oh, and all of her family members loitering outside the courtroom yelling obscenities into their cell phones. (Girl, your entourage is not winning you any points with “his honor.”)

Maybe this is why I never get picked to serve on an actual jury?

Because yes, I am likely to judge your book by it’s tattered, unkempt, cursing cover.

If there isn’t a voice in your head saying, “OH MY GOD, DO NOT WEAR THOSE FLANNEL PANTS TO YOUR COURT DATE, AND DO NOT CALL THE JUDGE A MOTH&* FU*^ER,” than I seriously doubt there is a voice saying, “DO NOT MAKE THAT METH IN YOUR BATHTUB AND INTEND TO SELL IT.”

Inside the courtroom, the attorneys question the jurors about our pasts to determine who might have any underlying prejudices. (They are trying to narrow down the group to the top eight most “fair” people.)

In my most recent experience, a law enforcement officer was involved in the trial, so the attorney asked, “Do any of you have a close personal relationship with anyone in law enforcement? If so, please raise your hand.”

This could be translated to, “If your boyfriend, father or brother is a cop, let us know.”

Instead, every hand goes up, and the SAME people who are bitching about being there ALL DAY launch into monologues about how… in 1993, in middle school…in Detroit…they once had a friend… whose girlfriend’s dad… was a security guard for the local mall.

And so what I thought would be a mini-vacay with my Real Simple, has turned into a 5-hour hostage situation in the Walmart.

I always seem to make it to the final round of questioning before getting dropped from the panel with no explanation. Like a when Alpha Delta Pi didn’t invite me back for preferentials.

Why wouldn’t they want me? Do I not LOOK unbiased enough? Can they read my thoughts? Is it my hot pink cardigan? My sequin earrings? The death stare I’m giving to the dumb ass next to me?

I can’t help but feel cheated.

So now I’m back in the big, stinky, un-chlorinated  jury pool. Just waiting for my next subpeona.

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