Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I have jury duty!

And the jury's out as to whether I'll actually serve. I got a notice in the mail in December telling me I had to show up on a certain day in January at a certain time, but first I had to call a certain number on a certain day before that day after a certain time in the evening and key in a certain number.

So I wrote myself a note to do all that and put it where I could see so I wouldn't forget it. I'm civic minded ("This is my country," I'm singing gustily, "land of the brave..."; oh, I'm writing a post) and wanted to do my duty.

So I called on the day I was suppose to, only to hear an automated voice tell me all of the above except for a different date.

So I followed her instruction and called on that date, only to hear an automated voice tell me all of the above except for a different date.

So I followed her instruction and called...

You get the picture. I have to call tomorrow night and see if they need me.

Sheesh! I certainly don't mind serving on a jury (though I'd hate to get a really bad case; it might give me the heebeegeebees; I'm not Brandilyn Collins). But I sure wish they'd make up their minds.

You watch. I'll be told to go down there, and the same thing that happened last time will happen again.

You go down there at dark thirty in the morning, park in a stadium parking lot, get shuttled to the courthouse, are told to sit in a freezing cold ACed room (you'd think the city could save a few bucks by turning down the AC), that they'll be back, so you sit there and read or talk, and from then until noon, you're herded down hallways and into various rooms and then back into the main room, and then you're told to get some lunch and come back, and finally, finally, about midafternoon, you're actually seated in a courtroom and being questioned by a lawyer and a prosecutor.

And the lawyer for the one being tried (defendant? plaintiff? I forget), the one being tried being a pretty young woman who was caught DUI, gets up, swaggers over to you (me) having read my juror card, and with a slight smirk says, "So-o-o-o-o-o-o, I see you're...a...minister's wife? (dragging it out like he's loathe to say the words)."

"Yes. That's right."

A bunch of questions.

The clincher question.

"Since you're a minister's wife, do you think you can be unbiased and render a fair decision in this case?"

My red hair gets the best of me but I remain calm and smiling. "Sir, as a minister's wife, I've given my life to helping people, sometimes young people just like her, and if there's one thing I can guarantee you, I guarantee you being a minister's wife has caused me to have great compassion."

Egg on his face. Sheepish look in his eyes.

A gleam in the procecutor's eyes.

Nasal-sounding eh-h-h-h-h-h-h-h (I'm trying to type a word for a buzzer-gong sound).

Interpretation: Dismissed.

By the prosecutor.


I spent all day at the courthouse only to be told to go home and forget it.

Oh, well. I'll try again. If I'm called to serve.


At 10:55 PM, Blogger Richard Mabry said...

Hope you have a better experience next time (assuming you get past the "phone mail jail" runaround). Maybe you'll get an idea for your writing. After all, it's a great opportunity to people-watch.

My own jury experience is limited, since attorneys don't seem to like doctors as jurors any better than they do ministers and their wives.

Reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Ted Danson's show, "Becker," in which he plays a curmudgeonly doctor: "How'd you like to be tried by twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty?"

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...


I'm still laughing.

I read an article awhile back about jurors, real jurors, and it sorta' ran along those lines! Scary.


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