“The trick is to tell ’em you’re prejudiced against all races.” -Homer Simpson on how to get out of jury duty
Everyone’s favorite treat to arrive in their mailbox this side of a package from The Unabomber graced my dad’s house (for the good of all involved, I don’t receive mail at my house due to incidents described in the enraging “Frail Man”) and I was delighted to see that I had been summoned to jury duty.
I’ll never forget the joy of my first jury experience, although sadly I wasn’t chosen because I left early in utter disgust. Seated in a room of jackasses for umpteen hours had me feeling more than a little squirrely when our motley crew was finally ushered into the courtroom where we immediately learned that this was only the first half of our lovely day before the big draft. First half? Yep. We were supposed to get lunch and return for more pointlessness.
Having filled out my juror card issued in the first room in a sour mood, some of my comments apparently had the judge’s period senses tingling as she publicly “ragged ” on me. I can’t remember what I wrote exactly, but her response was some bullshit-ass sanctimonious speech about how vitally important to society and awesome juries are, and how much of an asscrack I was for thinking otherwise. I took the admonishment under careful advisement as I bounced during recess and went home to smoke some weed. Fuck them. If I’m not picked, they won’t care I left, and if I am picked, oh well. It must have been the former because I never heard a peep about it.
This is rattling around my brain now though as I have a sinking feeling I’m destined to be the number one draft pick this time around. Imagine if it’s to sit on some epic case like the O.J. trial too. Fa-huuuuuck that. The ringside seat must have been nice, but I bet those jurors would have rather watched the proceedings on TV after a few months of no contact with the outside world like the were Typhoid Mary.
Aside from potential imprisonment in a courtroom, the worst part about my upcoming doody will be the visit to the always cheerful courthouse. At least it’s the Taunton one and not like an hour away, but every courthouse is the same once you get inside anyway: a depressing, vile nightmare where scum and squares uneasily share quarters, though never the two shall meet.
The staffs are great too, from the metal detector jockeys, to the clerks, to the secretaries, to even the lawyers, every single person who works in a courthouse has the demeanor that suggests they’re on the verge of holding their nose. They’re equally unsympathetic, cynical, and condescending to everyone they encounter. They act like teachers who hate teaching and are on their last tenured year. During my last jury experience I had the impulse to say at least a dozen times, “No I’m just here for jury duty. I’m not really scum. Honest.” Then again, it’s not surprising that working among the dregs of society on a daily basis makes them detest anybody who isn’t also a staff member on general probability. You ever sit on one of those court benches? It looks like Beetlejuice’s waiting room.