Tuesday

jury duty

jury duty
i have only heard one person ever say anything good about serving' jury duty. it was hank hill, star o' one o' my favorites - king of the hill. but since he is a cartoon character i guess he doesn't count so therefore i must say i have never heard anybody say anything good about doin' jury duty.

somehow i have lived as long as i have without bein' able to opinionate on this necessity o' citizenship...until recently. it wasn't that i was intentionally left off the guest list and therefore not sent one o' the official red, white 'n black custom invites to partake. in fact a number o' them had been previously delivered into our mailbox. unfortunately each arrived during' times when i was under a great deal o' stress...enough stress to turn me, normally a very good citizen, into a temporarily careless citizen who had no concern for her civic duty. the invites to attend these mandatory gatherings among strangers were barely acknowledged as they were quickly piled in with all other stamped 'n canceled pockets o' parceled papers and forgotten.

when i finally remembered that i had been summoned for these serious soirees whose times had come 'n gone, i was filled with great guilt. when i later learned that the penalty for not paying' attention could mean a chance o' paying a thousand dollar fine and/or a number o' days in a lil caged room in the big house...and after these punishments, STILL owe the time as a juror, i had to add fear to my guilt. but instead of seekin' to fix my sorry self inflicted situation by seekin' assistance in a solution for stashin' away several summons, i just waited to see what would happen next.

while i worried about the time i might have to spend in jail (i have seen all episodes o' oz) i never mentioned my shame about the stashed summons to mini's daddy. i couldn't bear the shock he would show seein' me as the criminal stashin' the summons had turned me into. after all, mini's daddy is a saintly citizen who would never stave off even the lightest summon to show up as a juror or any other need his state - or country - sanctioned him to serve - even those that might not provide snacks.

i was seriously relieved when a new summons arrived but scared when i saw that it was altogether different in appearance than those that had been stashed. this new summons was in all black - no red ink this time - and all the words were in big bold capital letters. the new summons didn't ask any questions or allow spaces for excuses - it just told me when and where to appear to serve and if i didn't, when and where to appear to explain my lack o' doin' so.

when the day arrived to do my duty, i couldn't help but worry that once i arrived i would be made to provide an acceptable excuse for bein' such a sorry citizen and no excuse would be satisfactory and i'd end up in handcuffs once i handed over my thousand buck fine. my family musta' thought the same as mini 'n jo packed me enough snacks for a lengthy stay 'n mini's daddy insisted on dropping' me off - i guess to keep me from runnin' up a big parking' fee while i paid my penalty in the pen. my anxiety grew when he mentioned on the way that it was odd that i was summoned to serve in the middle o' the week - seems serving' usually started on a monday.

once i arrived at the designated den where the duty was to be done, i noticed that all the other citizens that had been summoned to serve were holding' serious summons lackin' red just like mine... i was surrounded by sorry citizens just like myself....hmmm...i wasn't sure if this was a good sign and wondered if it made sense to summon us all on the same day.... maybe they planned to shove us all into the same cell. while i was ponderin' this prospect i realized that all the other strangers summoned to serve along with me were also women. at first i found this quite strange but then felt a lil better 'bout myself knowin' i wasn't the only woman who had come close to bein' a criminal by bein', if only for a lil while, a bad citizen.

much to my surprise there was no suggestion that none of us had shown up for service after several summons. we were safely herded along, signed some signatures and sent into a very pleasant setting with quite plush seating. there was a big screen tv hung high for all the servers to see and lotso sony screens for those who sought to surf the world wide web. i opened up the sack lovingly filled with snacks and set about sharin' with all the strangers then sat, started up my ipad 'n spent the time shoppin' for shoes 'n such. the only unpleasantness was some sexy siren sittin' behind me whose fingers soared sending' silly text messages the entire time and each time she hit a key a sonic sound signaled. this was quite annoying' but everything else was quite satisfying.

after only several hours of sittin', we were sent home. not only was i surprised to have spent such a short time serving' but had become so relaxed shoe shoppin' i coulda' certainly stayed put.

seems so senseless that i had made myself suffer so - after doin' the stashin' o' those summons. now that i know how satisfying' serving' can be i am certainly looking' forward to bein' invited back soon. i may even see if they ever seek out citizens for volunteer service. i'm not sure that every city has the same set-up but i must say, next time you get summons to serve, you might wanna see it as something' to look forward to rather than something' you feel the need to get out of. i wonder what else hank hill has been right about?

8 comments:

Maija said...

Not so bad, huh?
I loved OZ- so gritty!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mo.. so glad your civic duty was bearable and even with the annoying siren behind you keying, you were able to get some shoe shoppin' done. I have had to go twice.. once in NY where I was quite suprised to see my best friend's boy friend (now husband and close as a brother) was also serving so we went out to lunch. Another jurer was a past neighbor and who also had babysat for me when I was young, and the next day we went to lunch at her sister's house, then here in VA I met someone I dealt with over the phone all the time where I work, so I too had a fun experience each time I served.. and to have them pay you too that both of my jobs at the time didn't request the money back, so I got free pocket money and free coffee from the jury sitting room so I was content! :) Glad to hear you aren't in a cell somewhere, that Mini & Jo packed you snacks and you were able to share with the other gals there. Big hugs, and so glad you had a good time.. of course the jig is up, if Mini's Daddy reads your blog and sees that you were ducking in the past.. LOL.. Have a good day and thanks for the report.. as usual, love to read your blog!! XOXO Christa

Anonymous said...

ps.. gotta tell ya.. just love that photo of you and the gals at jury duty and the summonses your ipod, snacks, and other goodies you brought with you xoxo Christa

Anonymous said...

I have had this lovely invitation extended to me a couple of times...always excused but once and that trial only lasted 45 min....long enough for the guy to confess his guilt and ask for mercy. Wham bam thank you ma'am.....lol Glad your invitation wasn't one of those long drawn out trials that have you squirreled up in isolation til it's over!

xoxoxoxo
Peggy

ejj said...

I was summoned twice in six months when I lived in Dallas. Both times I sat for many boring hours until I was finally sent into a courtroom where questions were asked about this and that. On both occasions I was eliminated quickly and set free. My cousin, who started his law career as an ADA in New Orleans, told me that I was an obvious "no" for a jury consultant. About six weeks after each experience, Dallas County sent me a check that wasn't even enough to pay for parking in the courthouse parking lot....

Kathleen Grace said...

i just purchased one of your doodads and there was no way to download it. Can you please resend it to me? kathyscottage@yahoo.com

Kathy

Lorraina said...

Hi Mo, i found your blog via google while looking for an image to use if i post my jury duty experience and wondered if i could use your image?I liked your pic best; it looks like you created it?
If i get brave enough to post my jury experience, which is iffy as i'm afraid of repercussions from someone involved can i use your pic?

Guy Chambliss said...

Yeah, it's best to come in there, and get that jury duty done with no feelings of frustration. It can be an interesting experience. It can take a while sometimes, but it's best to feel calm and just get your duties done, otherwise it will feel longer and more annoying.