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Life is only what you wonder.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Duty Deed

I had "Jury Duty" today.
What a total waste of a perfectly good day!

Do you know what my Jury Duty consisted of? Well, I am going to tell you.

Jimmy's Jury Duty

8:15 AM - I arrive at the courthouse and have my bag searched and walk through a metal detector. I am then directed to a "Jury waiting room" where I wait for further instructions.

8:45 AM - I watch a scintillating video that explains everyone's rights to a jury trial, a (thankfully brief) history of our legal system, and some propagandist pep-talk about how we should be proud and thankful to be a part of the jury selection process.
Oh, yeah. I woke up this morning and said "YAY! I have Jury duty today!"

9:15 AM - Jurors are being called by number for check in. I sit and wait patiently for my number to be called.

9:40 AM - They finally get to my number. I go downstairs and wait in a line. When I get to the little table the woman takes my jury summons and my ID, checks my name on the list and has me sign the line next to it. She gives the summons and my ID back and I am then directed to wait in another line.
When I get to the counter the woman verfies my address is correct, hands me a sticker that says "JUROR" that I'm supposed to wear and three five dollar bills. (I get paid $15 for my wasted day. I could have made that in one hour if I was working.)
I am then directed to go back upstairs and wait.

11:15 AM - I've read two chapters of the book I brought (Sphere, by Michael Chichton) and I'm working on the third.
They must sense we're getting antsy because they put on a movie for us to watch. "The Terminal" starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

12:25 PM - Just as I was getting into the movie it cuts off and an announcement states that it's time for lunch. The announcer directs us to be back no later than 1:45PM. I don't know what happens if you're late. Maybe they throw you in Jury duty prison or something.

12:27 PM - I am in the lobby, headed for the door, cigarette already in my mouth and my lighter clutched in my paw. Give me that sweet delicious cancer!

1:43 PM - I spent my hour and 15 minutes of "my time" wisely. I gorged myself at Quizno's, called everyone in my phone book telling them what a waste of time Jury Duty was, loaded up on snack foods and soda (the vending machine in the jury room was pricier than at the airport. Eighty-five cents for a packet of cheese crackers!) Bought some gossip magazines ("Katie is pregnant! Is Tom the father?") and smoked about seven cigarettes. (Too bad you can't store nicotine in your body and time-release it when you need it. You could smoke a whole pack, one after another, in the morning and then you wouldn't have to light up all day. It doesn't work that way, though.)

1:45 PM - My bag is searched and I walk through the metal detector again. I go back upstairs to wait.

2:00 PM - They put "The Terminal" back on. Our eyes glaze over.

2:37 PM - The movie is finished, roll credits.
Not a bad movie. I would never have picked this at Blockbuster.

3:00 PM - An announcement is made that they need some jurors.
Everyone perks up. Maybe the day won't be a total waste after all.
They call numbers of people to go to another room for Jury Selection.
I am not one of them.
A dozen or so people shuffle out of the room, never to be seen or heard from again.
I crack open a magazine, pop the top on my soda and munch on some cheese crackers.

3:30 PM - In order to placate us they put on another movie. "Hitch" with Will Smith and Kevin James (from "The King of Queens").

4:20 PM - Just as the movie was getting interesting, it cuts off and an announcement tells us that Jury Duty is over. We're free!
I make a mental note to rent this movie the next time I'm at Blockbuster so I can see how it ends, put a cigarette in my mouth and dash for the exit.

That was my Jury duty, folks. Thank God they don't come around that often.