Monday, April 8, 2013

My Day In Court (aka Call of Duty 2013)

The following is a "live blog" account of my jury duty experience today. I had an ipad, wifi, and a ton of time. You are welcome.


So, it has come to this. I tried everything to not be here. And by everything, I mean wishing really hard that I wouldn't have to be here. And by "here," I mean the juror waiting room of the El Paso County Courthouse.

Luckily for me and unluckily for you, they have wifi. So I can take this opportunity to rant....I mean blog.

First let me start off with the parking situation. It is stupid. There are about 400 people called into jury duty service and about 50 juror parking spots. Grrrrr.

I had to remove my belt at security. Grrrr.

Dude sitting next to me reeks of stale cigarettes and old fast food. Grrrr.

I'm thirsty. I'd buy a bottle of water, but I used all my change to pay for parking.

9:15AM
Now we are watching a video. We are supposed to pay attention, so I will.

Done with video. They made a point to tell us that the people in the video were not paid actors. They didn't have to tell us that. It was obvious.

9:47AM
Now we are watching a movie as we wait. It is National Treasure with Nicholas Cage. I thought the goal of jury service was to prevent an undue hardship.

The smell coming from the guy next to me is getting worse. I'm am nauseated. I've tried to switch seats but am having a hard time not being obvious about it. Hey, I'm a bitch internally, but I don't like to be one outwardly.

Anyway, while I wait, I will go over some of the ideas I had as ways to get dismissed:

1. Bring in my cat Maeby and ask where the child-care center is.

2. Solicit fellow jurors to form a flash mob.

3. Quote lines from National Treasure. Along with the the movie as it is playing.

4. Answer every question with "You can't handle the truth!"

5. Explain that my membership in the KISS Army will conflict with my juror service as I am required to rock and roll all night and party every day.

6. Two words: impromptu burlesque

7. Show up covered in cat hair....oh wait, I did that already.

8. Tell them that I'd love to serve, but I have to meet the Doc at the clock tower so I can make it back to 1985.

9. End every sentence with "meow."

10. Giggle uncontrollably every time someone says the word "duty."

Well. That took up some time.


I have now filled out a second questionnaire, which pretty much means that I will be called to jury selection. This is lame.

Very lame.

I'm gonna power down my iPad for the moment and await further instructions. Also, I think Smelly Dude next to me keeps looking at my screen. Back off, smelly.

11:08AM
I'm still here, but the good news is that Dude was called to a jury. Smell ya' later.

My meter expires in 45 minutes. I will not be reimbursed for a ticket as I didn't park in the overflow lot. Because I'm an idiot. And also because I didn't know there was an overflow lot. I guess I can't blame the system for my stupidity and lack of knowledge on overflow lots. There was probably a sign somewhere. I didn't read it. I don't have time for signs. I also don't like to pay close attention to things or examine them thoroughly. This should serve as a great reason for them to dismiss me from the jury.

They assured me I would be able to move my car before noon. I'm beginning to suspect that the judicial system does not move as promptly and efficiently as I had hoped.

11:14AM
Everyone who has not been assigned to a jury gets to leave. They leave smugly. I hate them.  Now it's just me, Nicholas Cage and some other assholes unlucky enough to still be here. I'm probably going to get a parking ticket.

Grrrr.

11:20
I'm hungry

11.28AM
I just remembered that I brought some sugar-free homemade flax cookies. They are...not good, at best. I has just occurred to me that I could easily get dismissed by offering to share my sugar free homemade flax cookies.....

Ugh. My civic duty is boring. And potentially expensive if I don't get to that parking meter soon.

11:58AM
Good news: I am home.

Bad news: I have to go back to the courthouse for jury selection at 1:30PM.

Even worse news: I got a parking ticket; even though I still had plenty of time on the meter. Yes, plenty of time on THE meter, but not MY meter. Yep. I put money in the wrong meter. THE WRONG FUCKING METER. I put $3 in the meter and got a $20 ticket from the City of Colorado Springs. Worst slot machine ever. But, there is no one to blame for this but myself. And I am fully aware of that. Still, it sucks.

I would like to point out that if this parking meter idiocy doesn't prove that I am unfit to serve on a jury, then I don't know what does.

I would also like to point out that there is a religious group assembled outside the courthouse asking people if they prayed while in court.

Here's my issue with this:

Aside from the obvious: street prosthelyzation is fucking annoying;  I'm also irritated at the fact that these people are willingly at the courthouse on a Monday afternoon. Some of us had to arrange to take the time off work and then complain relentlessly on Facebook about it. But these zealots are here willingly. Willingly! Also, I'm jealous about how open their schedules must be. I know I don't have the time to stand in front of a courthouse and bother people. Well, not when I'm sober anyway.

So my question is this: is this condoned by the city? If so, that is beyond- for lack of a better word- fucked.

1:15PM
It would appear that this is not condoned by the city as the Courthouse Jesus Gang has been apparently asked to leave.

Well, OK.

1:30pm
I'm now taken to a smaller room of the courthouse in which I get to hangout with my "peers." My "peers" apparently consist of a bunch of ladies in their mid-fifties, a sorority girl, and a cranky old dude.

2:20pm
I am called to the witness booth.

2:32pm
I am dismissed.

2:45pm
I went to work and finished out the day. Yeah, you hear that Courthouse Jesus Gang? I have shit to do. That's how we do up in the non-prosthelyzation hood.


I do want to note that, despite all of my joking about trying to get out of jury duty, I treated the experience with honesty and integrity. While I will not reveal the subject matter of the case, I did feel that it would be impossible for me to be impartial and objective given the questions I was asked. And this was not a ploy to shirk my responsibilities. This was an honest and conscientious response.

You wouldn't know it by the way I described my day, but I do think that jury duty is a great responsibility. An irritating, time-consuming, sometimes nauseating responsibility, but a responsibility nonetheless.

When I first got my summons, I posted it on facebook. Because I'm super mature. A weird, random lady criticized me for not being excited about my "precious gift." I can only assume that she meant jury duty as my virginity was re-gifted long ago.

Jury duty a "precious gift?" No. A kitten is a "precious gift." Apparently some sort of ring in Middle Earth is a "precious gift." Jury duty is an obligation. One that you should take seriously and fastidiously, but by no means one that you are required to be joyous about.

Oh- and I unfriended that wacko on facebook. No one posts the words "precious gift" on my wall. No one.