Today was my inaugural experience with dead guy duties… I mean jury duty. (If you don’t know lines from Nacho Libre, you may as well be living in a cardboard box!)
My third summons arrived in the mailbox a while back and I decided to give it a whirl instead of listing all the lame reasons why someone else can’t watch my kids for a few days. After all, it’s Spring… and homeschool mamas are about done with school anyway, so why not use a civil duty as another Spring Break excuse? Right? Spring Break Week THREE!
Parking downtown in a free lot was certainly a bonus. The air conditioned motor coach delivery to the Superior Court was a nice touch. Free cinnamon buns and coffee was the literal icing on the cake, but I have tasted supreme cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven of a Mennonite grandmother, so those didn’t tempt me a bit. And free coffee… eeechk. Sitting at a cubicle in the “business center” of the juror waiting area made me feel IMPORTANTE! Like I was doing a mission for de Lord. (Insert Nacho accent.)
Alas, on the third juror selection screen, “Crosby, L.” showed up. Dangit. For those who know me well, or have read my blog and picked up on the nuances of numbers that I use… number 27 is my favorite number. It works well with most exaggerations and sounds kind of cute… there were 327 singers at de par-tee. (Nacho, again.) So, as it happened, the random appointment of 65 jurors with numbers landed me at, ……you guessed it, TWENTY-SEVEN. Like it was ordained or something. I almost laughed out loud. I texted my daughter at college and told her I was juror #27 to which she replied, “Of course you are!”
The rules of jury duty were explained and the one that had me tripped up a tad was: “#4 Show no emotional reaction to evidence, testimony or statements.” Now, I’m a wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve kind of gal. You wonder what I think?….. just watch my face. I would NEVER succeed as a poker player. Rationalizing, or more appropriately, “irrationalizing” I figured I could play stone face for a five day trial. Au contraire. I didn’t even make it through jury selection.
As various jurors were stating why they couldn’t participate in a domestic violence case, one gal sobbed her way through her explanation of life with her abusive ex-husband. I didn’t sob, but I needed multiple Kleenexes. Then to my amusement, someone stated that they couldn’t participate because they couldn’t leave their dog for five days. Unfortunately, an involuntary laugh escaped from my lips. Immediately I was embarrassed by my outburst in the quiet courtroom, but was more taken aback that no one else found that ridiculously funny. Do I just find things funnier than most people? IT WAS A DOG! It’s not like Dr. Doolittle didn’t leave his pets behind once in a while. Yeah, I’m not really a “show no emotion” type gal.
After the dismissal of 20 jurors (the dog watcher included) those of us remaining had to state our employment, our spouse’s employment and our children. I tried to sound normal… normal for a homeschooling mom with four kids is not really normal to most of society. “I am an author, speaker and homeschooling mom to four kids ages 21, 18, 16 and 11.” That was it. Pretty normal if you ask me. It’s not like I was summoning my eagle powers at that moment. (Please go watch Nacho Libre if all of these references are going over your sheltered head.)
Then, my slam-dunk-weirdo-alert occurred. The attorney for the prosecution stood up and asked if there was anyone who has never seen an episode of a TV show like CSI. He was doing it as proof that EVERYONE (meaning normal people) has seen law and order shows and has a biased opinion from them. Unfortunately, maybe…fortunately, I raised the pink laminated 27. He looked at me for a second and then asked incredulously, “You have never seen a law type TV show?” “Um, no…. (pause for weirdness factor to exponentially explode) We don’t have TV.“ There was an audible gasp in the room and I heard a whisper from a fellow juror behind me, “Good for you!” I believe that sealed the deal and I could go home to my room for some toast. (Nacho is seriously addicting.) I didn’t even need to bring my large purple purse with the Jesus Saves bumper stickers on it. My own true story was weird enough to get me out of bad guy duties.
Thankfully, I didn’t make the cut. I think de Lord was protecting me from having to witness evidence in a domestic violence case. I am jury duty free for two years now! And now I can relax during Easters.