Every year, I receive the dreaded form in the mail stating that I've been chosen for jury duty. Year after year, I call the night before and hear the heavenly message that I will not have to report. Year after year...except for 2009. My luck had run out. I had to report.
I drove to the county courthouse and stood outside with a large cross section of the county's finest. No less than 10 people around me were chain smoking. People talked about passing piss tests and their baby daddies. Two men near me were talking about the abysmal state of the economy. To really emphasize his point, one man pulled out his pocket bible and read the other man a verse. They both nodded knowingly. I failed to see how the verse related to the conversation at all. Several women hollered obscenities into their cell phones. It's safe to say that I stuck out like a sore thumb.
Finally, we all went in and passed through the metal detectors on our way up to the third floor. Near the elevators, I saw an old college friend who happens to be a District Attorney nowadays. Because he hadn't seen me, I debated whether or not I should say hello because I was dressed like a major frump (Really, who dresses up for jury duty!? I had Uggs on. 'Nuff said.), and he was in a sharp navy suit and tie. But thankfully, I sucked up my insecurities and stopped him in the lobby. My time at the courthouse was made infinitely more tolerable because I didn't just let him walk by (thanks Counselor!).
In the crowded juror room, I managed to find a seat, pulled out my pharmacology book and began studying. Why is it that people always want to talk in situations like this? Clearly, I had my nose buried in a book and wasn't interested in talking, and yet people interrupted me over and over, asking all kinds of questions. Personal questions. The hours dragged on and on. My name was called at around 10am. At 10:45, we were told to take a "break" and come back at 1:45pm.
Thankfully, the Counselor took me out for an enjoyable lunch and a long overdue catch-up sesh. I returned at 1:45 and resumed studying, this time undisturbed. At around 2:45pm, everyone was dismissed because the case had settled. As happy as I was to be leaving the confines of the stuffy juror room, I couldn't help but wonder why they couldn't have settled at, say, 11am?! Damn. At least I had plenty of studying to help pass the time.
In another year, I'm sure I'll be called again. But hopefully, I won't have to report again for a looooong time...