Saturday, February 16, 2013


Sometimes, civic duty calls.

It really should check the number and try again when it gets me.

My local municipality -- after my having been herein for 18 years -- has finally drawd me to be potentially selected for jury duty.

I should be honored to have the chance to serve.  Performing civic duty for my community is but one small manner in which I, the benefactor of the freedoms and liberties our constitutional representative republic affords me, can give back to the community of which I am such an integral and important part.

Personally, I think they prefer my taxes and fees they soak me for. 

Not that I haven't received "the" summons before; usually, my local county taps me once every 5-7 years, only to be told that I'm not needed the night before because "my number is out of range".

My number must be in Kansas.

Once -- when I was an accidental member of the City and County of Denver (during their annexing frenzy a few decades ago) -- I actually had to appear for jury duty.  And I actually was in the first group of 12 potential jurors to go before the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney and defendant, to be questioned about my fitness to be a "peer" for the accused.  After hearing many a horror story of folks hanging around the courthouse all day only to, at the wasted end, not be needed....I had made it to the next level. 

Which is usually when the ghosts or robots started coming after you faster. 

While I found the possibility of being stuck on jury duty for perhaps 1 or more days to be an inconvenience, I was also fascinated with the distinct possibility that I might, on any given jury, be asked to decide the guilt or innocence of a possible societal miscreant, and perhaps cast the deciding vote that sent him or her to the electric chair for felony making faces at hamsters in a pet shop.

That thought actually did cross my mind; my third concussion was still a few years in the future and cannot be blamed.

So there I was, facing a new frontier.  And following a lecture from the judge, the defense attorney stepped forward, casting a penetrating glance across the faces of the first potential 12, and asked in a booming voice, "now when you walked in here today and you saw this gentleman seated here (aka, his client), you assumed that this was an innocent man, right?".

And his penetrating stare landed directly on me.

With this all being new and fascinating to me, and what with me being the first of the first to speak as a potential peer of 12 perhaps eventually angry peers of the accused, I really did want to be thoughtful, measured, even profound in the manner and diction that I would utter.  History might hang on every last syllable.

Alas, I was not up to the moment, as the first thing that popped to mind tumbled out before I could re-arrange it into a "for the ages" quote:  "I assumed that he was the defendant".

Just like that, I was done.

I might eventually do something "for the ages", but this tweren't it.  Oops.

Years -- and a third concussion later -- and here I stand at the intersection of perhaps judicial history or a transcript blooper that goes viral on the 'net, once more.

And all dependent now on an in-range or out-of-range number.

One thing is virtually certain, at least according to my pet rock, Seymour:  whoever's case I may or may not be seated as a "peer" to sit in judgement on, it is a lockstep certainty that I cannot be a "peer" of this person.  Unless they are equally as weird as I am.

If they have a pet rock like mine...then they'll truly be a "peer". 

And probably guilty as hell of whatever.

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Blogger Sandee said...

I shared this post with Seymour and he says this is exactly spot on. You know you and Seymour really do think a lot alike.

Seymour is my Saturday feature each week. You'll have to swing by to see what trouble he's caused this week.

Have a terrific day. Seymour sends his best. ☺

16 February, 2013 08:28  
Blogger Right Truth said...

I've never been called for jury duty.

I figure the person I'm called to judge might not be my peer either, ha

Right Truth

16 February, 2013 13:04  
Blogger Jenny the Pirate said...

Seymour is indubitably peerless. Let's just get that out of the way. I've been called for jury duty once: in 2007, and had to report to the federal courthouse in Kershaw County, a fur piece from my domicile. It was a few weeks before my son's graduation from high school, is how I remember. The trial was going to last several weeks and I was planning a poolside afterparty for my boy. I had to plead my case publicly to the judge, who was unmoved. "Sir, I live 45 minutes away from here, in Lexington County," said I. My plight did not even register with his honor. "We'll get you out of here in time to get to your son's graduation on the day," he intoned. "Sit down." So I did and I held my breath until they'd seated a jury and I was not on it. Then the trial got cancelled. Shame that because I would sort of have liked to serve on a jury unless the case was a snoozer.

19 February, 2013 14:25  

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