Sunday, June 17, 2012

The jury is out

Call me a freak, but, when I received the message in my mailbox that I was being summoned to jury duty, I was actually excited.  I've never been called to this particular form of civic duty, before, and I was looking forward to adding it to my list of experiences.

After all, I'm past a half-century in years, and, until the beginning of the new century, I had moved, on average, every two years.  It's difficult for city and county clerks to keep up with a person under such circumstances -- and believe me, they did try.  A year after I moved from my hometown to a nearby state, I saw my first summons to duty, forwarded to my new address and fifteen days too late... and I replied that I had no way to go back in time and space.  Naturally, they understood, and released me from further obligation.

Next, a decade or so later, I had been more than a year and more than half a continent away from my having been in Cook County, IL, when they sent me their summons.  At the bottom of the reply form was the question, "Is there good reason why you can not serve on this jury?"  I sent the paper back with my response: "The commute would be prohibitive."  Again, no problem, and, again, no jury duty.

So, when I received my latest form letter, I was actually somewhat aflutter.  Of course, even with my anticipation, I was a bit concerned.  For starters, I have limited ability to sit still, due to some o I did to my legs in a fall, lo, these past fifteen years or so ago.  Then, there's that bipolar tendency to have limited attention span.  If it doesn't rivet me, I'm likely to start doodling, writing snide comments on any nearby smooth, flat surface, or worse, to lose control over my smart mouth.  Add to that, my "regular"  hours of operation, so to speak, are noon until somewhere around three a.m.  Getting out of bed in time to face a bunch of criminals (and their clients) didn't seem so appealing, once I started to think about it.

So, when I called the number provided for last-minute messages, I was both relieved and disappointed to hear that I will not be needed at the indecent hour of oh-dawn-hundred.

I suspect the world has some justification to be relieved, though.  Last time I was forced out of bed before the crack of noon, I was in a Judge Roy Bean sort of mood.

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