Greetings, Your Honor

My last day of jury duty was on Thursday. I was supposed to report to the court by 8:30am. Jennifer stayed the night with me here and I had set my brand new alarm clock to wake me up the following morning at 7:30 so I could haul myself out of bed and make it to the county court house on time. For some reason the alarm clock didn’t work and I woke up startled at nine. I jumped out of bed and made a mad dash out of the house waking up Jennifer in the process. I felt bad for her because she didn’t sleep well during the night.

I made it to court a half hour later and I wasn’t sure what to do or where to go. I ended up going to the jury commissioner’s office first to ask for some advice. All they would tell me was to go back to the court room and talk to the baliff. So I walked over to where I thought we were supposed to be and looked at a list of names and juror numbers tacked to the wall next to the court room door. I saw my name and number on the list highlighted in yellow. That couldn’t be good, I thought. There were a few other names highlighted as well and that must have meant no-shows like me. I poked my head just inside the door and a deputy from the sheriff’s dept. came over and asked me what the hell I thought I was doing. I explained that I made it here but much later than I should have been. He told me to wait outside. Nothing more. I started talking to a few other prospective jurors who were waiting in the hallway with nowhere to sit. They had been loitering there since 8:30am or earlier not knowing when or if they would be called in. That’s so jacked up.

My lawyer friend had returned my call a few days ago and he gave me some solid advice about how to get thrown off the case. Since I was working graveyard and not officially on any jury yet, the Optical Lab was expecting me in to work at night. It was a really bad scene. I needed to end this court debacle as soon as possible. The attorney told me all I needed to do was answer the questions from the 30 page survey with really fucked up shit. He said I needed to show lots of bias and come off as a total nutcase. I followed his advice and wrote down all sorts of mentally ill stuff. After he talked it over with me it seemed like a sure-fire plan to get thrown off the jury selection process.

Ten minutes had passed since the deputy told me to wait outside in the hall with the rest of the miserable people. He came back outside and hauled me into the court room without saying a word. Once I set foot inside, the deputy knocked my hat off my head with one swipe of his hand and practically punched me in the gut handing it to me. “Take off your hat while in front of the judge.” The deputy told me in a menacing tone of voice. He then escorted me to a seat across the room from the judge. I could see a few sheriff deputies positioned around the room, two groups of people sitting at tables close to each other which must have been the opposing legal teams, and the two defendants. One of them had grown his hair out into a mullet. He looked dumb. The other one looked like a migrant worker. There was another person sitting very close to the two defendants and from the look of things it must have been an interpreter.

Once I was seated the judge looked at me through his eyes of authority and said, “Mr. Factory Peasant. What is your excuse for being late?” Sarcasm was just pouring out of his voice as the words escaped his lips.
I told him my brand new alarm clock failed to work.
“Does your alarm clock do this to you often, or is this an isolated case?” He said.
I told him the alarm clock was brand new and must be defective. As I was speaking to him the judge nodded his head in a contrived sort of way and then brushed me off with a gesture of his hand and asked me another question.
“Did you enjoy yourself filling out this questionnaire?” Again, he spoke to me with total sarcasm. I could see where this was going. I must have totally pissed him off with my responses and showing up late must have pushed him over the edge. I was becoming nervous, but I was hoping he was about to throw me out of there with a vengeance.
I needed to play him out. I responded to his question by saying, “Not really.”
“Why is that, Mr. Factory Peasant?”
“Because I was angry at the time.” I said.
“Angry with what?” The judge looked at me with a completely fake puzzled expression on his face.
“This whole deal.” I gestured around the room at all of them.
“You mean with the inconvienience of having to be here.” Said the judge.
“Yeah.” I replied so quickly I almost cut him off.
“Well, Mr. Factory Peasant, I’ve looked over your responses and you have displayed a total lack of responsibility and disregard for authority. And the people have agreed that you have absolutely no business serving on this jury, or any jury in the future. Get out of my court room and don’t ever come back.” The judge was sort of red in the face as he lectured me. I got him.
“Okay.” I said.

I got up and turned around. Once my back was facing the judge, a huge shit-eating grin was plastered all over my face. Those fucked up answers I wrote down on the questionnaire really must have done the trick. The judge put himself right where I wanted him and he did exactly what I wanted. Chump. I was off the hook completely. Maybe because the judge said I was unfit to serve on any jury in the future he’d even blacklist me from being called for jury duty again! I could only hope. As I walked out of the court room and back into the hallway where all the other people were standing around bored out of their minds just waiting, my eyes met with some of them. When they saw the big smile on my face a few of them were confused. I yelled “See ya suckers!” I cruised down the hallways of the building with a spring in my step and a laugh in my evil little black heart.

As soon as I got home I called a few friends who were keeping their fingers crossed for me that I’d get thrown off the case. I called my Mom at her work first. When I told her the news and what the judge had said to me she laughed. She congratulated me on a manipulative job well done. I am going to have to get my lawyer friend a six pack for this. I should also thank Samson. Out of all the people who gave me advice on how to get out of jury duty, his was the best. He told me that during questioning to be as brutal as possible. I’m glad I listened to him because it worked.


~ by factorypeasant on October 19, 2004.

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