I want to be a professional juror. I am convinced my opinions can save America and I want desperately to inject them into the deliberations of people whose wide open minds are a playground for fast-dancing attorneys. And, also, I think I’m right. So I want to get in there and try to reason with these so-called “peers” who watch waaay too much TV.
Let me give you an example. I was recently summoned to join a throng of hopefuls at my nearby court house. Most of them, I realize, were hoping to get sent home. In fact, I sat next to a guy who proceeded to tell me exactly how to do it. I was torn between lecturing him about his civic duty and clamming up so he’d get the heck out of there and let some solid thinkers in.
Eventually we were ushered into a courtroom where the attorneys quizzed prospective jurors about which TV cop shows they liked, and no fewer than three women (three!) admitted they watched NCIS because of Michael Weatherly! Really? You are old enough to be this guy’s mother, yet you are ogling him like some teenager, and you admit this in a public setting?
Well, it’s simply appalling. How can the fate of the accused rest in the hands of such ninnies? They’re likely to acquit him just because he’s cute!
You can’t blame the attorneys; they’re just trying to stack the deck in favor of their side, and likely want these very dopes in the jury box. They want to know which folks watch which shows, and could be overly sympathetic to the arresting officer. I’m telling you, they need me, to remind them to look at the evidence. Or at the very least, I could inject some humor into these proceedings.
Finally my name was called to join the lineup of “maybe” jurors. I was asked what I do. Easy. “I’m a writer.” What do you write? Uh-oh. This could be a problem. I want to keep my answer short and thus harder to denounce. I took a breath. “Comedy.”
The lawyer stared at me. I stared back and shrugged. Hey, it is what it is. At least it isn’t detective novels, right? They should let me in there. Comedy means nothing in the world of law, right? Seriously, what is less funny than the judicial system? Should be a non-issue.
Yes! I was assigned to take Seat Number Five in the jury box. I am the very juror you want. Okay, maybe not the one you want, but definitely the one you need. And then, the minute I sat down, the other attorney said, “We dismiss Mrs. Hilton.” What? You can do that? You can get a person’s hopes up and then just fire them on the spot? How rude.
I sighed, picked up my purse, and stepped down into the center of the courtroom. “Well, I guess this means I won’t get my two dollars and twenty-five cents,” I snapped. The whole courtroom, including the judge, burst out laughing and I realized: My work here is actually done.
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