More Civic Duties

Dang, I meant to do some character sketches at jury selection this morning. 

But I had a good time. You don’t ever hear anyone say that about jury duty, do you?

When I got in the police jury room, where we have to wait and watch our video and make our lame excuses and get our numbers assigned, an old friend of mine waved at me from her seat. 

We Facebook on occasion, but we haven’t really hung out in a while, since we had lunch at the end of March. 

So we sat and talked and laughed while we were supposed to be responsibly paying attention. Just like we were in high school again. 

Both of our numbers were high enough that we were dismissed early today, with orders to call after five to see if we were needed tomorrow, but all jurors were dismissed. 

It was nice catching up again. And she told me my gold glitter brows matched my personality. Isn’t that a lovely compliment? 


Social Obligation

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn to get ready for jury duty.

I will swear all day that theoretically, I have absolutely no issue with the concept of jury duty as we know it.

It’s the judicial system itself that’s flawed, but that’s beside the point.

I check in and take a seat on the front row, because nobody sits on the front row, and plenty of seats were available. I get out my book and read until everyone in line has a little H next to their name on the roll. About a hundred and twenty of us spread out in the police jury room, which has seating for possibly two hundred.

We listen to the rules: no cell phones on in the courtroom, and hide your reading material when the judge is in the courtroom.

Don’t forget, I’m in Louisiana, and too much book learnin’ can get offensive, y’all. Can’t let a judge catch you readin’ when there’s bad folks to lock up.

I don’t see the harm in an old lady catching up on her Woman’s Day when the lawyers have fourteen people to interview before theres a chance of her number getting called. 

Then the same movie I’ve already seen four times. Come on guys, maybe update the film every decade? Every twenty years, even? Please?

Ah, now we discuss who doesn’t meet the legal requirements. One person in the room is dismissed for a recent felony conviction.

Next we spend forty minutes on roll call and assigning new juror numbers, because even though they’ll be selecting random numbers to send to the courtrooms upstairs, the numbers we were assigned when chosen aren’t good enough anymore. But of course, let’s not tell the prospective jurors that their numbers don’t mean anything until the ones with high numbers get their hopes up. 

I had 106. 

Okay, now let’s have a ten minute recess while the judges take plea bargains upstairs and estimate how many jurors they’ll need this week.

Ten minutes stretches to twenty. Twenty to thirty. An hour. An hour and a half. By this time I was posting on Facebook about bureaucratic inefficiency. 

Finally, the judge returns with news. And it’s good news: everyone upstairs has either pled guilty or made a deal. 

We are all done; we are all released.

Several people didn’t understand what this meant and had to verify their status with someone, anyone with an official-looking name tag.

Traffic was horrible on the way home.


Prezzie Time!

Ian has jury duty tomorrow, and he requested that I sew him a cover for the book he’s bringing with him, Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card.

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Tomorrow morning is going to be tons of fun, lemme tell ya. The courthouse is 16 miles from here in one direction, and he has to be there at 9. Abby is 25 miles from here in the opposite direction, and she gets picked up at 830. So poor Ian is going to have to sit and wait an extra hour and a quarter. He should certainly be the first prospective juror to check in.

We just have all kinds of problems when it comes to being called for jury duty, don’t we? By the way, don’t read the comments on that post if you have something else to do today. I just went to grab the link and it took me ten minutes to get back here. So many time-wasting websites, so little time!

Anyway…

It’s time for another giveaway. Who would like a book cover? Just leave a comment with the color you’d like, and I’ll randomly pick a winner in two weeks, on March 31. And yes, I will ship it internationally if need be. I have tons more fabric now, so odds are, I’ll have something for you.

Poor Ian, I make him something, and it’s a learning experience, so every one afterwards is a bit more professional. You may notice that the ends are a bit tight, in spite of measuring and rechecking and making sure I had the proper seam allowance. Sometimes I think I’m reinventing the wheel when it comes to sewing, but I’d rather figure it out for myself than google any day of the week.

And no, Ian, you don’t have to enter. If you’d like another all you have to do is ask, silly goose.


An Update for the Bad News

Well, after originally denying me an exemption, after the first recess the clerk of court pulled me outside the courtroom to let me know the judge has excused me for the week. While waiting outside I even had two other potential jurors ask where I lived to see if they were going my way, but no dice. Fortunately a friend was able to come pick me up, and even bring me to get my blood pressure prescription filled (I definitely need that right now!!).

It looks like we’ll have no problem getting my friend’s car tomorrow afternoon to use, and Wednesday to keep, yay!

Thank you so much everyone for offering distractions, I love you for it!

Sounds good, right?

All is almost well. We do have another matter that’s demanding immediate resolution. I’ll let you know what’s going on when I can, but in the meantime, we need all the hopes and prayers you can give us that things go the right way. Thank you so much!!