I have jury duty on Monday. Because I no longer make it a habit to move across the country once every year or so and I also pay taxes/am registered to vote/show up on time to things, I get called exactly on time. You’re only supposed to get jury duty once every two years, so once every two years, the government flips through its book and sticks a big, fat, inconvenient finger next to my name. Hey, this girl loves to make $12 a day sitting in a city-owned building that smells like pee. Let’s call her.
And they do, which is why I have to wake up at my normal time on Monday because jury duty just can’t start any later than does my regular workday. I have to be at the courthouse at 8am, and if the last time I had jury duty is any indication, I will spend an hour and a half waiting for the actual start time, which is when most other fellow citizens decide to show up. Then I will wait an additional hour while every deadbeat in the room lines up to tell government employees why they can’t possibly be expected to perform their civic duty. Then I will spend a day and a half waiting for them to call my number, during which time I am not able to text anyone because the crappy camera in my phone means it gets confiscated by security before I can go inside. I’ll read a lot. I’ll think about how much my ass hurts in that chair. I’ll wish I had some water, or that I was 100% certain of when they would call my number, because it would feel so amazing to use the restroom right now but I’m afraid I’ll miss getting called. I’ll look around at everyone else who got called for jury duty and wonder how on earth that ghetto girl with the googly eye in the Canadian tuxedo can see without glasses, or why that enormous man thought he would surely starve to death if he didn’t bring a briefcase filled with sandwiches. And if I can’t bring my phone inside, how come that guy can have so many sandwiches?
After waiting an entire day and a half for my number to be called, I will nearly explode out of my seat when it finally fucking is. Then I will shuffle across the street to the other courthouse, where a security guard will escort my group upstairs to a holding pen sort of area that I vaguely remember from that time I had to pay a shitload of tickets. We’ll sit around for about 45 minutes and I’ll contemplate leaving, because at this point there’s no way anyone with this operation gives a damn about us. OH BUT SOMEONE DOES, and it’s the jury administrator or whatever, and he makes us file into a courtroom where we have assigned seats and get asked ridiculous questions by the prosecution and the defense.
If last time is any indication, the defense will be charming and funny and the prosecution will be so inept and ill-informed that it will make me uncomfortable to be in the room, although none of my fellow potential jurors will seem concerned about this sure failure. Most of them will be either asleep or reacting to each question with their own harrowing tales of woe/religious conviction about not being able to judge anyone because that’s God’s job, and at least one of them will be the guy in the suit who lost the student body president race in high school and still hasn’t gotten over his brief taste of government work.
Then everyone in charge will decide they want to go home and we peons will be dismissed with explicit instructions to return at 8am the next day. The only two potential jurors to take this instruction seriously will be myself and the guy in the suit, although he will refuse to smirk conspiratorially with me as all those other assholes file in late.
I will return to my assigned seat and be subjected to even more questioning. If this case is another assault/battery deal, I will have to tell the judge, lawyers, and the defendant about every unfortunate thing that has ever happened to myself or my family. Unlike some other potential jurors, I will not choose to waste everyone’s time by approaching the bench to speak privately to the judge. I ain’t got time for that prissy ass shit. After several hours of questioning, I will be dismissed from jury duty just before lunch. The judge will thank me for fulfilling my service, and that ghetto bitch with the googly eye and the Canadian tuxedo will physically push me aside to get her greasy hands on a $24 check.
It pains me to say this, but at least jury duty is preferable to spending 4 hours with Grandma Airplane. You know who Grandma Airplane reminds me of? Teri Wiegel from Reno 911. She’s just as clueless, just as crazy, and just as judgemental and racist as Wiegel. You’d think I would find this funny, but most of the time I’m exercising a Lieutenant Dangle-level of self-restraint so that I don’t deliver a flying kick to the back of this woman’s head.
I Can’t Even Listen Because I’m Waiting To Hear My Number
Potter’s Field, Tom Waits
Long Distance Call, Muddy Waters
When The People Find Out, Steve Earle & the Dukes
Take Me Home, Country Roads, Jason and the Scorchers
Watching The Planets, The Flaming Lips (ft. Karen O.)
How To Handle Grownups, Ruckus Roboticus
Paint The Rust, The Dodos
Bloody Nose, Earlimart
Weekend, The Smith Westerns
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House, LCD Soundsystem
Map of Tasmania, Amanda Palmer
Rake It In, Imogen Heap
Hellhole Ratrace, Girls
Transmission, Joy Division
Language of the Living Dead, Blacklist
Huh What?, Gliss
Actor Out Of Work, St. Vincent
Contract On Love, Little Stevie Wonder
Babooshka, Kate Bush
Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind), Loretta Lynn
I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Oh, Mojave, The Ruby Suns
So It Goes, The Broken West
A Simple How Are You?, The Bigger Lovers
Bad Kids, Black Lips
Breathin Out, Kurt Vile
Highway, The Vacant Lots
Promise, Wild Nothing