More Like Jury Doody

Jury duty might be the single most inefficient thing I have ever done under the threat of having a warrant issued for my arrest.  Look, I know it’s right of every citizen to be tried before a jury of their peers and I’d certainly want a fair jury if I were ever on trial, but jesus.  What a shitty way to spend two days in a row.  Maybe the worst, and that’s including the times I’ve had mono.  At least I lost weight when I had mono.  (And it’s not like I just have a bad attitude about civil service.  I don’t.  For example, I love voting.  Love it.  I get really excited about doing it and feel super important when it’s done.  But jury duty is still the balls.)

One of the main things about jury duty is that you’re not allowed to talk about it.  It’s a government-mandated Fight Club, sort of.  You can’t talk about the case with anyone, even your spouse, or even your own fellow jurors if you’re not in actual deliberation.  Which is a bummer, because there’s nothing else I’d want to talk to them about.  What are we supposed to say to one another?  I enjoy your choice in sweatpants today?  Your talent for falling asleep during questioning is admirable?  I don’t think so.

I was released from jury duty at 11am today (I didn’t get out until 4pm, though, because jury duty is the worst thing ever).  Obviously I was not selected to be on an actual jury, which is great because a) I didn’t want to be, b) I was already pushed to the limit by the general mental midgetry of my fellow citizens, and c) now I can say stuff about it.


  • Upon leaving the house Monday morning, a bird flew about five feet over my head.  Turning to look, I saw a raptor with a rodent in its claws.  I initially took this as a sign of awesomeness to come.  It will soon become clear that my divination powers are inadequate for civil service omens.
  • QuikTrip’s chorizo breakfast burrito, while not the most malevolent of their breakfast sandwich(ish) options, can best be described as hot, oily chili wrapped in damp bread.  Still better than Jack In The Box tacos.
  • I am really glad I don’t work downtown anymore because people have still not learned that the tall buildings are stationary objects which are not likely to jump out into the street and crush their cars (thus negating the need for drivers to slow to a crawl and stop arbitrarily when I’m trying to get to the fucking parking garage).
  • If all an out-of-towner knew about St. Louis sculpture was gleaned from that demented rabbit thing outside the Scottrade Center, they would be correct in assuming that we’re all insane and have terrible taste.
  • There’s a downtown trolley?  Why?!?
  • Upon entering the juror assembly room, I sit one chair away from a woman intently reading a book of Archie comics.
  • The woman has a severe mustache issue going on.
  • My buffer zone of one seat on each side fails when an armrest-stealing man sits on my right and a hipster/street urchin girl with a staring problem sits on my left.
  • All of the instructional videos assure me that I shouldn’t feel bad if I’m not chosen for a juror.  Somewhere, for some trial, I am in fact the ideal juror.  This has honestly never been one of my top 1,000 insecurities, but thanks, local news anchor the city paid to be in a poorly-produced video!
  • Some woman at the front of the room is either sneezing or screaming.  No one seems motivated enough to get up and look.
  • There are at least 3 dudes in this room with serious sleep apnea.
  • My juror number – 469! – is called in the second group.  This is a vast improvement from the last time I had jury duty, when my number just made being called on the second day.
  • One of my fellow potential jurors is a regular from when I worked at Arena. When asked if we were familiar with any of the other jurors, I told the court that I knew Dave on a professional level, which I think was better than  “His usual was a Busch bottle, occasionally augmented with a shot of Tullamore Dew, Your Honor.”
  • The entire courthouse is made of marble and polished granite.  I consider it a disservice to the justice department to not show up in rollerskates the next day.
  • During selection, I am seated next to a woman with the most magnificent weave I have ever seen.  It’s like a plastic hair waterfall!
  • I am not seated near him, but another one of my fellow potential jurors could be a body double for either Grizz or Dotcom.
  • Which only makes me think harder about “The Rural Juror” every time someone says “juror.”
  • What the fuck?  It sounds like pigeons in here.
  • Overheard cell phone conversation during recess: “Why you walkin’ down Park Avenue with someone, baby?  Why you walkin’ down Park Avenue?  Ahhhh, my bad.”
  • That new downtown Schnucks store is THE TITS.  I’d totally move there if I wanted my neighbors to be screaming drunk bums and nothing that stays open after 6pm.
  • There is at least one Antoine Dodson hopeful in this room.  I was hoping for more.
  • I really hope none of these bitches syncs me up on her horrible, sudden period cycle.
  • When asked a question, please provide an answer that references what was asked in some way.  Also, OPEN YOUR FUCKING MOUTH WHEN YOU SPEAK.
  • Because every case must have an idiotic lawyer, the defense attorney is a total moron who can barely pronounce the word “evidence.”
  • Guilty or not, it must really suck for some people to have to retain a public defender around here.*
  • Not chosen for the jury at 11am, but required to sit around until 4pm. Those government employees, always understanding the value of everyone else’s time!
  • Judging by their too-loud conversation about coffee shop locations in very nice neighborhoods, the only other white people in this room stay exclusively in the Central West End.
  • They also talk at length about vacationing in Australia, which, according to one guy, “means 14 hours of sitting in economy class, ugh!”  Thanks for telling us all about rich people problems, you jackassed old gasbag!
  • Now that I’ve been released from jury duty, I’m hoping like never before that I am never falsely accused of a crime in the City of St. Louis and therefore to be judged by a jury of my peers, most of whom don’t have the mental capability to operate a spork, let alone providing a direct answer to a simple question.

* Seriously, that fucking defense attorney.  Without providing any identifying detail whatsoever (and also, I’m not on the jury), if you’re being tried for rape and domestic assault, perhaps your lawyer shouldn’t advise the jury during questioning that the whole case is “made up” and treat the women in the potential juror group like morons.  Also, maybe he should listen to the previous questions asked so he doesn’t have to re-ask them seven motherfucking times, which doesn’t include the bullshit football analogy he used to describe the concept of “burden of proof.”

Fucking hell, man.  If I’d been chosen for the jury, obviously I understood that I couldn’t make a decision based on the idiocy of one attorney.  It’s unfortunate, though, because some people wouldn’t make the distinction between legal and “what the fuck is your problem, dude?”  If you can’t follow legal processes or ask competent questions in a courtroom, go back to fucking school and study to be a middle manager of an Applebee’s or something.  And definitely don’t talk to me like I’m the moron, because I’m going to tell you the exact same thing again: “I’m not sure how else you need me to explain this to you in a way that I haven’t done three times previously, but your phrasing was inappropriate.”

Oh, you went to law school?  Fuck you.  I don’t give a shit that you went to law school.  There are people who are smart and there are people who do well on tests, and the two are not always the same.  I went to high school with an unbelievable shit-for-brains who was excellent with tests and she later went to med school.  Med school!  I mean, it wasn’t med school in the U.S. or anything, but she’ll never give me a Pap smear is what I’m saying.

(Above paragraph excepts my smart friends who went to law school.  You guys totally deserved to go and I’m sure no one will ever write these things about you.)

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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