Monday, January 31, 2005

What a day.....or.....How to get out of jury duty without really trying!

I awoke this morning in a panic. I thought I had slept through the alarm. My panic soon turned to anger when I realized I was up a full two minutes before the alarm was set to go off. I could have gotten a lot of sleeping done in those two minutes. Finally the alarm did go off and I just stayed in bed. Why was I getting up at 7:30 a.m. on my day off anyway? Then I remembered the reason for this insanity. I had JURY DUTY!!!

Actually I was supposed to serve my time back in December but I was in an unfortunate drug induced state caused by a back injury and I forget to call in at the appointed time. Turns out I had to report to the courthouse that afternoon but had totally missed it. Luckily, instead of putting out a warrant for my arrest, the jury commissioner allowed me to pick another week in which to complete my time.

So, fast forward to Saturday night when I remembered I needed to check-in for the first time. I pulled up the county court web-site and couldn’t believe what I saw. Everyone in group #102 was required to report to Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. I double checked my group number only to realize that I was indeed in group 102. Damn it! I have nothing against jury duty. I see it as one of those things I have to do every year whether I want to or not, like washing my car or seeing my gynecologist. Plus, in all the years I have been summoned to jury duty, only one other time have I had to report to the courthouse. That time I sat in the jury room for two hours only to be told that a plea bargain had been reached and my services were no longer needed. I was hoping for a similar resolution this time but wasn't holding my breath.

I finally stumbled out of bed only to realize that I wasn’t feeling so good. I was nauseated and had an ache in my side. I decided the court probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I called in sick but I did decide against eating breakfast, just in case it was the stomach flu or some other illness that would cause food to rebel against me.

The ride to court was uneventful. I found parking with no problem and entered the courthouse about ten minutes early. Since I had decided to leave my deadly nail clippers at home, I had no problems getting through security and proceeded to follow the signs to the jury room.

The jury room was fairly big with some of the worst art I have ever seen, displayed on the walls. In describing it, all I can really say is that the artist must really love brown. After checking in and finding out I was part of panel 16, I took a seat in a small area near the restrooms.

I knew from past experience that jury duty consisted of a lot of waiting so I started to read the book I had brought. I was a few minutes into it when I started to feel really sick. I seriously didn’t know whether I was going to throw-up or pass out but I knew that standing up wasn’t an option. I tapped the lady sitting a couple seats down from me on the shoulder and asked her to notify the clerk that I thought I was going to pass out. I really don’t think she wanted to get involved but she did what I asked and then promptly disappeared to another area of the room where she could continue to ignore everyone around her.

The next few minutes are a little fuzzy but I remember the security guard asking me if I had any medical history that caused this sort of thing. I replied no but suddenly remembered that what I was feeling was similar to what happened to me every time I gave blood. Five minutes after cookies and juice I usually hit the floor. Last time the Red Cross informed me that they didn’t need my blood that badly so I really didn’t need to donate again. This was when the court clerk informed me that she had the power to dismiss me from serving although, thinking about it now, I don’t think she meant for all time like the Red Cross did. As it turned out I didn’t need her powers anyway, my group was discharged a few minutes later.

I eventually got myself home where I have tried to continue with my normal Monday routine. I still feel like I've been kicked in the stomach but I managed to cash in the $1 tournament at Paradise for the second day in a row. Maybe jury duty isn't so bad after all.

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