Chapter Fifty: Ma’am does Jury duty…

 

There are several phobias I have; clowns, bugs, hospitals, and mail.  Yes, I hate opening the mail box putting my hand in and pulling out bills and useless ads.

 In today’s mail I find out that I am summoned to Jury Duty.  I am pleasantly surprised that for once there is something good in there!  I am very excited and hope I get a murder trial!  I have watched every court show possible.  I am an expert!  I dash upstairs to pick out my outfit!  I channel Kate Hepburn in the film, Adam’s Rib, in front of the mirror I practice saying; ”Over ruled!  And sustained! “I practice interrogating my witness who is played by one  too many margaritas. He is a hostile witness! (Shocking…) I tell him in my best Jack Nicholson impression that: “You can’t handle the truth!” I feel prepared.

The following month, bright and early I am at the courthouse.  I have transferred all of my pocketbook items into a briefcase.  I march into the courthouse like a seasoned courtroom vet. Two hours later, I am ushered into a courtroom.  Imagine my surprise when I see Earl, my buddy from Nar-anon.  He is in an orange jumpsuit.  I try to wave to him and get his attention but he is conferring with his attorney.  There are little pads of paper and pencils on the jury chairs.  I take one and write a note to Earl signing it Pastry-Ho with a smiley face.  I pass it down the jury and it finally gets to Earl.  He and his attorney read it and they turn to the jury. Now Earl sees me and I smile and wave. 

The Prosecutor sees this interaction and asks what is going on?  The judge calls me up to his bench. He asks for the note and Earl’s attorney brings it to him.  The judge reads it, and then asks me if I think it’s appropriate to flirt with the defendant?  He also asks what kind of name is Pastry – Ho? I try to explain that I wasn’t flirting with Earl but just reminiscing about old times when we were in rehab together. The judge informs me that because I have a personal relationship with the defendant, I cannot serve on this case. I tell Earl I am sorry and I would have found him innocent.  I am ushered out of the courtroom.

 

Later that day, I am chosen for another case.  I peruse my fellow jurors. The lady next to me has on the hugest pair of glasses I have ever seen!  She constantly sucks in her cheeks reminding me of a fish.  I name her Fish face. The guy to my right keeps swatting away imaginary mosquitoes.  It is going to be a long day.  I am also regretting my choice of outfit.  I am having a massive hot flash and sweating like crazy.  I take off my blazer and pull out my Geisha girl fan that one of my passengers gifted to me.  Fish face leans over and asks to borrow it when I am finished. 

 We are informed by the Judge that we are the jury for the trial of a man who has been accused of living in Costco.  Apparently, he had been living there for at least a year.  I was hoping to get a juicy murder trial but, I am intrigued to meet this genius who actually did what I have thought about when shopping in Costco. Think about it; they have everything under one roof! I assume they have showers in the employee locker room, (must Google this later). If not, there are hoses in the garden center.  I have so many questions for the Costco squatter as I now dub him. 

I peruse my fellow jurors; besides Fish face and Bug swatter, there is a man with an abnormally large head, I rename him Egg head.  He seems like a bossy know it all, and already announced to us all that based upon his background he should be our foreman. 

Fish face has now borrowed my fan and is fanning her fish face profusely.  She motions me to look at Egg head. He looks as though he is asleep.  On the other side of Fish face is a woman who looks like an elf.  She is knitting copiously and I want to ask if she is making an afghan or sweater.  It is enormous, and could be a yarmulke for Egg head.

We are presented the charges against Costco squatter.  In my opinion, he deserves a medal for his brilliance!  I mean he was like an undercover spy! I find it fascinating! I wonder if there is a whole village living within Costco? (Must Google This!). 

 

Later, we break for lunch. Several of us head to a bistro near the courthouse. I order a salad and a glass of wine.  Egg head asks me if I think it’s appropriate having a drink when I am on jury duty.  I retort that obviously I do as I have ordered one. Fish face orders a vodka tonic, and Bug swatter a beer. A few other jurors follow suit.  Egg head glares at me and exclaims “Look what you started!”  I order him a shot of tequila and tell him to chill.  Several drinks later we notice the time. We are a half hour late getting back to the courthouse.  Egg head who now has consumed four tequila shots is walking unsteadily.  Fish face and I attempt to assist him. 

Bug swatter, after having inhaled a six pack and no food, throws up in front of the courthouse. 

Sheepishly we enter the jury room. Several of the other jurors who didn’t go with us glare. One who reminds me of Kanye West asks us “Where the hell have we been?” Before we can answer, a court officer comes in and says the Judge wishes to speak with us. 

We are ushered back into the courtroom.  Egg head is slumped over in his seat.  Bug swatter has a plastic bag just in case.Fish face hiccups loudly.For some reason the Judge looks at me and asks why we are late.  I explain that we went for lunch and it took longer than we thought.  I share with her that I ordered the chicken Caesar salad and I don’t recommend it as the lettuce was bad.  I had to send it back and then order a French onion soup which was not any better because they used Swiss cheese instead of gruyere, which in my opinion makes it Swiss onion soup and not French. 

Fish face chimes in that I was almost kicked out of the bistro by our waiter in my outrage over the soup debacle. (I give Fish face a stern look as I don’t think she is helping our cause by this declaration.)

We are told we are dismissed for the day and warned this better not happen again.  As we file out of the courthouse, Egg head who has now awoke from his drunken slumber suggests we all go to this Mexican place around the corner for margaritas, for once he says something sensible.  Drinks ordered, we begin to discuss the case. I suggest that we head over to Costco and immerse ourselves in it overnight as our Costco squatter did.  I think that the Judge would appreciate our attempt to see things from the squatter’s view point. 

Bug swatter profusely disagrees with me. He says we will be arrested. Fish face agreed with him. Egg head who has been silent mulls it all over.

We decide to head home for the night and perhaps attempt to squat in Costco another night. Personally, I would rather have an overnight bag with me.

The next morning, bright and early we are back in the jury box.