we parked in an empty minor league baseball stadium. we huddled under a bus hutch at 7:45 looking bored and under-caffienated. no one looked forward to the day ahead. we were all ages, all sexes.
the bus came for us. it stopped on a corner across the street, not at the hutch. we shuffled to the bus with our eyes on our shoes. we sat down on the bus. The bus – unlike any i had ever seen in my life – waited patiently for stragglers to scurry from the cars.
then, the bus drove into the city. i tried to strike up a conversation with a middle-aged gentleman next to me who carried a leather-bound bible as large as a briefcase. he smiled, gave polite, abrupt answers like he wasn’t in the mood to chat.
we got dropped off a couple blocks away from the courthouse. we walked below a parking garage in a big school of fish. stoplights and traffic like swordfish cut our ranks. we straggled on, though, to the metal detectors.
two old sheriff’s deputies talked about the x-ray of a woman’s purse like old country fishin’ buddies staring in a boat’s radar screen. “it’s just little rings. a couple glasses cases.”
“i hate that stuff. i just hate that kind of stuff. immpossible.”
“oh, don’t you worry about that, it’s just the silver rings of that there purse. a couple glasses cases.”
we stumbled around a corner to a large room. a thousand chairs waited for us. we signed in, sat down. most of the chairs were empty. we sat down. they put on a promotional video to hype us up like we were at some kind of sales meeting, getting hyped up about corporate real estate or something equally absurd.
i noticed something else during the video’s presentation of a judge talking about magna carta: we were going to be talked down to all day long. lawyers and judges and administrators were going to be talking to us like school children.
i don’t like being talked down to.
when the time came for me to see if i could sit on a jury, the assistant district attorney pulled out huge cards to show us the dui laws of texas. i noticed that these laws were incredibly poorly written. i skewered the law in question. i picked a language argument with the assistant district attorney who was making very poor arguments. i’m sure in a different scenario, the district attorney could argue quite well on many issues. but today, we were being talked down to. he was back on his heels. he stopped, turned to another woman and moved on.
i was recused within twenty minutes of setting foot the court room.
i don’t like being talked down to, lawyers of the world. talk down to me at the risk of your own pride.
going back to the car, i didn’t bother with the bus. i walked. i got in my car. i drove here where i can get on-line and tell you about my day.
that was jury duty.
i do not think this post was particularly thought-provoking, but it was the bulk of my thoughts this morning. however, since i just found out i was tapped by blogger Dawno for my thinking blog, i feel somewhat sad about this, and shall attempt something more thought-provoking later today.
thanks to Dawno, who has given me this illustrious distinction.
now is my turn to pass the distinction to other authors of thinking blogs.
1) michael j. totten
2) anthony peyton’s sea-horse-shaped: a life in japan
3) rachel conquers europe (the pictures alone are quite thought-provoking)
4) adrienne kress
5) neil gaiman