Tuesday, March 10, 2009

(Not) Performing My Civic Duty

Not my civic duty. CPod's. Because he received the dreaded jury summons in the mail this week. Now, I'm not one to shirk my duty -- especially when it's necessary to fulfill one of the only civil liberties guaranteed to citizens of this country by our Constitution before the adoption of the Bill of Rights. (Ask me how I know this. Okay, I'll tell you. I've been reading the Constitution, with an accompanying commentary. Yep, you heard me. I'm awesome and incredibly informed. You should try it.)

However. It's kind of a hard thing to ask. And I know they're usually reasonable about excusing you if you have a legitimate . . . excuse. When MommyJ was VERY pregnant with her twins (if you beg, I bet she'll post a picture -- you really won't believe it*) she appeared when summoned, and she barely had to say the words before they dismissed her. Don't get me wrong, here -- under the right circumstances, I would LOVE to serve on a jury. Those circumstances mostly involve grown children. And someone to keep my house clean while I'm not in it.

I have a friend who has narcolepsy. We decided that's the perfect excuse to not serve on a jury. While narcolepsy is a serious disorder and has really awful ramifications in the lives of many who suffer from it, you have to admit that falling asleep in mid-conversation while sitting through the juror questionnaire is probably not going to land you the job of jury foreman.

Now -- I do not advocate that you perjure yourself by being dishonest or misleading in your answers to the juror pool questions. Jury trials are essential to the workings of our justice system, and, as I said, guaranteed by the Constitution. But you cannot deny that there are some automatic disqualifiers. And here is a brief list. You know me and lists.

1. "I think the death penalty is waaay underutilized in this country."

2. "I'm happy to serve on this jury. But can I run out to my gynecologist's office first? I need to pee at least once an hour and I'll have to be catheterized before I can serve."

3. "I have a gastrointestinal disorder that causes me to pass frequent noxious gas . . . yeah, sorry -- just like that."

4. "Can we bring snacks? I can't watch Law & Order without a big bowl of popcorn."

5. "There is not enough litigation going on in this country. The only way to fix things is to sue, sue, sue!"

6. "Can we speed this up? I forgot to water my pot plants this morning."

7. "What, this hat? It's made entirely of aluminum foil and duct tape and it will keep you people from being able to scan my brain and read my thoughts."

8. "You wanna give me a little sump-mm, I can make things go your way, if you know what I mean."

Now go do your duty! We need smart people like you serving on juries!

*Late Post-Script: MommyJ actually did post a picture of her hugely pregnant self; I'm just an idiot and didn't remember. If you want to see it, go here. Thanks to MommyDew for reminding me that it's there!


  1. How about, "I totally believe in vigliantism. An eye for an eye."

  2. CPod's contribution:

    "Hey, uh, if we decide he's guilty, can I shoot 'em?"

  3. I feel fortunate in the fact that I have never had jury duty. That may be due to the fact that until now we have never lived in one place more than a year...hmm.

    Oh, also for those interested in your sister way pregnant...she posted a picture here:

  4. I love the aluminum foil hat! I'm totally using that at my next tax audit!

  5. I brought my 11-month old with me. When told he couldn't come in, I asked how I was supposed to breastfeed him while serving. They got rude, and I asked if they would like a demonstration. They declined, and I was released.

  6. We are TOTALLY best friends. Wanna buy one of those heart bracelets?

    Now I wanna get called to jury duty, just so I can use some of these.

    Pssst. You need to put your email on your profile. Like, .... NOW!

  7. I have never been called up to jury duty...knock on wood! I will have to memorize a couple of these in case I do!

  8. This was very funny! I need to live near you so we can hang out and you can make me laugh :-)

  9. I love your ideas! Yeah, like that---sorry. I may use that in other situations.

    I served on a jury right after J and I were married. It was a perfect time, I got to miss work, I had no kids, I still got paid... I was even the foreperson, which is totally anticlimactic, I didn't get to address the judge or read a verdict or even say, "Yes we have". It was lame. Plus, the case was lame. But still, I got like $18 to do it.


Sock it to me!