Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Here We Go 'Round the Jury Pool...

Not allowed to speak during the voir dire of the jury selection process. Confined to 1930's era seating with less leg room than most coach airline seats. My knees jammed into a decidedly unladylike position at the opposite edges of the curved, metal seat back in front of me. Long hours ticking away. My attention drifts to the fellow, unnamed jury panel members around me...

1. Ms. Perfect Hair- Your waist length hair is gorgeous. I would like to transplant your hair onto my head. I imagine all the ways I would style it should it magically appear on my head someday.

2. Mr. Rebel With a Death Wish- The unamused judge has already admonished us sternly about switching cell phones to off. Do you really think this is the 7th grade as you sit several down from me in our third row, holding your phone nonchalantly under one leg and firing off texts? You won't get a detention slip if you get busted. That Goliath sized bailiff with the shiny handcuffs at his belt won't hesitate to show you the real meaning of detention.

3. Ms. TMI- We're all a little nervous at being grilled by the already contentious defense and prosecution teams, but I feel really badly for you at the depth of detail you disclosed in a torrent of words when asked how you knew a certain witness. I'm pretty sure they didn't need to know all that...and THAT...and ESPECIALLY...t-h-a-t.

4. Mr. Tattoos R Me- I've had extended hours over two days to copiously study the anarchy A tats on your earlobes, the full sleeves on both your arms, and the fresh, albeit slightly crooked YOLO inked on the back of your neck. The way your skin reddens when you startle from your slump as the D.A. asks you if you are awake provides a vibrant backdrop to this acronym for You Only Live Once, which according to the Urban Dictionary is mainly used to "defend doing something ranging from mild to extreme stupidity." Ahem.

5. Ms. I Have Great Taste in Shoes- Those are killer heels. I ITCH wanting to find out where you've gotten them. (Uhmmm, considering the nature of this trial, perhaps I should use another adjective for the heels.)

6. Mr. I Love to Firmly Hold My Junk in My Hand- You are sitting right next to me.  I built a mental wall to block you out of my peripheral vision. It's not like it's going to run away, you know.

7. Mr. I'm a Good Daddy- I melted when I saw two tiny heart frames with pictures of adorable kids in them attached to the key chain hanging off your belt loop.

8. Mr. I Defy Description- You are one of the older members of the jury panel, and I am intensely curious about your back story. Your long, gray hair is pulled back into a sparse ponytail and you wear a pair of khaki, ankle length shorts topped by a multi-hued cowboy shirt with shiny pearl buttons. Your lime green Crocs- do they make a statement about your personal style or love of comfort? You are unflappable as you surreptitiously work the New York Times crosswords, neatly folded on a clipboard you've pulled from your boxy, metal briefcase.




As we are finally released like weary dandelion seeds into a stiff wind, I thank you, fellow jury panel members. Life is only boring if you choose it to be.

64 comments:

  1. Ha Ha!! I'm literally Laughing Out Loud!! I'm so sorry you had to sit next to Mr. I Love to Hold My Junk in My Own Two Hands but it sure made for a hilarious story - as did all the rest of your descriptions. Mr. I'm a Good Daddy made me say Aweeee out loud. :)

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    1. Jenn June: Of all 167 people, I got the number right after his. I don't think he took his hand off of it the whole, time, although I tried really hard not to see him!

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  2. I loved the Mr Daddy- so adorable. But Mr. I Love to Hold My Junk in My Hand- is still making me laugh!

    Gawd! You're hilarious woman! Now make sure to keep your eyes stright ahead!

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    1. Romance: It was so sweet seeing how lovingly he wore the pics of his kiddoes, but the other guy- good grief. And I had to sit next to him for two whole days.

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  3. This was a fun read and I enjoyed your visualizations of these people. I've only been called to jury duty once and I was scheduled to be out of the country and couldn't serve, and it seems that was my one and only chance at it.

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    1. Stephen: Never say never- they always seem to find you when you least expect it~

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    2. So glad that Ms. Sharp Wits Eagle Eye had her notepad and pen with her. Thanks for the introductions; hilarious group.

      Been through it thrice, but only once had to sit through the trial as well.

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    3. vanilla: I've been through it several times now, as well. Very LOOOONNNNGG process, but quite a good civics education in the process~

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  4. You are an artist with your words Shelly and the pictures you painted were precious as I could see them in my mind. You sure can make the best of a situation. Have a great rest of the week.

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  5. It takes all kinds of people to make a jury pool and you seem to have met a representative cross section, Shelly. I remember getting called for jury duty and being impaneled and the first thing my peers did was decide unanimously that I should be foreman! I really didn't want that responsibility but I stepped up. I quickly learned how differently various types of people experience the same evidence, testimony, etc. Despite the vigorous screening procedures to which all of us were subjected during voir dire I was astounded by the biases that soon surfaced. During round after round of voting my jury split right down the middle on a drunk driving case that seemed absolutely slam dunk, open and shut to me. Eyewitness accounts of a crime, accident or other event are typically unreliable and now I know why.

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    1. Shady: You were quite the diplomat, too. Sometimes it looks so easy to build a consensus, and then it all falls to pieces. The voire dire was kind of explosive with the attornies already teeing off. I think that world is too stressful for me!

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  6. #6...hahahahahahaha!!!

    Said like a true lady! I wish I could build mental wall around that stuff too!

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    1. Becky: All I could think was Ugh!

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  7. I'm laughing because I read Stephen's last post over on Chubby Chatterbox earlier and maybe #6 is from Turkey--just being cautious!

    You really should have written this up a day sooner and passed it around the room. Not only would junk-man have possibly been a little more civil, but you could have discovered the mystery of the killer heels and shared with the rest of us!

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    1. Nancy: I should have checked to see if he was wearing one of those little sultan outfits Stephen described! He was so "active" with his hand that I couldn't even bear to acknowledge him~

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  8. To be honest I have always been afraid to be picked for Jury Duty. You did make it seem kind of interesting though. Love the way you described them. sandie

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    1. Sandie: I always love to people watch, so if I can entertain myself like that, I am relatively happy, but jury duty itself is a whole 'nother world...

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  9. That was so funny--I'm sitting there too, can you see me? Actually, you make us all feel as if we are right there. You are that good of a writer!

    So sorry you have jury duty though....

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    1. Jamie Jo: You are so sweet for stopping by when you have so much on your plate! I wish you could have been by me- it would have been infinitely more fun!

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  10. Glad you've been dismissed. B-O-R-I-N-G, all that waiting around, but albeit you have done your civic duty. Thanks for the giggles...I bet you would call me, "Ms. go put your bra on before I barf" girl. "Summertime and the livin' is breezy. . ."

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    1. Sweet Tea: Oh, the waiting was excruciating! You are so funny- this made me laugh really loudly!

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  11. Dearest Shelly,
    For this civic duty, I only have slight memory from the drama called "murder she wrote". In one episode, heroin was a foreman like Mr. Shady once was. It must entail you much responsibility!!!

    Oh, I enjoyed the way you depicted the other member. Yes, you are quite a writer♪♪♪ And loved you said "weary dandelion seeds into a stiff wind" I see some in my garden, feeling poor for them to pick p;)

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    1. orchid: You are a dear to wrestle through the weak English euphemisms I've got throughout this piece. Thank you, friend! That really does mean so much to me. And yes, being the foreman is even more responsibility than just being on the jury, and I'm thankful I didn't draw that job!

      I know your garden must be lovely- just as you are, my friend!

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  12. LOL, what a cast of characters!! That could have made a great mini series with the likes of them!! Good thing you didn't get sequestered with them :)

    betty

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    1. Betty: I honestly don't think I would have come out that situation in a good frame of mind. Not so much them, but me- my old brain was already maxed out, focus wise!

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  13. That made me laugh and then I thought....how would you describe many of the 'people from Walmart?' or myself for that matter... I love you Shelley, you have the knack of taking the reader along with you where-ever you are...

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    1. Crystal Mary: I would describe you as loving, devoted, generous, and kind. These descriptions here are really flat and based only on the visual because we weren't allowed to talk with each other during the voir dire. These folks may have been completely opposite!

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  14. I have never been on a Jury but unlike some people I think it would be cool.........your describition of those with you made me smile

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    1. Jo-Anne: I think the actual trial part is really neat. The selection and voir dire, though, are so excriciatingly ssssllloowwwww.

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  15. Oh sweet girl...having fun are we. Hugs and appreciation to you for doing the done thing...(as my Mom would call it).

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    1. Ha! You are a funny girl!!!

      Oh how I cursed the day they dismissed me from doing my civic duty. I didn't get chosen even though I knew the guy was guilty. Of course I was right and could have saved the tax payers a lot of money had I the chance to tell them so but it took several months for them to finally figure it out.

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    2. Sush: I don't mind jury duty, just the mind numbing, endless waiting!

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    3. Saimi: Part of the time I was trying to calculate how much this jury selection was costing, and it was too much! Your comment really made me smile, as I thought the same thing!

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  16. What a good blog topic, Shelly, and I loved the stories behind your people watching. I had a story from a couple of years ago. It was quite annoying to me when a fellow church member stood up with me when the judge asked if anyone recoginzed anyone else in the room. The judge asked the man, giving the man eye contact, how he knew me. The man stammered, stuttered and said "I just know her ... err ... uh, sh ... she knows my wife." Truthfully, I did not know his wife any better than I knew this man. The man did not want to reveal that we attended the same church. The only reason I felt he did not tell the truth was he wanted to be picked as a juror. (About the stuttering he was doing, I had never known him to stutter before, he was a college professor and did lots of speaking at church.) This bothered me for some time, I should have just forgotten about it.

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    1. Cindy: Oh, I think that would have bothered me, too. Makes you wonder what in the world he was thinking! The voir dire is always an interesting time, just to see and hear people's reactions to the questions~

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  17. Crystal Mary and I are in the same boat...Roaming the isles with Wal-mart folks. They come out of the woodwork at that store.

    Crotch holding is a big no-no. What is wrong with that dude? Dude.
    I love saying Dude...I would have sat next to him and just kept saying..DUDE. Then higher..DUDE! THEN drawn out duuuuuuuuuuuuude.

    Have a dude-tiful day!

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    1. Christine: Hahaha!!!! Yep, anytime I go to WalMart, I am looking at the folks inside almost as much as I am looking at the shelves.

      That dude- ewww. No words to describe him--ugh.

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  18. Dear Shelly, I'm wondering if you have a deep-down desire to write novels. Maybe mysteries because you surely have the beginning of one here--all those interesting and eccentric characters. Go for it!

    Peace.

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    1. Dee: I don't know if I could write a novel, but those characters surely are fun to think about! Thank you for your kind words-

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  19. Mr.I am a good dadday(#7) would melt my heart too. Arn't good daddys so cute. Sometimes cuter than kids themselves.

    Also you are soooo right about # 5. Shoes are very deceptive, I still have to find good shoes that look good as well. May be Cobbie Cudlers to some extent fit in that catagory, but they are nothing like fashion would dictate.

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    1. Munir: You are so right- it is such a blessing to see good daddies (and mommies) in action.

      The heels that lady was wearing must have been 5". She was very petite, so it didn't stand out that much, unless you were looking right at them~

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  20. This made me laugh! I feel like I was right there with you! I bet they would have described you as impeccably dressed, nice heels, kind and as having nice hair. Ha! The guy next to you that held his junk was disturbing, I must add. Juries are weird.

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    1. Kelley: Thank you! They might also describe me as the one who kept giving them "teacher looks" when they were playing with their phones, etc. It's hard to restrain myself sometimes.

      I should get an extra stipend for having to endure Junk Man for two whole days.

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  21. Oh so fascinating! I've never done jury duty so this is waay interesting...

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    1. Lydia: The voir dire was excruciatingly long, but I really did enjoy learning more about the legal process~

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  22. I'm not there and the guy texting is bugging me all the way up in Minnesota...

    I used to be a court reporter, so will probably never be on a jury. Please write more. :-)

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: I thought it was the teacher in me that was getting so annoyed by him, but I think it's the common sense in all of us that makes us not like him!

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  23. Loved your character study of fellow jurors, Shelley! What an assortment! My husband was on jury duty twice -- the first time as jury foreman on a murder trial that lasted six weeks and the second time on a trial of a guy who participated in a prison riot. In each case, especially the second, he encountered a rich assortment of really annoying people among his fellow jurors. I've never served on a jury -- though I've been called for jury duty several times -- because the minute I've been asked my profession and say that I'm a psychotherapist, attorneys for both sides blanch and fall over themselves excusing me from serving on that particular jury!

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    1. Dr. Kathy: I don't think I could have gone six weeks! I've served on a grand jury and a federal jury, and been called a number of times, and it's always so different. I can see why they would shy away from certain professions, although for this one, they seated mostly educators, school aides, and a school nurse. Makes you wonder~

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  24. Do you know what i would LOVE??? I would LOVE to hang out with you and just people watch.

    We would sit on a bench at the mall and just discuss our fellow humans. We would wonder and comment and invent stories for them. I would really love that.

    You are hilarious! Great post! (I'm dying to know where her shoes came fomr too.)

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    1. Crystal: That would be utter fun! People watching is more fun to me than most movies. It's cheaper, too!

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  25. People watching is the best sport ever and I'm pretty sure Mr lets hide my phone by my thigh was on my plane last night. Doesn't he know the glow from the screen turns his face blue?

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    1. Gene Pool Diva: He's probably fleeing from the bailiff he angered here! Some folks need a common sense transplant~

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  26. so interesting, isn't it?!!! My husband is a lawyer and repeatedly tells me the just system is remarkable...that they think...he never did poll the jury though..

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    1. Annemarie Pipa: It truly is fascinating to watch- almost like watching a movie, without all the special effects!

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  27. :0) I so do enjoy watching the hidden secrets of an audience unaware of being watched....you learn so many things and become aware of incredible difference in people...and sometimes I even learn of my own "prejudice"...thank you Lord for such a show that revealed to me Highminded thoughts of self, thoughts that reveal compassion from the depths of my heart and discovering a new level of laughter..."At One's Self"....

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  28. I really enjoyed reading this fun and creative post! :) Your blog is adorable! :) Happy summer to you! :)

    xoxo
    Susanna
    http://susanna-behindmyeyes.blogspot.com

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  29. Susanna: Thank you for your visit and kind words! I am off to see your blog~

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  30. Characters in your novel? I think that Mr. I Defy Description should be the protagonist.

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    1. Missed Periods: I actually saw that man in the store later that evening and he was with with an older woman, similarly dressed. The plot thickens...

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