Monday, May 19, 2014

Desperately Seeking a Summons

You know your Monday morning isn’t everything it could be when you start firing off texts like:

Can you volunteer yourself for jury duty? Or, like the Met Gala, do you have to be asked? Asking for a friend.
Today I remembered the charmed week I served as an alternate juror in a civil case that was like a Days of Our Lives marathon, with frumpier clothing and Staten Island accents. All it needed was someone to periodically circulate trays of chardonnay and crabcakes around our VIP section.

I like catching up on magazines while waiting for them to call my name; messing with counsel during the voir dire questioning; marching in the bailiff-led procession from the jury room into the courtroom; and traveling that far downtown on a weekday, where there’s a different culture without any shock. I miss two of my co-jurors and wish we’d exchanged email addresses. As good-natured as they were, both despised the experience and I pretended to find it intolerable as well. I don’t love many things most people love – an afternoon at the movies, constant sunshine, Paris. But give me a day filled with housework, a jar of gefilte fish, or an aisle seat in a jury box, if you want to see me happier than a contestant on The Price Is Right.
Recent cravings I’ve had that won’t go away – fresh kiwi, bangers and mash, chamomile tea, Trader Joe’s olive oil popcorn, and now this, a court date. Come right to mama you little white card.  


  1. Oh, Roving Retorter, you are really going against the tide here. I see jury duty as a necessity in terms of good citizenship, and I feel philosophical when I am called. In all--compared to most people--I'm pretty good with jury duty. But to actually WANT the little cards to come floating to you through the mail . . . now that's not the usual response! I will say that the jury duty system has gotten more reasonable over time. Decades ago, if they found you were responsive once or twice, they dug in and sent you a LOT of cards. Now they exercise more self control, and check in with you only every few years.

  2. Not my scene! So the more people there are like you the less I have to worry about being called up.

  3. I enjoyed my time on jury duty a few years back, I got paid to miss a week of work and was in a short but interesting case. It was a frivolous law suit from a guy trying to suck money from the system and I helped convince the rest of the jurors not to give him a dime