Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Our Civic Duty

The big happening in our house this weekend is a visit from my in-laws. I love my in-laws and greatly appreciate every trip that they make up here. My only wish is that they could visit more often. That is enough of the sentimental stuff because I’m actually a little bummed about this visit. My mother-in-law was called to jury duty and was placed on a case at the beginning of the week. My in-laws were scheduled to be here on Thursday but that has been delayed until at least Friday. The judge promised her the case would be over by Wednesday or Thursday. Well, it looks like that was lie. Some jackleg has decided that he/she is going to go out on a limb. As of tonight 11 members of the jury fall on one side and the lone ranger is on the other.

I bring up the jury duty story because it reminded me of my first, and so far only, jury duty experience. I could go off on how angry I was at being summoned because it was about 3 months after I finished graduate school but I won’t. Just so you know, my anger relates to having to pay out-of-state tuition when I felt I should have been in-state. See if I ever donate money UO!

Okay, to the case. I was part of a group of 25 or so and we entered the courtroom. The judge and all of the other characters filed in and gave us the protocol. If I remember correctly the judge told us it was a drunk driving case before the plaintiff appeared. Then the plaintiff appeared and I thought for sure I was part of a prank. The supposed drunk driver was not over 42 inches tall. Yes, 42 inches tall! If I had not been sitting on the aisle I would not have even seen the plaintiff. I scanned the courtroom to see if there was a hidden camera crew or if someone else was laughing. To my surprise there was no camera and I was the only person that was struggling to maintain my composure.

The jury selection started after the plaintiff strolled in. I was towards the end of the group so it would have taken a miracle for me to be called to the jury box. No more a miracle than a 42-inch person driving, let alone driving drunk, but a miracle nonetheless. The jury was selected before I had a chance to display my ignorance but I had it all planned out. I would have told the attorneys that I could not in good conscience believe that lady had driven drunk without video evidence of her actually driving, and footage of her driving a golf cart would not have swayed me. It’s a classic question to ponder: Does a person 42-inches tall drive drunk without being able to drive at all?

1 comment:

elmazz said...

and a lucky guy you are to have a mother-in-law that you speak so highly of, feels good doesn't it...