I know what you’re thinking; I’ve been summoned to jury duty and I’m here to bitch and moan about it. Not true; I’d love to be called to jury duty but so far it’s never happened. Actually, I was summoned years ago but I was scheduled to be out of the country at the time and couldn’t appear. I was extremely disappointed.
I’m thinking about jury duty because I just returned from the post office where I dropped off my ballot for the upcoming local election. My late mother-in-law refused to vote because she claimed this was how they got your name for jury duty. Unlike her, I make a point of voting, not just to encourage my chances of being summoned but because I believe my vote is a ticket to the National Political Bitch Fest, and I don’t want to be left out.
I’ve mentioned before that I was raised on Perry Mason and I’ve always fantasized about sitting in the jury box when someone in the courtroom, someone not even implicated in the murder, jumps up and says, “I killed the bastard, killed him real good! He was a monster and deserved killing.”
At this point the one confessing to the crime, who would have gotten off scot-free if he’d have kept his mouth shut, has just arranged an all expense-paid visit to the electric chair. He’s treated to a nice new set of bracelets and led out of the courtroom.
I guess I shouldn’t be so concerned about jury duty because I have a situation that would exclude me from serving. I have a dark little secret, one that I hope you’ll keep to yourself—I have lots of friends and acquaintances who are cops. Those of you who know me will find this hard to believe because I have such a problem with authority and have lived most of my life outside the box, to use a worn expression, but it’s true. You see, Mrs. Chatterbox has worked for the local police department for many years. Now our son CJ works for the department as well. Neither are sworn police officers; both work in administrative roles servicing the department.
The police know the Chatterbox family extremely well. I can’t tell you what a joy it is to be driving down the road and have a cop car pull up beside me…just to wave. Granted it’s better than being pulled over because of marijuana smoke billowing from my car, but it’s still unnerving, especially if you’re a shitty driver like me. These cops adore Mrs. Chatterbox and serve as a reminder that I’d better not cross her. All she needs to do is snap her fingers and fifty cops would descend on our house and pistol-whip me in my driveway. A joke, of course, but I’m not laughing.
I mention this police connection in reference to jury duty because of what happened the last time Mrs. Chatterbox was called to serve. During the elimination process an attorney asked my wife, “Do you know anyone currently working in law enforcement?”
“Yes,” she admitted.
The lawyer asked, “How many?”
“Around a hundred and ten, maybe a hundred and twenty.”
“Thank you for your service, you are dismissed.”
It seems that if you’re chummy with cops they don’t let you serve on juries. Since I know nearly as many cops as Mrs. Chatterbox, and since we’ve had several of them to our home for dinner, I have no doubt that I’d be dismissed from jury duty as well.
Too bad. But I still have Perry Mason. And as I’ve said before, that Della Street is one fine looking woman.
Have you served on a jury? Do you want to?