Apr 22, 2011

Downtown




Nobody likes to be called in for jury duty, but it's like the flu: sooner or later you gonna get it. I had my on-call thing this week. I called in night after night and got the automated message saying that I didn't have to go in the next morning. I forgot to call in in on Thursday night, so I did in Friday morning. I found out I needed to report to the downtown courthouse 7:30 am that morning. It was 7:15. So I went to downtown instead of work. I got to the courthouse by 8:30. The clerks were just getting around rounding up the potential jurors.


So there we were in the courtroom going through the jury selection, people getting called into "the box," lawyers asking questions. There were a few colorful characters, like the skinny white boy in his very early twenties talking fluent jive 'bout homies an' stuff. The really funny part came when the plaintiff's lawyer, a black man in his forties asked the kid if he'd seen Airplane. The lawyer even quoted "I can speak Jive." If you're old like me you probably have seen the movie and remember the scene with the little old white lady translating jive to the stewardess. (If you don't, hang your head in shame.) The kid in the courtroom just said he didn't watch much television. Sadly, the hilarity of the moment zipped straight over his head.


At lunchtime I walked past the L.A. Times building. In the floor-to-ceiling window of a ground floor office sat an old front page declaring that the "ALLIES LAND IN ROME." For a second I read it as "ALIENS LAND IN ROME."


In the end I dodged the bullet and I'm no safe for a year. Good thing because all I did all day is sit on my ass and I'm exhausted.

7 comments:

Petrea Burchard said...

I love the "Airplane" moment. (In the movie that was Barbara Billingsley, aka Beaver's mom, aka Mrs. Cleaver.) But I mean *your* "Airplane" moment.

Great photos. What's the app?

Vanda said...

I didn't know it was Mrs. Cleaver. That's even better!

The app is Lo-mob. You must try.

dive said...

Hoorah for the lawyer's "Airplane" joke. I'd have choked myself laughing at that.

Love the pics, Vanda. As soon as I saw the LA County Courthouse in black and white my mind went into Raymond Chandler mode.

I must confess I loved doing jury duty. I got a real doozy of a trial involving police corruption. Yay!

Petrea Burchard said...

OIe can appreciate the joke without knowing the actress played one of the most prim, sweet moms ever to grace American television. But knowing that heightens the hilarity. I loved Barbara Billingsley all the more for playing that role.

Vanda, don't you think Dive has to come to LA? We could make a list of all the cool spots and show him around.

altadenahiker said...

So what did you think of the rhino turds in front of the police station? I started to kind of like them after 7 months of looking out the window.

Vanda said...

Dive, mine would've been a civil case, centering around a shooting in a dance club, as far as I could tell. It sounded like the plaintiff was shot in the club and sued the owner for not providing adequate security.

The defendant was an interesting character: big as a house and in all black looked like a member of the Addams Family.

Petrea: We so have to get Dive to L.A. There are so many cool, weird and downright crazy spots we could show him!

K: The first couple look like rhino turds, but if you look at the whole series, especially from the other side, not the road, then they look more like a headless baby elephant with very short legs.

dive said...

Petrea's right, of course.
I've got a novel-length list of LA places from Art Deco to Noir that I have to see before I die, so I'm afraid you'll have to put up with my presence at some point, Vanda.
I confess to having a blinkered view of the place, however, born of Chinatown and Chandler and twisted out of shape by James Ellroy and GTA San Andreas. You'll have to put me right when I get there.