6 days ago
Apr 22, 2011
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.