There are probably three people I will answer my phone for. For everyone else, I stare at my phone until it stops ringing then immediately text them “you called?” so they know I saw my phone ringing and chose not to answer. I don’t like answering calls, and I also don’t like being forced to do very boring things. So it is a culmination of several nightmares that I have been summoned to meet my civic responsibilities, to act as part of a system which I oppose on an ideological level, to be the law. I have been called to Jury Duty.
So far, I have done no research on what will be required of me. All I know about the specific duties of a jury, I have learned from TV and movies. If Law and Order and My Cousin Vinny are at all accurate, I’m destined to spend hours in uncomfortable-looking benches among 11 other bored-looking people listening to well-dressed people lie to each other with vigor. Strange, if I weren’t being forced to do it, and there were 11 fewer people to talk to, this would be ideal. I do love judging people.
Tv has lent me some idea of what to expect in the courtroom, and I think I can extrapolate from there. As mentioned, there will be well-dressed people talking toward bored people. There will likely be allegations of a crime which might be interesting to hear about. I hope it’s not a violent crime. I’d much rather it be some daring theft or an elaborate extortion scheme. If it’s a bank robbery, I’ll have to take notes because this whole teacher thing is not paying the bills so well. I know they say crime doesn’t pay, but I’ve seen drug busts where the police find millions of dollars so it sounds like crime pays a lot better than I have been led to believe by after school cartoon specials.
I wonder if there is anything I can do to convince the court that I am, in fact, the worst possible candidate for a jury other than the actual person on trial. The best case I can make for how totally inadequate I would be as a juror is in my reaction to having even the potential of that responsibility thrust upon me. I did not revel in the joy of civic service, and I didn’t even begrudgingly accept that it is my duty as a citizen to engage with the legal system. No, when I got my letter and saw the words “Welcome to jury duty,” I spent the next 5 minutes moaning “no” and thinking of ways out of it. Does the court really want someone whose first reaction to being given the chance to help determine a person’s innocence is “ugh, this is such a burden on me.” That level of self absorption cannot be what they’re looking for.
However, the only surefire way I know I can get out of it is to become a criminal myself. I have a few days left before I have to submit some forms agreeing to participate. In that time, I’ll have to get my career as a criminal started. I’ve always imagined myself as the jewel thief type, so I think that’s the direction I’ll go. There are plenty of shops downtown that sell overpriced gems to tourists, and my new career path obligates me to rob them all blind. I don’t want to be a criminal, but the justice system has forced me into the lifestyle. The only way out of jury duty is to become completely un-jury-able. They wouldn’t bring a criminal in to decide the fate of another criminal. This might be my last post as an innocent, law abiding teacher. It’s time for me to leave that part of myself behind and begin my life as the world’s snarkiest jewel thief.