Paula Johnson

Essays

JURY DUTY DROPOUT

I got a summons for jury duty last month. And unlike most people, I actually want to serve on a jury.

It’s on my bucket list.

I figure…why watch Law & Order on TV when I can be part of a courtroom drama? Jury duty is like reality TV—without the TV. It’s just…reality.

They tell you to wear normal business attire to court. I’m self-employed. I wear sweats. Occasionally shoes. Every day is Casual Friday.

Unless it’s Pajama Tuesday.

So I bought a new outfit for jury duty. Got my hair cut. I even tore the cover off The Economist and taped it to the front of my People magazine. I wanted to make a good impression.

As far as I was concerned, my day at the courthouse was an audition. It wasn’t a summons, it was a casting call and I was going to land one of those 12 seats in the jury box.

I didn’t want to settle for being an alternate. I wanted to deliberate. I even had a crazy dream about being elected jury foreman.

The judges asks you a lot questions to determine if you have a personal history that would interfere with your good judgment.

I was thoughtful, I was articulate. Right up to the end. You know what turns off trial attorneys? Overt enthusiasm.

When I the judge asked me if I thought I could be fair and impartial juror, I said, “Your Honor, I can say without boasting that I would ROCK as juror”

The two attorneys approached the bench and were granted permission to play rock/paper/scissors to decide who got the privilege of kicking me off.

So I left the courthouse with its air conditioning and 90-minute lunch hours and went home…where it was Naked Monday.

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