Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amazing People

People are so amazing. Yesterday I had jury duty. I could probably stop right there, and most of you would know what I was talking about, but I will go ahead and tell you about my day.

I arrived at the Stephens County Courthouse at 8:30 AM to find many people waiting on the elevator. When the elevator doors opened, the elevator was full (people coming from a lower floor). Since the courtroom was only one floor up, I decided to take the stairs – I was the only person on the stairs. I then stood in line to sign in. I was finished signing in when the people I had seen waiting for the elevator arrived on the second floor – good grief - I was amazed at the "herd instinct."

I found the Junk Diva’s shortest, but oldest daughter, who also had jury duty, and we moved into the courtroom to have a seat. Just being with her, would liven things up – she is the Diva’s daughter. There were over three hundred people in the courtroom. Roll call was long and boring, but then the judge began giving instructions on who could be exempt from serving. He started with people who did not live in Stephens County could be exempt. When the judge asked if there were anyone who did not live in Stephens County, a hand went up. The judge acknowledged the person, and the person said, "I’m a felon." And so it went. There were a few other felons. Why they didn’t take care of their exemption earlier, who knows? The judge went on patiently explaining exemptions. People went on raising their hands and asking silly questions. There was a man who raised his hand and said he was a diabetic. The judge again explained that he needed a doctor’s note saying he was physically or mentally not able to participate on a jury. The man then said, "I’m also hard of hearing." The judge said, "Can you hear me now?" The man replied, "Yes." So the judge repeated the rule for exemption on grounds of mental or physical disability. Personally, I thought the man should be exempt on mental grounds – just too stupid to serve.

Eventually, the clerk divided the crowd into three groups – red, white, and blue. I have to admit I was thoroughly enjoying myself and was disappointed when my group was dismissed to come back on Wednesday. I was totally entertained by the people, although sometimes their stupidity was painful. You would think that after teaching public school, I would not be surprised by anything, but I was – things like the felons who stood up and announced to the world their status. Not only was I awed by what people said and did, but also how they dressed, fixed their hair, kept themselves, etc. I may have to take my sketchbook when I go back on Wed. I am looking forward to the jury picking process and hopefully sitting on an actual jury. I bet there are people who think that I am the weirdo.

I met Toby and Jesse for lunch at one of our usual restaurants. The little waitress is very cute and pregnant. She has always worn a low cut black T-shirt, but now her breasts seem to be exploding over the top of the T. It kind of makes it difficult to focus on ordering your food, but maybe it helps her with tips.

Later in the afternoon Toby and I met with his sisters in WF to check out a few independent living residents for my mother-in-law. These places tend to employ some sort of business/salesperson who explains the ropes, gives tours and tries to persuade you to buy into the place. One of the people we met with was an attractive young lady about Jesse’s age. This lady was wearing a low-necked, scooped T-shirt with her breasts bouncing at the top. Once again, it was difficult to take her seriously.

While in WF we went by to see my mom and tell her about our day. During the conversation, I asked Mom and Toby if it bothered them when young ladies wore such low cut clothing and their boobs looked liked two shoats in a sack wrestling to get out (although I am a bit jealous of their lack of prudence). Toby remained intelligently quiet, but Mom said, "Your dad always said he was afraid he would get caught looking – so he tried to look anywhere but at the lady." This made me hoot with laughter. I can just see my dad trying not to get caught looking at some young ladies boobs even when she was apparently showing them off. Once again, I find people amazing.


Buck said...

"Your dad always said he was afraid he would get caught looking – so he tried to look anywhere but at the lady."

TSMP always said "You can read the menu all ya want but ya better be eatin' at home." Which comes across as supremely ironic these days, considering. I do look but I try not to stare. Fine line, that.

People are funny. But I don't think I'd have the patience to deal with stupidity in massive amounts.

Bag Blog said...

I did cringe a bit several times when people were so stupid. I got the feeling that the judge let them go - not because they were actually exempt, but because he didn't really want to deal with them down the road. I am hoping I get to see the smart side of people coming up in the trials.

joyce said...

Thank you for wanting to serve. Seem so many just want to get out of it, and their lives are suppodily so much more important than ours. I do wish they'd deal with exemptions earlier---to save time. policemen and those related to policemen cannot serve here in Tarrant county, yet they have to wait through the cattle call to volunteer this information. Do take your sketch pad. I usually take my knitting to keep my hands busy...

Matt Conlon said...

That's funny, I've always said exactly the same thing as Buck said up there.

Never liked the idea of being responsible for saying whether or not someone got to walk free, or serve time. There are so many unknowns, and having not been there at the time, I'd just always have this sense of "Maybe I was wrong!"

Guess that's why I'm a bit of an agnostic...

Buckskins Rule said...

If they are brazenly on display, I'm probably going to sneak a peak. But if she's talking to me, I do give the courtesy of eye contact.

Re: Jury Duty. Sound reminiscent of stint last year. A colossal waste of my time. The biggest probably (here at least) is that the folks running the jury pool don't give a rat's ass that they are wasting many peoples time.

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

If our friend the Ass't D.A. ever writes a blog about his dealings, i'll be there daily. I love laughing at people. I figger if i can laugh at myself for doing something stupid, other people get the same treatment.
I know that waitress, and yeah, it is somewhat...distracting.

Bag Blog said...

Since I have never been on a jury, I don't know how it will be to actally find someone guilty or not. I think I can do it.

I bet that the jury pickers have heard it all and are quiet immune to anyone's real or imagined problems. It is definitely a power thang.

I will be at that blog too - if he writes one.