Beyond doesn't do her civic duty

I got a nice bright yellow letter in the mail informing me I had been called to perform my civic duty as a citizen of Ward County.  So as instructed, I  called the number on the Jury Duty Notice Friday evening to see if there would be a trial Monday.  Judge Sam Massey's recorded voice told me, rather emphatically I might add,  "There WILL be a trial Monday.  You MUST appear as instructed."  Sam Massey is the judge I mentioned in that Dogpile of inhumanity piece I wrote sometime back.  To say that I think he was less than thrilled by my coverage of those events is an understatement.  I couldn't wait for him to see my smiling happy face all made-up to perform my civic duty. 

Monday morning I turned up at the Ward County Courthouse bright eyed and bushy tailed to perform my civic duty.  After driving around the block a couple of times, I found a parking spot and went into the hallowed halls of justice.  I must say jury duty in Ward County has reached new heights of electronic marvels.  One of the first things you do when appearing as instructed, after finding a parking spot of course, is to go into the courthouse and get scanned.  No they don't scan you personally for guns or other implements of destruction.  Nor do they make you put your face on a flat bed scanner for a profile shot.  They do however scan the yellow letter that you got in the mail with one of those pen gadgets. 

After getting scanned, I waited around with everybody else for well over an hour until our names were called and we were instructed to go into the courtroom.  Me and a few others had to wait a bit longer because when the dude reading the names from the two lists he had in his hands was finished, there were still some of us standing around waiting to hear our names called.  One guy asked if this meant we could go home.  He was told "No", in no uncertain terms.  Another lady looked at me and asked me what I thought had happened.  The iron sculpture of a judge attired in cowboy boots and Stetson that stands right outside the courthouse had left me feeling particularly southern fried blonde right then, so in my slowest drawl, I posed this question for her to ponder, "You reckon they think we are like, defective or something, and they are cutting us out of the herd?"  Though I did NOT bob my head from side to side as I posed that question.

Finally, after a brief bout of what appeared to be a mute game of musical chairs in the courtroom, those of us whose names had not been called earlier, straggled into the courtroom.  I hadn't even sat down when the prosecuting attorney announced, "That, is Frances Deck."  Didn't I feel special having my entrance announced like that?  Though I'm not sure exactly who he was announcing my arrival to.   Naturally everybody on and off the bench looked me over rather carefully as I sat down.  Some people were no doubt wondering why the prosecuting attorney knew me so well.  Others of course, know why he does.  Then the judge asked us if any of us had ever been arrested or convicted of a felony, or a crime of moral turpitude.  Nobody raised their hand, or went up to discuss the matter with Sam as we had been instructed to do if any of us had ever been arrested or convicted of a felony, or a crime of moral turpitude. 

Sam then told the people on his right, our left,  they could consider themselves lucky, or unlucky, depending on how they wanted to look at it, since we could leave.  He must of thought there were several southern fried blondes in the courtroom that day, because he made a point of repeating how he meant his right, but our left.  Of course, southern fried blonde or not, since Sam seemed to be looking at us folks on the left side of the room, I didn't figure the people on the right side of the room were the ones who be leaving shortly.  Morris wanted me to suggest to Sam that he say, "the other right," so even the southern fried blondes would understand what he meant.  Even I'm not THAT far Beyond Blonde though when it comes to dealing with a judge.  Besides, the defense attorney happened to be a blonde woman, and she would have no doubt taken exception to my muse's suggestion.  So I just compromised,  bobbed my own head from side to side, held up my left hand and looking at it said, as if speaking to myself, "Oh he means the Other right!"  Since I happened to be sitting on the left side of the room, I had to leave the sacred halls of justice.  Those sacred halls of justice seemed to breathe a sigh of relief to see me depart.   Sooner or later though, I'm bound to get another Jury Duty Summons.  Maybe next time I'll be on the right side of the room. 

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