Jury Duty

Friday was High School Graduation. Saturday was, well, Saturday. We spent Sunday with Wonder Woman (I wish they’d just call her Diana and forget the Wonder Woman title.)

Monday was jury duty.

I’ve been getting out of jury duty for years on the excuse that I had child care issues, which was true. Now it is summer. I work from home. My kids are out of school. They drive. No excuses.

Even as a Vampire I believe in my civic duty and in our justice system (I bet you didn’t think I’d bring up the Vampire thing did you?)

So yesterday morning came. I knew what I’d wear. Conservative but comfortable business wear. A royal blue blouse, black slack, black flats, a white sweater, shiny brown hair slightly flipped up, black marcasite jewelry, easy on the eyeliner. Once I got there I saw that most people had come in jeans and were more on the comfort scale than I was.

I first stopped for coffee at the corner donut shop. This was not one of the awful national chains (aka Dunkin Donuts which sells something called coffee that resembles dirty pond water and I wish had not opened in my neighborhood) but a small family run place with a funny name (Ducky’s Donuts) and friendly young owners. The coffee is in pump containers, and you have to get your half/half out of the fridge yourself. As always the coffee was excellent. No donut – just coffee, but I hear the donuts are great.

It took me a little over an hour to get to the court house. Morning traffic from my house to downtown was heavy but more than I expected. But hey, one has to see the bright side. I took a less traveled road through Midtown to Downtown and got a great morning view of the Capitol building (yes, Sacramento.)

And this was my day:

I arrive at the court house. Then I waited in a line to sign in. We were all told not to sit on the benches or tables outside of the court house because homeless people camped out there at night and the clean up crew couldn’t guarantee how clean anything would be. A judge explained the reason we go to jury duty and the history of it all. It was nice. He also said to send in any suggestions and thoughts to the court. I read about 100 pages in my book (John Sanford, Escape Clause. Extremely entertaining), then I pulled out my iPad and watched videos on YouTube about cats, deep sea creatures, deep sea mysteries, why dogs turn their heads when you talk to them, and a super lame high voiced silly British comedian I’ll never watch again (a lot of British humor seems so old fashioned to me these days.) We were excused for lunch and I almost stepped on a condom on the courthouse steps. Then I saw my husband at the lunch break and asked him how to quickly light a car on fire, what fuel to use, etc etc etc. He didn’t bat an eye because I’m always asking him stuff like that. No, I’m not going to really light a car on fire, I’m just writing about it. He doesn’t read what I write but is always willing to give technical advice. Went back to the court house. I dozed in my seat. Looked out the window and counted palm trees (about five from where I sat.) Read another chapter in my book.  Several people around me mentioned that they’d finished their books. Everyone started talking to each other. Sat for another hour, closed my eyes and figured out how to smash a guy in the head, get him to his car, drive him four or five miles away, light the car on fire, walk home, then have a horror writer in Canada tell an old friend of mine (under a full moon by a camp fire on a beach) how such a sweet woman could be such a cold hearted killer, but hey, the guy deserved it, and it fits into the novel I’m working on. Then at 2:00 my jury group was excused. Jury duty done for another 18 months.

Needless to say my experience was nothing like the movie/play Twelve Angry Men. It wasn’t even like Witness for the Prosecution. It wasn’t like a Vampire movie either. It was real but not gritty or dramatic. It just was.

Luckily there was no traffic on the way home, except right before my house in the never ending messy three miles of road construction. When I arrived home I helped the girl child find her shirt for the senior trip (high school graduates, not old folks) to Disneyland. They should have arrived at the Magic Kingdom about an hour ago (it is now 8:08 a.m. PST.)

All of this reminds me that despite all of the political assholery going on right now, we have a system that works. Juries are picked. People are allowed a fair trial. People participate. People gather peacefully. This isn’t about politics. It is about what is right.

So that is all I have this morning. I’ll need about another gallon of coffee and maybe even another hour of sleep before I get going on today’s agenda…

Have a great day everyone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman






10 thoughts on “Jury Duty

  1. Is this the part where I ask why you don’t know a lawyer to get you out of that sort of thing? Maybe it’s just me… being around that many folks and having been a Vampire for less than a decade. It’s the kind of thing that feels very isolating to me, out of my comfort zone surrounded by people I’m not familiar with… never mind being unable to have my support staff with me: my “no ma’am” men. Perhaps in another century…

    • My brother Aaron is a lawyer and I couldn’t get him to get me out of it if I tried. I’ve lived in the world of 98.6 folks so long that I’m happy to blend in. It is sort of fun sometimes. Maybe another century will help you relax and just go with the flow (and if you consider that blood flow you’ll be super happy, I guarantee it.)

      • My current mentor, Nancy, pretty much said the same thing — hilarious, coming from a recluse that has to be dragged kicking and screaming out of her grave to visit me. You already know my faction aren’t fans of the daytime, so as much as I’d like to fulfill my obligations as a citizen, 9:00 a.m. start times in court aren’t compatible with my nocturnal tendencies. I need one of those Vampire Diaries rings or something…

    • Thank goodness. When the sun goes down every public building downtown becomes a homeless camp, illegal drug store, or a great place for a quickie. My husband has to keep the dumpster in his building locked because he has found guys sleeping in it. They guys who run the body building business chased some of them away and they crapped on his backdoor step. Yuck. Other than that I love going downtown. Sigh.

  2. The first time I got jury duty, I got a doozy of a case, got picked, and we spent over a week in court watching a real-life drama unfold then got to deliberate. The bastard was quite guilty, according to our party of 12. Quite interesting, actually!

  3. I had my jury duty service last week too! And I had that same idea with the dress code: I tried to play it safe by getting all dressed up and saw everyone else all comfortable. I was pretty mad lol.

  4. I did my jury duty once about 10 years back. In the UK you’re signed up for a fortnight, but fortunately for me there was a public holiday looming. Day 1, no case, told that if not picked for a case in next day wouldn’t have to come back, and that if picked for a case it would be done by the end of the week and no new cases would be started the following week because of the bank holiday, then sent home. Day 2, case, got picked. Day 3, back for more of the case. Day 4, jury decided that there wasn’t enough proof to declare the accused guilty, went home just before lunch. I may get picked again at some point in the future, but there is a certain amount of time that has to pass before I can be called again.


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