Civically Minded

Well you can all relax now.  The fever has broken, the chills have warmed, the colon has calmed, and all is right with the world.  After five miserable days, I think it’s over.

With my return to healthy status, it’s fairly safe to assume that no one will need to bash in my brains in another 23 days when I suddenly turn into a zombie.  On second thought, maybe someone should just put a little reminder in their calendar for October 7th.  You can never be too careful.

Speaking of things one might put in their calendar, I’m suddenly reminded I have jury duty.  This week.  Whilst (shush, sometimes I type with a British accent) my rents and the cutest Germans ever are here.  Sonsabitches.

Last time I was called for jury duty, I had to serve on the Grand Jury.  I was there for ten weeks.  Just in case you glossed over that one, let me repeat it for you: TEN WEEKS of jury duty.  TEN WEEKS.

The first four weeks were agony, but I started to see a pattern.  There was one older guy in the back row, just to my left that was always a miserable cuss in the mornings.  He’d grumble there wasn’t any coffee and fuss when we were called to vote.  Then we’d all break for our lunch hour to sample the delicious culinary options available to us at the courthouse cafeteria or the McDonald’s across the street.  Due to the threat of jail time, we’d then return to our drop-ceiling and fluorescent lighting encased room for another four or so hours of judicial fun.

The only difference was, the crabby old dude of the morning was magically replaced by a sometimes giggling, sometimes enraged old dude of the afternoon.

He seemed to sometimes have a problem with the cops that testified, leaping up to scream, “I object!” when he didn’t like their answers.  When the lawyers would remind him he couldn’t object, he’d shout, “I’ll hold you in contempt!”  Eventually he’d settle down a little bit, but not completely.  Each and every time the prosecutor would walk in a new witness, the old dude would sit up straight in his seat and sing,”DUNG, DUNG,” in homage to the soundtrack from Law & Order.

I guess hearing words like “perp” and “evidence” for four solid weeks went straight to my head.  I had to solve the case.  I would follow him.

When we broke for lunch the next day, I shamelessly tailed the old dude down the alley behind the courthouse, around the bus depot, across some railroad tracks and…into a pub.  [Insert heavenly chorus of angels here.]

Now, contrary to popular belief, I’m a bit of a goody two-shoes.  When the waitress asked what I’d like to drink, I requested only water.  People’s lives were in my hands!  It would be wrong to imbibe while doing my civic duty, right?

Just at that moment, a chorus of laughter rang from the large group in the back corner.  Instinctively, I looked to the noise.  There sat our judge with two detectives and several lawyers knocking back a round of beers over their fish and chips.

Old dude and I spent the next six weeks singing, “DUNG, DUNG,” in harmony.


  1. Elly Lou lives! Wee hee! It appears I have dodged a bullet and will only be called for a misdemeanor, not first-degree contamination. And that toilet thing was not one of my symptoms, so maybe you just had a bad one at Malibu. Like Pete. Bee tee dubs (see how good I am?), sorry to mix comments, but re: Save The Words I must also post my favorite word which is lately kicking my writer’s ass: verisimilitude. Just a pompous way of saying “likelihood,” like how all the shit you write in fiction must have 100% “likelihood” or your reader will toss your book. Pompous literary sonsabitches.

  2. You are a frickin’ ninja! Look at you trailing the old dude to a bar! I’m am UBER-impressed!

    And don’t feel bad. I’d likely have passed on the alcohol too. Mustly because I can’t shut up and have no volume control when I drink.

  3. If I ever have jury duty, I hope it’s that interesting. And that there’s a bar close by. Because I’d have no problem having a few sips on my lunch break. Just sayin’.

    Glad you’re better. 🙂

  4. So awesome. Husband is about to have to call in for JD- I’m gonna share this with him. Just knowing he can take a different approach to his civic duties might make him look forward to it.

  5. Civic duty is a huge time fucker. But glad its you not me.
    So I have an issue with the word “whilst”, but I will try and use it in a sentence. Whilst scratching my ass I felt a warm breeze and hark it was a fart. Is that good?

  6. last time i was being interviewed as a possible juror, the judge asked me where i get my news. i answered bill maher, chelsea handler and my favorite bloggers. can’t imagine why i wasn’t selected. aren’t there any points for honesty?

  7. geez, where have I been? I’m glad you are feeling better. I kind of like Old Dude. The only thing that would have made it better was if he was sitting WITH the judges, lawyers, etc. DUNG DUNG. I love this. And sometimes I type with a Southern accent. Sometimes I unintentionally spell words with an extra U. Further proof that reincarnation happens. We would have been pals in Merry Olde England.

    1. Did you read that Bill Bryson book about the English language? He said that southern English is actually closer to old proper English than what the Brits speak!

  8. I am so glad you are alive! I can now take down my voodoo wellness shrine.

    And that story is a hoot. The last time I served jury duty all I got was a parking ticket.

  9. “The colon has calmed” has potential as a great band name. But could you get out of jury duty by saying that your colon is still hyperactive?

  10. Back in the day I did work experience at a country Magistrates Court. Every day the Magistrate, Clerk of Courts, bailiff and various lawyers went to the pub for lunch. If I was lucky they’d bring me back a bag of peanuts to munch whilst I wrote out warrants (the dullest job on earth). Just an aside here we have a brand called “Nobbies Nuts”, the ad asked you to “Nibble Nobbies Nuts”, I still giggle. On my last day they shut the courthouse early to go to the local horse races. Priorities people.

    Glad you now have a happy colon. No one wants to be around a colon with a bad attitude.

  11. Yay! We’re both alive! For now anyway.

    Sorry about your jury duty. But at least you know where the pub is, right?

    I’ve never had jury duty. I wonder why…


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