Short day today, so it gets a short post. (Short for me, anyway.) We were only there long enough to hear one witness’s testimony and cross-examination.
As usual, I can't discuss the case but there are several non-case-related things I can share with you.
First, upon arrival, I noticed that they had replaced my hard wooden chair with a more comfortable, cushioned one, as I’d requested. Yay for the Clerk! Unfortunately it was still placed right smack in front of the witness stand. The “elephant in the room” would have to make do.
As we waited in the jury room for everyone to show up, I began to wonder if we might have a couple gone AWOL, thus moving me closer to Actual Jurorhood. But no, everyone eventually made it in. We were called into court around 10:45.
The testimony started immediately. It’s not at all like regular office work, where you can ease into the day with a breakfast bar and the news before tackling anything complicated.
About 15 minutes in, the best thing of the day happened. The judge addressed me (Me! The Judge talked to Me!) and asked if I could move my chair around to the other end of the jury box.
I leapt to my feet, exclaiming, “It’s about fuckin’ time!” I grabbed up my chair and fairly sprinted around the front of the jury box and planted it on the other side.
OK, I didn’t really say “It’s about fuckin’ time…” I said, It’s about fuckin’ time, Your Honor.
OK, I didn’t really say that either. What I actually said was, “I’d be happy to,” although he may not have heard me because I was already hustling my chair out from the middle of the goddamned room.
Later, when we took a 5-minute potty break, I mentioned my relief at relocation, to a fellow juror. (They are, in fact, allowed to talk to us Alternates, but we have to avert our eyes.) Anyway, he laughed and said, “I could tell you really wanted out of there by the way you dashed out of your seat…”
As some of us continued talking in the jury room, I learned that I was not the only one distracted by something in the courtroom.
There are several giant portraits in the room, of some very proper-looking colonial-type people, like 1700’s era. All are in giant, thick gilded frames.
The portraits looked similar in size, style and frame, to this.
Photo by gilbertstuart.blogspot.com
Directly across from my new location, there was one such portrait, but it was crooked. And I don’t mean in that “Gee, I wonder if that’s really crooked or is my wallet getting too fat and I’m sitting cockeyed” way. I mean in that, “Holy shit, will somebody please straighten that back out; it looks like the Colonial dude is sliding down a hill” way. My OCD office friend Jenn would have been spazzing out over it the entire day if she had been empaneled there.
This bugged two other jurors as well. I joked that I’d be happy to go over and straighten it out, but I was sure that the second I touch it, it would fall off the wall and I’d end up looking like I was acting out a bad sitcom. My juror friend said I’d probably end up putting my head through it.
I know… that would totally happen to me.
But after we were dismissed, as I was thanking the clerk for my “comfy chair,”* I saw my buddy go over and straighten the picture.
No, it didn’t fall off the wall, nor were there any eye-holes cut out. Sometimes, life is not a sitcom or Scooby-Doo cartoon. (Please don’t tell Sitcom Kelly.)
Tomorrow is a full day of testimony. My sore butt will really be earning that $15 stipend.
Wait, I’m not sure that looks like what I meant to say. Prosecution withdraws the statement.
*Extra credit to all that got the “comfy chair” reference. Next up, the SOFT CUSHIONS!