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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The last few weeks in review

Typing on the dining room computer, Car Talk is on the radio, kids are playing the Wii in the living room, currently not beating each other up--which is a good thing.

Last week, the weekdays of January 4-8 to be exact, I had jury duty. I can't say I was thrilled with the prospect of fulflling my obligations as an American citizen and resident of Ingham County, Michigan, but I didn't have any legitimate reasons to get out of it.

In the previous two times I've been on jury duty, I've never even gotten as far as having to go anywhere. It was simply a matter of calling the phone number on the summons every day to find out if I was needed, and I never was. This time, however, I actually had to drive to the Ingham County courthouse the first day of my jury duty (and, as it turned out, on Thursday of that week).

About 45 prospective jurors gathered at the courthouse that Monday. As we were settling into our wooden folding chairs, one of the jurors, an immaculately dressed African-American man, stood up and informed us that it was not too late for us to stop being sinners and give over our souls to Jesus Christ (or something to that effect). Some of us groaned and a few others said "Amen." The ones who said amen made ME groan. We waited for about a hour and a half before we were informed that Monday's defendent had plead guilty and there would be no trial. We could leave.

We weren't needed again until Thursday. That day we were all summoned into the courtroom. The first 12 names selected as jurors were all approved, and guess who was among them: the African-American bible thumper. The rest of us were dismissed and our services were no longer needed for the rest of the week. (By the way, the criminal case involved a young man charged with unarmed robbery at a Meijer store).

The last few weeks have been considerably more uneventful.