Friday, May 08, 2009

Jury Summons

I had a jury summons this morning. (It's my second summons. I will serve duty for the first time in July.) I adore jury summons for two reasons:
  1. It's weirdly efficient. Our local judicial system is widely acknowledged to be a train wreck, but down in the basement of the courthouse, this little summoning-engine-that-could thrums along at a gratifying pace.
  2. The waiting room is the most representative sample one is likely to see of the (not formerly incarcerated) adult population of the city—roughly equal parts black and white with a smattering of Other; young, middling, old; every strata and curious corner of our multivariate society:*
  • moms
  • pops
  • grandmoms
  • grandpops
  • students
  • nurses
  • day laborers
  • casino dealers
  • office managers
  • compu-geeks
  • low-slung hip-hoppers
  • prim church-going matrons
  • form-fitted ghetto divas
  • off-duty security guards (a.k.a "2.5")
  • Afrika-chic Americorps-ettes
  • droopy flip-flopped post-hippie boomers
  • straight-backed ballet boys in little vests and big jewelery
  • gummy marms of doubtful cognition
  • corn-rowed stern-faced bull-chicks
  • cargo panted scruffies
  • neck-bearded slouchers
  • be-scrubbed doctors
  • tony lawyers
  • down-on-their-luckers
  • texters
  • podders
  • grimacers
  • jigglers
  • chatterers
  • zoners
  • bloggers
* Don't forget to check back and see if I'm so gung ho about the diverse panoply of life after I've served jury duty.


  1. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Dave, the venerable Cleo has his name thanks to my jury duty stint in 1995, when I was introduced during voirdire to a fellow juror, a older african-american minister named the Reverend Cleofus Grimes. He was a very nice man, and Chigger and Cleo appeared in our lives right at that time. I served on one trial in which one lady was accused of hitting the other lady over the head with a pipe. It ended up as a mistrial. -maysey

  2. I'm glad I'm not alone. I'd been feeling like a jury-duty-liking freak:

  3. craic-head9:12 AM

    OK. I'm guessing that a couple of those you had to have encountered . . . like the straight-backed ballet boy in a little vest with big jewelry. No one could make that up.

    Special request for pictorial depictions of your faves.

    (Also, very nice job on the parabolic shaping of your bulleted list, Mr. O.)

  4. Will the grandmoms be cool?

  5. Cool? The jury's still out on that one. Har!

    And craic-head, I encountered each and every one of those. I'm telling you, it's the city in a microcosm.

    I think I might join the Secretly-Likes-Jury-Duty club. (Though I'll reserve judgement until I've actually done the time.) I hope there's a Cleofus.

  6. Oh, and in an "It's a Small Town After All" moment—the straight-backed ballet boy in the little vest and big jewelery also happened to be a "baton girl" in one of the hipster marching brigades that invaded our friends' living room during the Mighty Muses Meltdown.