Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, May 29, 2003 8:36 pm

One angry man


Well, not angry so much as bored to tears and wishing for a more comfortable chair. That’s pretty much the sum of my jury duty for this biennium.

In North Carolina, people in the jury pool get to see a short video on how juries and the court system work. It’s narrated by Charles Kuralt, one of our state’s most famous natives. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because Kuralt’s on-screen persona is the most avuncular, unthreatening, reassuring figure ever created from electrons, and if you’ve been called for jury duty and have never been inside the court system before, you can be in need of some reassurance. It’s a bad thing because Kuralt died almost six years ago, so the video is getting a bit long in the tooth and the haircuts therein are starting to show it.

After the video, the clerk told us we could watch whatever we wanted. “We” were, in general, about 106 years old on average so everyone was pretty well pleased to leave the channel right where it was, which, unfortunately, was the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Pat Robertson’s outfit. So we got to hear this water-headed moron talk about how the “roadmap to peace” in the Middle East was actually “the beginning of the end of the state of Israel.” Now, that might or might not be true, but anyone who would take advice on Middle Eastern politics from Pat Robertson shouldn’t be allowed outside without a leash.

I thought about standing up and asking the clerk, “Excuse me, but could we please change the channel to one not featuring a water-headed moron who makes a mockery of Christianity?” But I decided that doing so would give unredeemable offense to many other people in the room, at least 11 of which I might be spending way too much time with over the course of the next several days, so I said nothing and read my novel instead. Fortunately, it turned out to be way more amusing than I had any right to expect. And my manners were rewarded by the court clerk, who soon turned our TV to CNN. (The poor bastards way up at the front of the room were stuck watching game shows.)

Perhaps as cosmic payback for the 3 1/2 days I spent last time on a jury in a civil case that was settled before the jury got the case, most of us got sent home at lunch time. Woo-hoo!

So, that’s it until the spring of the next odd-numbered year, when I’ll likely be doing this again.

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