A summons for jury duty.
I know most people dread jury duty, but between working in the legal field and watching an impressive (or embarrassing) amount of Nancy Grace during my college years, I always thought jury duty would be the ideal experience.
So last Monday I drove to the courthouse bright and early, went through security, and was shuffled into the jury marshaling room with 74 of my fellow citizens, not one of whom looked happy to be spending their Monday morning in the basement of the courthouse in a state of indefinite limbo.
After we were given the rules and info on when we could expect our whopping nine dollar check in the mail, we watched a short movie about general courtroom information and the constitutional right to due process. As the credits rolled, the man sitting on my right leaned over and said to me, "I mean, aren't they all guilty? Would we even be here if they weren't?"
I guess he missed the segment on innocent until proven guilty, and also that there was a 50/50 shot we would be assigned to a civil case.
The man on my left decided to take that opportunity to lighten the mood and started telling jokes. First up was, "So, someone asked Santa why he always lets Donner and Blitzen stop for coffee. And Santa said, 'Because they're my star bucks!"
I laughed politely and that apparently encouraged him to continue on with the coffee theme. Next joke in the repertoire was "I stopped for breakfast on my way here this morning, and I told the waitress that my coffee tasted like dirt! She told me of course it does! It was ground this morning!"
Can someone put this guy on trial for corny jokes?
Speaking of corn, at that moment, they turned on the Food Network and I was saved by The Pioneer Woman. In no time flat I was making a mental grocery list including but not limited to butter, heavy cream, cocoa, and the ingredients for fried chicken.
Just as Ree began to make some sort of fruit parfait with homemade whipped cream, the woman in charge called us all to attention. She told us that our services wouldn't be needed, because the defendant had entered a guilty plea. But, she said, if the trial had gone forward, we would have been there for seven days to deliberate on murder charges.
It took everything in my not to say, "Well, it sounds like we dodged a bullet," because it seemed like an inappropriate time to make a pun and I didn't know my audience.
Although I bet the guy on my left would have laughed.