I turned up yesterday for my jury duty. Negotiating the airport style security was interesting. I handed over my bag to the friendly looking lady who immediately opened it and tipped the entire contents out into a tray. Lovely! The ladies will relate to my rather embarrassing confrontation with the odds and ends accumulated over a millenia. The battered tampon was however the least of my worries as it also transpired that I had a hypodermic needle in my bag. Not used I hasten to add. The contents of the tray, my bag and I were escorted to a small room just off the foyer. It was here that I was told by a very stern court official that I needed to explain myself. He didn't see the humour when I proceeded to tell him my life story. It was actually the needle he wanted me to explain, and so I told him about my work with the morally challenged and how on rare occasions I am tasked with providing new needles to the needy addicts. My warrant card scrutinised and the contents of the tray once more sieved through in all it's minutiae, I was escorted back to the foyer. Here the same court official gave me directions to the juror's suite and whispered the top secret code to gain access.
I punched in the code and entered. The juror's suite is a large room with lots of comfy looking seats and a cafeteria located at one end. I immediately noted the rather interesting selection of reading materials, an Argos catalogue, several editions of the bible, a couple of books explaining what the bible is all about and numerous leaflets about , looking after your heart, diabetes, help with alcoholism and how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. Hmm, I know that jury service can be dull and that some poor folk may succumb to a touch of cabin fever after being locked away for several hours, but heart disease, alcoholism and a bonkathon!
I proceeded to the cafeteria and secured myself a large cup of tea then I sat down to enjoy the rather weighty tome that I had remembered to bring with me. I had managed to get a couple of pages in when I was addressed by a man wielding a fake accent that quite frankly was more Humpty Gocart than Humphrey Bogart,
"Of all the bars in all the world you had to walk into mine,"
Had I inadvertently made eye contact or given out some signal? Oh wonderful I had managed in some way to attract the class idiot. Un-phased, he went on,
"What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?"
"Reading a book!" Unfortunately he took this as an invitation to engage in conversation and proceeded to give me his take on jury service and his civic duty. In a nutshell, he believed that 'they', the defendants would not be in the dock if they hadn't done something wrong, visa vie, they are all as guilty as sin. Simple! Yes he was and unfortunately I came to note over the course of a very long day of waiting that he was not alone in his philosophy.
To be continued...
2 hours ago