There is a part in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas where Jim Carey as the Grinch does something so subtly Grinchy it’s an absolute scene stealer. He’s in the mail room supposedly delivering Christmas cards and good tidings when what to my wondering eyes should appear? Jury summons forms.
With a staccato rhythm the Grinch recites “jury duty, jury duty, jury duty” as he slides a summons into everybody’s mail slot.
I got Grinched this January but was able to plea the impossibility of jury duty at the second busiest time of the year in the college business. I succeeded in suspending my sentence until March.
Today I got to report for duty.
As it turns out, not many people, except my friend Karen, want to be a juror. I decided early on I was just going to go with the flow of the day and not complain or otherwise make those around me aware of the inconvenience someone’s crime was having on my time.
In fact I decided to embrace the experience. I gathered some reading material, bottled water, and snacks about me and planned to make a day of sitting quietly with a jury of my peers.
Oddly, only one other person seemed to anticipate the fact that we might be waiting for quite some time and brought her knitting supplies. Everyone else seemed to be staring blankly into space or chatting about the snacks they failed to bring or pondering the pay of this particular gig.
We got to watch a video on why we were there which, frankly, should be considered at any group meeting. Then we got to stand and swear to tell the truth or swear not to stand, smoke, or wear hats.
Next the judge came in to tell us how important we all were, which is another thing I think should be implemented in work places everywhere.
Unfortunately, the judge underestimated our collective ability to tell time, even with the confusion surrounding Daylight Savings Time. He proclaimed the proceedings would begin in fifteen minutes. Ninety minutes later he returned.
All was forgiven when he said we could go home. Apparently our presence alone scared the beejeebees (not to be confused with the Bee Gees) out of the criminal who confessed on the spot before we even got a chance to be questioned ourselves.
Naturally today’s six word summaries all have to do with judging. Pick one or more.
Judge not lest ye be judged.
I’ll be the judge of that.
Who am I to judge you?
Order in the court. Or chaos. ( If things got a little too boring, could a judge demand chaos in the court instead of order?)