I went to jury duty today for the very first time in my entire life. I guess I have Obama to blame because if hadn't registered to vote(again for the very first time in my life) I wouldn't have gotten a jury summons and wasted an entire day. It went like this: my group of jurors were called last and my name was the third last to be called which mean I had to watch nearly 600 people(so said the bailiff) go before saying to myself all the while they'll call me next they'll call me next they'll call me next. For those of you who have never had the misfortune of being selected for jury service they call your name with a bunch of other people they tell you which judge you'll be assigned to(you are not told the details of the case just what kind of case it will be i.e. criminal or civil) the lawyers ask you questions pertaining to prejudices and I assume your competency and they 12 jurors(more or less) and 14(more or less) alternates based upon those questions. My group was assigned a judge(sort of) but they were unsure of which case they were going to use or if any. Turns out they had too many jurors and the assholes who weren't picked got to go home. I think I may have mumbled a few insults under my breath at them as they left. Unsure what case we were going to oversee the bailiff gave us an hour break while the court got their shit together. Flash forward an hour... tired from staying up all night anxious and excited about jury duty I was starting to get tired so I decided that wandering around aimlessly till we were assigned a judge I left got a mountain dew from the snack bar and had a smoke. Courts are like airports anymore where you have all but disrobe when you go through the metal detector. I always laugh at the spaz who even after all these years forgets to empty his change out of his pocket, leaves his watch on, or commits some other metal detector faux pa. This time I was that spaz. The first time I went through my belt set off the alarm but by the time the day finally ended I got in and out of that goddamn metal detector like a seasoned drug mule. When we get back from our break we wait and wait and the bailiff gets late and late. She was already getting on my nerves with the lame jokes she kept telling to ease the obvious tension in the air and I was starting to have day dreams about bum rushing the bench and ringing her neck. She finally returns at nearly noon(15 minutes late) and gives us the wonderful news that the court still hasn't made up its mind about our case and we should break an hour and a half for lunch. So far the longest we've spent in court is the 2 and a half hours waiting for our names to be called. I'm serious here DAMMIT! This wasn't an episode of Night Court nor was it an episode of Boston Legal or Alley McBeal, this was real life. I go out smoke another 3 cigarettes and buy another mountain dew just to stay slightly lucid because by now my sanity is draining as fast as my consciousness. We've now spent more time on breaks than getting down to business. I don't remember exactly what happened next because due over exposure to stimulants and sleep depravation my heart is beating as fast as a jack hammer. I wake up in the courtroom to some inconsiderate asshole asking if those people are sleeping just a little too loud. Then I black out again. By the time I wake up still nothing has happen and the bailiff is not back yet. It's barely 1:00 and the girl beside me is asking me what time I've got. I look at my watch with the blurry bloodshot eyes of veteran tokers and say, "oh uh 12.05". Incredulously she asks 12:05?! Oops sorry I mean 1:05. As fun as time traveling was I couldn't resist the urge to stare off into space for the next 30 minutes. The girl catches me looking at my watch again and asks what time it is now, 1:35, the bailiff is now five minutes late and aside from a slight lapse in consciousness I've been awake for over 24 hours. I breathe one of many aggravated sighs and continue staring off into nothingness until the bailiff returns. Still no word from the judge. We are granted an unofficial break with a promise that it won't be much longer now but if you want to go to the snack bar or grab a smoke tell your neighbor. My heart still trying its damnest to leap out of my chest I decide to do neither. Instead I hear nature calling and go to the bathroom. Why is it that everytime you have to shit in a public restroom when its isolated someone has to come in in the middle and ruin everything? What I can only imagine was an old man with a urinary tract infection came in. He stood at the urinal for what seemed like a lifetime doing absolutely nothing. For a while I was afraid he was a pervert trying to check me out over or under the stall or trying to listen to me take a dump when I hear a few trickles and a slow stream that wouldn't put an infant to shame. After he's done everything goes quiet again but I know he's still there. Next thing I know my discretion is betrayed when a small clinger falls into the toilet water. If he didn't know I was in there he does now. More silence and I'm getting ready to fire off a few belligerent insults about watching people go to the bathroom when I hear the sound of rushing water. Finally I have the bathroom all to myself again I finish up and clean thoroughly. Afraid that the horny old guy was watching too closely and can identify me by my shoes and is fantasizing about me with my boxers around my ankles I move towards the back of the room which is unoccupied. I find peace in my solitude until people for whatever reason follow my example and started sitting near me which is odd because throughout the entire process I'm usually sitting one chair length on both sides from the person next to me even when people had to stand because there was a shortage of chairs. I figure it has to do with my piercing, size, and the exhausted and angry look on my face. I stare off into space again until they tell us to move to the chairs in the center at the front of the room apparently they want to tell us something... but it turns out we just continue to wait. At 3:00 they tell us to move towards the back. A few moments go by and they finally announce what we all knew since the second break, they don't have a case for us and we can all go home. First we have to decide to donate our 6 dollar checks or keep them for ourselves. They stole 8 hours of my life and I wasn't just about to leave empty handed so I took the check. On my way out in the foyer an elderly gentleman in a US Navy cap approached me. He was very friendly but he may very well have been the guy who was checking me out in the bathroom. He saw the check in my hand and made a comment about it. I said heck yeah I was taking the check if I didn't I'd have nothing to show for my day. I had after spent the last 8 hours here. He asked if I was around here and I said yeah I'd lived here most of my life. He said for some reason I he thought I sounded like a yankee. That's when I confess that he is in fact right and very perceptive. My family is from up north(even though I am not). He asked where and I told him from Illinois. We parted was and because I was very out of it I said nice seeing you... like we were old chums with a lot of history. I'm left with the impression that if all the courts in the world ran this way nothing would get done... well maybe that a good thing for cuntry's that enforce sharia law.

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