I haven't been the recipient of that dreaded official envelope in the mail for a few years. You know the one announcing that you've been selected for jury duty. So when it arrived by snail mail a
few months ago, you can bet I was thoroughly overjoyed at the thought of giving up my precious summer vacation days to sit in the bowels of the Van Nuys Superior Court waiting to see if my name would be called. Now, I'm all about serving my state, being
a good citizen, and all of that crap, but why oh, why doesn't my winning Bingo number get called or why doesn't my ticket get picked in a raffle? I often ponder this. But hey, it's not all bad. I got picked to be in the jury pool in
a civil case today; in the first round! How's that for beginner's luck? There is definitely something wrong with our jury system though when you can't even call by phone nor sign in to the portal for the LA Superior Court to find out if you
have to appear during your assigned week of duty. Yes, that's right. The whole system was down last night, so there was no way of finding out if I had to report or not. Finally, at 9:00 a.m. today after calling about 30 times and pushing about a trillion buttons,
I learned that my reporting time was, in fact, today at 7:45 a.m. Oh well, guess who was two hours late? Upon my arrival the person behind the window merely said, "Oh, sorry. The system is really messed up." No, really? "Take a seat." And take a seat
I did until 11:30. "Lunch break!" was hollered. Break from what? At that point I panicked. Why, you ask? Because, there is nowhere and I mean nowhere to eat on Van Nuys near the courthouse. Whatsmore, we were given two hours, yep, two hours for lunch.
(And I was not moving my car!) So I walked, and walked. Every sign was in Spanish, and should I have needed a bail bond, I would have had no problem. But I needed a sandwich. There were none to be found. So I continued to walk. That's when I stumbled
upon Tommy's #7. Now I know 1-6 are pretty decent, though the Beverly and Rampart local will always be my favorite (no "hood" comments). I ordered a burger, chili cheese fries and a chocolate shake. All of it was under $10. And it was good. It gave me brain
power for the difficult task I had ahead of me. Walking back. It was 90-something degrees with no shade. When you grab the nearest clothes in morning, not knowing you have jury duty until 2 minutes before (and those clothes happen to include a sweatshirt
and black leggings) you're kind of stuck wearing them; aka screwed. Finally at 1:30 (mind you- my new juror friends had been sitting there, doing nothing, since 7:45 a.m), our names were called. We went up a few floors to a courtroom where we got to play
a new game called "Are You Dumber Than a Juror?" I have patience for children of any age, but not for fellow jurors apparently. Never have I been with a group of people who are supposed to be representing us, as citizens, who are worse examples of the population
at large. Eight names were called as potential jurors. The rest of us breathed sighs of relief, but not for long. The eight "chosen" ones took their places in the comfy juror chairs. Shall I start with the 30 year-old skate boarder? He was a gem who posessed
a certain economy with words. Every answer was one word or an especially satisfying grunt or nod. I'm pretty sure he was wasted too. Next we met a woman who I'd had a conversation with in the lounge. I thought she was kind of hard to understand.
It turns out she needed a interpreter. There was another who thought the case was wasting the taxpayer's money and the court's time; one who could not be fair, and one who did not understand English. Then there was the neurologist who said he was
prejudiced; against everyone. "Am I in the Twilight Zone?" I wondered? So there went tons of the potential jurors...out the door. We took yet another break. By this time I was so done with my civic duty. Ten minutes later we reconvened and all new
jurors got to state their cities, occupations, etc. By the end we ran out of time. So guess who get to go back tomorrow? I'm almost ready to say, "Pick me! Pick me!", just to get it over with already! I'm really disappointed with my jury duty so far. At least
there could maybe be a good restaurant or two.