Today I didn't have to Work. I had Jury Duty. In retrospect... I shouldn't have told them I had Jury Duty, I should have just called out sick. I discovered that I don't even have the benefit of getting a paid day off... it's just a day off. At least a sick day I'd have made money. Anyway... I arrived to the court house at 9am.
This is not "early" for most folks... but you should keep in mind that I work until 2am every night (and last night wasn't any exception). I was tired to say the least and arrive in a giant room with a bunch of TVs playing Regis and Kelly. I walked in with a book under my arm and a laptop in hand ready to kill some hours getting some work done... until I discovered that this particular juror's lounge lacked a wifi. So I promptly began reading my book of choice Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis. I've read it a few times before and frequently list it as one of my top 5 favorite books. Perhaps it was due to the setting but this time while there were parts I greatly enjoyed, I didn't love the book as a whole as much as I used too. As Noon approached they announced we had an hour to go out and buy ourselves lunch.
Now I've never done Jury Duty before so I was at least mildly shocked that we had to buy our own food. We're missing work and you can't even provide us some food? Surely, our paychecks (which no I will not donate to a children's charity today) will include the money we spent on food. I took in some delicious Zac's Burgers (actually the burgers were bland but the french fries and milk-shake kicked MAJOR ass)
I returned to the juror's lounge after my meal. Someone had changed the Television station to ABC Family where I watched the most DEPRESSING SITCOM EPISODES EVER (specifically the 2 episodes of 8 simple rules of dating my teenager daughter immediately after John Ritter's death). The only thing keeping me entertained at this point (due to me finishing the book and having no wifi) was text messages from my friend Jackie. Suddenly I hear my name called... ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME! I got pulled into the court room with 49 other people. I did everything in my power to avoid being picked as a juror, the judge said this trail would go possibly two days long. I'm moving to LA in less than 80 days, I can't miss that many days of unpaid work days. I do take pride that unlike some other people in the court room I wasn't shameless in trying to get out.
According to Potential Juror #11 he is a racist, owns a gun, is friends with police officers, does not believe in innocent until proven guilty and was part of a similar criminal charge. He also claimed to be mentally unstable. This could be true. He spent the rest of the selection process mumbling and talking to himself. Either he was mildly insane or extremely committed to his insanity. in the end I didn't get selected and was free to go home. But at least I was able to pick up my check... for $11.27!
Fuck you Judicial System! But furthermore fuck you Pauly Shore! YES YOU PAULY SHORE! You think I don't remember Jury Duty?!
For those of you too young to know Pauly Shore was a VJ on MTV in the 90's who somehow became the star of multiple movies (in the same vein as other confusing 'celebrities' like paris hilton and the cast of jersey shore). What's more confusing or somewhat sadder is that I also own all of his movies. The best (in my opinion) being Jury Duty.
Now Pauly Shore's movie concepts are all the same. Super cool guy everyone loves (a stretch right at the start) deals with being in an extra-ordinary circumstance. These included the south (Son-in-Law), the Army (in the army now), a bio-dome (bio dome) and of course the court system (Jury Duty).
What's confusing about Jury Duty is that this movie is basically a parody of 12 Angry Men, a movie that most of Pauly's key-demographic wouldn't see for another 10 years (if they see it at all). I remember being in a film class watching 12 Angry men for the first time and going "holy shit! It's like Jury Duty!" I realize that this connection either made me the most unique kid in film classic or the biggest idiot in film class. I'm leaning towards the former though, the dumbest kid in class was definitely the one who asked if "thelma and louise survived at the end".
For Pauly Shore Jury Duty is a great experience leading to a life of luxury for him and his adorable dog, furthermore his slacker-dumb keeps an innocent man from getting the death penalty (through a series of highly impossible circumstances). What they left out is the miserable, uncomfortable and 2 hour selection process.
The moral of the story is when you get summoned... LIE! LIE YOUR ASS OFF! You're a racist, you're a drug dealer, you're dad is dying and you're taking care of him... whatever it takes!