Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Twelve, make it six, and true

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   I was hauled into court the other day. Nope, sorry to disappoint, I wasn’t the fellow in the natty white and black striped suit wearing the jailhouse bling around the wrists, waist, and ankles. I was there for jury duty.

   Things started off bad and kind of went down hill from there. Before I even got into the courtroom, the bailiff made me take off my black hood and turn in my rope with the hangman’s knot. He also said that I could not repeat the juror’s mantra, “Let the wheels of justice spin, bring the guilty b…..d in”.

   To begin with, this was magistrate’s court, the place where misdemeanors are tried so just six jurors are needed. There were no axe murders, armored car robbers, or arsonists to be brought before the bar. Just your garden-variety offenses, in this case a couple of people charged with DUI.

   The proceedings start with the magistrate asking all of the 45 or so juror candidates general questions concerning their ability to speak English, if they had at least a sixth grade education (that one nearly got me), if they were related to or personally knew any police.

   Then the judge got specific and asked if we knew any of the accused or their attorneys. (The bailiff wanted to know if we knew Poochie Dooley. It seems he lent him $100 and had not seen him since then.)

   A word about the attorneys. There must be a store called Lawyers-R-Us. All of these guys were dressed in grey suits, white shirts and nondescript ties. A little color wouldn’t be bad. I’m not talking about Elton John hand-me-downs, but maybe daring beige.

   Then we got to the disqualification process where the defense and prosecutor could challenge an individual to serve on a jury. There were only two questions asked. The first was what your occupation. The second, what was your spouse’s occupation.

   Each prospective juror was given a number and the judge selects a number randomly. I knew that I wouldn’t be around long. My number was called. I stood up and said, “Journalist” and then I knew what it felt like to be Dracula being introduced at a cocktail party.

   The attorneys nearly wet themselves. One who I knew to be a deacon at a local Baptist church was repeatedly blessing himself so quickly that his hands were a blur. The other was Jewish, but produced a rosary and was doing laps around it. The judge merely smiled.

   Both of the attorneys shouted in unison, “NO @#$%^& WAY”! Which I thought injured the dignity of the court. Thus ended my legal career.

   The bailiff whipped out his Tazar gun, cranked it up to the ‘Light up Philadelphia’ setting, and indicated the exit. I swear that if there were any garlic in the courtroom I would have been neck deep in it. If there were wooden stakes, I would have looked like a porcupine.

   But, at least I got paid $13 for showing up.© 2010, Harmony County

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Written by harmonycounty

April 3, 2010 at 4:42 p04

Posted in Americana, Humor

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