Jury Duty

23 Feb


[Editor’s Note: God, that’s creepy. What are you laughing at? You should let the reader know.]


The other day, I had jury duty. The day that wasn’t today. I couldn’t write in the courtroom. They don’t let you write. Maybe they’re afraid you’ll take notes on the case and then lose them at a fancy restaurant you’re paying to eat at with your luxurious $6 stipend they give you for missing a day of work.

[Editor’s Note: Okay, so you’re not going to tell them what you were laughing at?]

[Kyle’s Note: Oh, something somebody told me at the grocery store today. It’s not important.]

[Editor’s Note: Then why’d you include it here?]

This is the second time I’ve been summoned to jury duty. The first time, I was able to nimbly slip out of duty by way of being a college student in another county. I don’t have that luxury anymore. I’ll have to get more creative if I want to get out of this.

So now I sit in the attorney’s office. He sits at a large oak desk. I sit in a somewhat comfortable padded seat that doesn’t recline. It’s the first thing I tried when I came in. I’m about to be interviewed to see if I’m fit for jury duty.

“Mr. Irion, how are you today?” the DA asks.

“I’m okay. I’m at jury duty, though. And that sucks.”

An uncomfortable chuckle. “Well, as inconvenient as it may be, we must all–”

“And I don’t like the way the DA’s looking at me. Looking at me like I got a knife in my left shoe.” The attorney stops laughing. His eyes dart to my left shoe. He motions to two bailiffs and they pat me down. When they get to my left shoe, I call out “Ah HA! My secret shame!” a menacing smile stretched across my face. They remove a half-eaten Butterfingers bar from my shoe. I reach out for it, licking my lips and making “mmmm” sounds. A bailiff swats my hand down and walks out.

The attorney and I sit again. I keep smiling at him and winking with both eyes. The attorney just squirms in his seat and pulls a pen from his pocket. I double wink at him five or six times in a row, rapid fire.

“Okay, sorry about that. We can’t be too safe here.”

“I understand. I understand completely. Danger is afoot,” I say, pointing at my right foot.

The district attorney sighs and waves the bailiffs over once again. This time he seems much less frantic. The bailiffs pat me down, one working my mid section while the other takes a knee and reaches down to my right foot.

“Yoohoo! My darkest insides!” Thinking on the fly, my declarations are sometimes abysmal and/or nonsensical. The bailiff pulls my shoe off of my foot and reaches into the shoe. In the shoe is a hand drawn picture of Apollo Creed standing next to my mom and me with Maury in the background saying “Apollo, you ARE the father!”

Disturbed, the bailiff hands the picture back. I crumble it up and throw it behind me.

“One more time. Here we go. Mr. Irion, why do you think you’d be a good juror?”

“Well, I’m used to making hard decisions.”

“Are you? Give me some examples.”

“Sure. I remember one summer my family and I were traveling across the country.”

“Has your family done a lot of traveling?”


“I’m sorry to interrupt. Go on, please.”

“Well, we were going across the country. It was hot, of course, and we were running low on food and water. Problem was, we were out in the middle of nowhere.”

“Oh dear.”

“We reached this river, and the decision fell on me as to how we were going to cross it–if we were going to cross it at all. The water looked pretty deep, but I could still see rock formations, so I wasn’t sure how deep.”

“Wait, what?”

“We could either ford the river, look for another place to cross, or get a ferry.”

“Hold on a second.”

“Either way, we were all pretty sure Jed was going to die of cholera before we reached the other side.”

“All right. All right. That’s enough. Are you just recapping a game of Oregon Trail?”


The DA sighs once again and pinches the bridge of his nose. He’s holding his glasses in the same hand he pinches with.

“Fine. I really don’t want to ask this, but I have to finish the questionnaire with everyone. Do you think you could feel confidently in a decision on whether someone had committed a crime or not, although you would have no control as to what their punishment would be?”

“I’m okay with the chair, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“That’s,” he looks at the card. “No, that’s not what I’m asking.”

“Well, okay, but for the record, I want it noted that I’m okay with the chair. I’m pro-chair. I don’t think we use it enough.

“I don’t th–”

“Ain’t I crazy?” I ask, spittle on my chin, my hand waving wildly behind me. I don’t explain this.

“Well, Mr. Irion,” the DA says, standing up. “Thank you for coming in today. We’ll let you know in one half hour whether you have been chosen or not.”

I was not chosen.

The End.


One Response to “Jury Duty”

  1. Patrick O. Strickland March 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    I think this is an excellent post, Kyle. I really, really enjoy the fact that the DA is familiar with Oregon Trail. I also think that the following line is brilliant: “Well, okay, but for the record, I want it noted that I’m okay with the chair. I’m pro-chair. I don’t think we use it enough.“

    Good job.

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