Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Waiters, Artists, Actresses, Lawyers and Losers

I dodged a judicial bullet yesterday. The jury I was called for was a Special Grand Jury and the term of service as a juror would last 6 months. I was not picked.

A small part of me was thinking that it might be interesting to get on the jury and then meet a whole group of random, potentially interesting people. And then we would all reluctantly meet each day, sigh loudly and often, shift in our seats, furrow our brows and complain and shake our heads the whole time but end up bonding, like a mishmash of The Breakfast Club, 12 Angry Men and Gilligan’s Island.

The first boy I sat next to starting talking to me about graduate school because I was reading a book about it. He was applying to art school for grad school and makes jewelry from old plastic medicine bottles and works as a waiter on the lower east side. He and his teeth were perfectly white, but only his teeth were straight.

Then I sat next to a girl who asked me what my book was about when she noticed a cartoon in it and she mentioned her dad was a cartoonist. Then her name was called and I realized that she was Jules Feiffer’s daughter, who is a well known cartoonist. And she is an actress and was in that sweet movie called The Squid and the Whale. So we talked a bit and then I was called in to speak to the judge.

I told the judge, who looked a little like a poor man’s George Clooney, that I was the only full time employee in a small research facility and that I absolutely needed to be there. Then he asked me what kind of research it was and I said, “primate genetics” and one of the lawyers present let out a small guffaw and a smile. He was laughing at me I believe, but because he was uncomfortable with my profession and also of his own primate status I am sure.

Then I left and walked all the way to the subway and as I was swiping my card I heard someone say my name and then I turned around and there was this doofy guy explaining that we were in the jury duty waiting room together and so I said to him, “I am glad I was not chosen, that case looked like a real loser.” Thinking the whole time that the case was not the only thing that looked like a real loser.

And I walked off knowing that one day of jury duty satiated my random-people quota for a while.

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