It came in the mail, those months ago, with very little fanfare, as mail tends to do.

As with most things, I handled it like a mature and responsible adult.

I googled “Goth Hippie Freakshow” and asked my husband if he thought it would make sense to actually dye my hair purple. Fake piercings are probably ok, but what about tattoos? And then I practiced sulking and calling everyone “Cunts.”

He was supportive.

“I am going to say this one time. Do NOT fuck around with this. They will hold you in contempt and throw you in jail. I know that you don’t want to do this, but for the love of God just go and roll the damn dice.”

He actually thinks I’m hilarious. It’s just hard to tell sometimes.

Spoiler alert: I was picked. I was like, a third-string twice-removed hail-mary alternate, and I was still picked. This was my third summons. I have a 100% success rate in not avoiding jury duty. I am an attorney’s wet dream.

Also they think I make a good juror.

‘Cause I am rational, quiet, and well-spoken, yo.

How Not to Avoid Jury Duty

1) Show up on time, looking spiffy and professional. Show a little cleavage. Be friendly and cooperative. Bring a book. You will never get to open it, so pick one you don’t care about.

2) Sit as far away from all the other jurors as possible, and get comfortable with your enormous cup of coffee and your unopened book. Your number will be called immediately.

3) Miss the elevator and get lost on the way to the courtroom. Wander the hallways until you stumble upon the name of the judge who handled your divorce. Give his door the finger. Turn to see the woman who called your number looking very impatient and holding the door to another courtroom. Sheepishly follow her inside.

4) Get irritated when the ten-year old jury candidate in the front row who stole your goth hippie idea decides to “get to know” her fellow potential jurors by asking everyone to tell something about themselves while they wait. Realize you are an asshole, because what else are you going to be doing for the next six hours? Perk up when the lady next to you shares that she’s a writer. She’s pretty, she’s taller than you, and she once co-wrote an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and now she writes zombie books for young adults. When it’s your turn next, say something clever and flattering like “How am I supposed to follow THAT?” Decide that this is kismet and spend the remainder of the wait time talking with her about writing. Captain Jean Luc Picard once threw a script at her. No way she’s getting picked, and neither will you. Friend her up on Facebook.

5) While you are in college, date a future defense attorney, thus giving yourself a resource for advice on how to not get picked for a jury twenty-five years later. Then get drunk and bang your high-school crush in the swimming pool after a funeral while you are dating him, so that any advice his future self gives you may be purely for his own sadistic amusement. (“Bet you’d like to strike me and throw me back in the jury pool.” “No, I don’t recall it ending well for me when you are in any kind of pool.”) Take his advice anyway.

6) Realize that the defense attorney IN THIS TRIAL is a partner in the college boyfriend’s law firm. Congratulate yourself on having an ace in the hole a potential conflict of interest. Which you won’t need.

7) Chuckle gleefully inside your head as several jurors try to seem as un-juror-like as possible. Watch all but those with medical conditions be refused. Breathe a sigh of relief when the next to last juror is chosen, with one more person on deck.

8) Watch incredulously as the final jury candidate before tapping the alternates is excused for cause because “I just don’t think I belong here, your Honor. I don’t think I should be on a jury because I don’t trust myself to be impartial.” Refrain from viciously and openly mocking her as she makes her way to the door.

9) Listen to the zombie lady laugh like a comic-book villain when your name is called. Since the preliminary process is now over, you will be seated in the middle of the courtroom and questioned by both attorneys and the judge. Try not to pee your pants.

10) Try to use your connection to the defense attorney’s partner as a means to escape. Realize he’s been given a head’s up when he smirks a little and asks “the nature of that relationship.” This accomplishes a couple of things: a) lets everybody know the “nature” of that “relationship” and b) allows you to again look incredulous because the fact that you boned his partner carries less weight than that woman who played the “Existential Angst” card.

11) Begin to regret the swimming pool incident. Briefly re-live it. Stop regretting it.

DO NOT succumb to the urge to make up stories about the defense attorney’s partner’s affinity for the space between your first and second toes, because it’s too late. You’ve been chosen. Wave to your new zombie writer friend as she leaves the courtroom.

12) After the trial is over, which is a whole ‘nother story, resolve to dip that sexy toe into the waters of social media – and blogging. Start a blog.

13) Call it That Shameless Hussy.





15 thoughts on “How Not to Avoid Jury Duty

  1. Renee, you really freaking make me laugh, woman! I do appreciate the zombie lady nod in my direction. And gee, I really did think I was helping you get out of jury duty. You noticed how I walked away, rather shambled away in zombie fashion, since I got out of it and you didn’t! Of course we don’t need to say exactly why I didn’t have to serve on the jury…since nobody would believe us. And no, folks, I didn’t wear zombie makeup, though I should have.

    1. I’ve read your blog, and I feel like a lot of things happen to you. 🙂 You just got married. I bet you set some serious bureaucratic wheels in motion…..your day will come.

      1. It was a fantastic headline followed by an equally fantastic explanation of exactly how to not pull it off.

        Liked it very much.

Comments are closed.