Friday, February 25, 2011

You Are Cordially Invited Under Penalty of Contempt of Court to...

Well, well, well, just like the federal government sends you their New Year's greetings in the form of income tax forms, anything coming from the state has got to be equally not welcomed. And, as you know, they do invite you in such a loving, caring way it kinda chokes you up inside to be a citizen of these YOU-nited States. You can RSVP if you'd like, but the state is really expecting you to come. As a matter of fact, excuses for not attending your civic duty will only be accepted by a written note from your doctor, your lawyer, your travel agent, or... your Momma!

Oh and please try to remember to get to the courthouse on time or a little bit early to get the better parking "options." There will be no tolerance for parking violations which are strictly enforced by our fine police department. There can be no parking on paved surfaces, even partially, and no double parking or parking against traffic. All cars parked on our lawn will immediately towed away at the jurors' expense.

We shouldn't have to remind y'all about our dress code. No shorts or tank tops, flip flops or peddle pushers, no bikinis, g-string underwear, untied shoes and certainly no pierced body jewelry. And since Jeremy Shockey has been released from the Saints roster, please refrain from wearing anything with an "88" on it.

As for what you can bring into our highly secured lobby, there's no guns, knives, billy clubs, tazers, sharp objects, hair pins, hair picks, bobby pins, church veils, doilies as hats, nail files, nail clippers, suspenders, garter belts, pointed black brassieres, ( also covered under the dress code! ) brass knuckles, stiletto heals or blue suede shoes. No scissors, rocks or paper heavy enough to be used as a paper cutting device.

All of these rules and regulations makes you wonder exactly what kind of party is being thrown and whose attending. I don't know. It makes you wonder who needs to be told to dress appropriately, to not park on the lawn and leave your weapon of choice at home. How more obvious can this be? It's a Courthouse, for heavens sake!

It just seems we all might take some sort of pride in participating if it all wasn't presented in such a punitive way. It should be a privilege to be a part of our legal system ensuring equal justice with equal representation under the law. To be there deciding a person's innocence until proven guilty. It is our democratic way of life. It is what soldiers have fought and died for to protect. That's really special and a big responsibility as an American.  Somehow it all has been turned into a burdensome drudgery everyone tries like hell to avoid including me. Instead of being a positive force, it kinda puts a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

Of course, since I have to be there, I might as well make it work for me. So, I called the courthouse to ask them if I could bring some pencils and a sketchbook to draw in. Lord knows there will be a wide range of "subject matter" to chose from. The official statement was that it was acceptable... but only if I draw quietly and not disturb my fellow jurors.

See, a positive approach to the problem. There is, still, after all these years, a Santa Claus, a Jiminy Cricket, a Tinkerbell, an Easter Bunny and a Loop Garoo!

Now, what is it they say about lemons?

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