It was 2013 — an era before TikTok and when you could breathe air without concern for deadly contagion. I was working as a manager for commercial real estate, not yet having realized my aspirations for being a writer. If that time in history could have one word to describe its glorious station in the annals of record, that word would be “…meh.”
I stopped into the post office of the Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania post office and found a letter that both filled me with dread and ignited my heart on fire in an excited flame — an envelope from the government. Yours truly had been selected as a candidate to potentially serve for jury duty in a federal case. There was a serial number I had to log into every day to see if I had been selected and everything.
I was not chosen to perform this most sacred of civic honors.
I had dreams! This was federal court — I was anticipating press harassing me outside of my hotel room, being portrayed by Seth Rogen in the made for TV movie, and the mouth-watering tell-all book deals! Alas, I was not chosen, and my county fair dreams of being somebody were dashed. I was crushed. Ruined, even.
I saw a friend post that he was selected for potential jury duty and I gave him a few lines of advice on how to get out of it — none of it being of sound mind, but what should you expect if you’re a friend of mine? Maybe I’m holding a grudge for not being selected for jury duty, maybe I’m trying to be helpful to a friend, but this week’s blog are five things you can do to get out of jury duty!
[DISCLAIMER]: Jury duty is a very important aspect of the American judicial system — this blog was meant to be satire and the “advice” contained herein should not be implemented by anyone. If you are selected, you should do your part to keep the American judicial system running smoothly.
In no particular order:
No. 1: Say something that sounds offensive (but really isn’t) — Your old pal A.P. despises bigotry of all forms; what I’m saying is saying something that isn’t offensive, but the tone of your voice implies it might be. Something like “…a lot of people breathing oxygen in here. Glad my grand-daddy isn’t around to see this,” or go up to another juror and say “you eat strawberries, don’t you? My God, I can smell it on you!” The goal is to sound like you’ve got prejudices, without actually having any. Some examples:
- “I hope this trial doesn’t involve any of those mouse-petters, we know where they belong.”
- “You smell one guy who has been to Kansas, you’ve smelled them all.”
- “I don’t even need to see the guy and I can already tell he reads words — makes me sick!”
No. 2: Interrupt the selection process with a wild conspiracy theory — If number one doesn’t work for you, you may have better luck with number two. There may come a time when the attorneys may ask you questions directly — when they do, bring it around to some conspiracy theory you’ve pulled out of your ass. For example:
- Attorney: Do you know anything about the defendant or the crimes they are alleged of?
- Jury Dodger: No …but you know who does? The Armadillos! Those sons of bitches are up to something, I know it! Why do creatures who look like they belong in a kid’s movie need that much armor? I’ll tell you why: the bastards are up to something and we’re all going to be caught with our pants down if we don’t do something about it now!
No. 3: Demand to know when you get to meet Judge Judy — I had to go to court once for my day job a few years ago and it was a three ring circus. First, all the cases were heard in front of everyone else scheduled for court that day, and the magistrate presiding opened up with “My court isn’t going to be like Judge Joe Brown.” The magistrate was correct, it was MUCH better!
In order for this tactic to work, you need to completely disregard anything the attorneys or judge says to you, and turn it around to meeting Judy. Can you be fair and unbiased? Who cares? When does Judy arrive? I don’t know when I’ll arrive in the courtroom, will I have a trailer beside Judy?
DISCLAIMER: This one might actually get you charged with contempt of court. Use at your own risk.
No. 4: Wink & use air quotes when you say a particular word — Pick a word, any word, and throw air-quotes around them, and wink, when you say it. It helps if it is a word that is used in court often. Words like “bench,” “testimony,” or “oath.” The goal is two-fold: make the people asking the question feel uncomfortable and plant seeds of concern that you might not be the best juror. For example:
- Attorney: Do you feel like you can be fair and unbiased in this case?
- Jury Dodger: I can totally be fair and “unbiased” *wink*.
No. 5: Smell bad – This one takes the most commitment. This tactic is going to require you to completely ignore your hygiene instincts. For as many days possible, you are going to not bathe, not brush your teeth, sweat as profusely as possible, wear a diaper (and not change it) if you have to. Essentially, you want to create an odor so offensive that the other jurors will threaten to bounce if you are selected. Your personal odor must be so foul that maggots gag.
Thank you for joining me in this week’s hypothetical mayhem! I’m trying to get back to my consistent weekly glory of putting out blogs and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you reading.
I’ll see you on your next trip across the Millerverse!
Songs listened to while writing this blog:
- “Evil” – Interpol
- “Midnight City” – M83
- “Little Black Submarines” – the Black Keys
- “Devil Town” – Cavetown