So Unpronounceablename steps up to the podium and introduces herself as one of the co-prosecutors for the state of Florida; unfortunately the mic cut out as she started speaking, otherwise I may have heard her pronounce her name. It's now that I get my first real good look at her and I have to admit, kinda cute. If I recall correctly, her name ended in something Slovakey Eastern Europeaney sounding... -ova -anya -ovic ...maybe? Anyway, she walks with a noticeable limp and you can see a look of discomfort as she tries to make her way back and forth to the podium. She explains to the jury the case before us today is a felony one with two counts: burglary of a conveyance (a vehicle) and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, specifically a vehicle. She goes on to say we are all going to be asked the same series of questions: name, occupation, how long we've lived in Lee County, if we're married and if we are what our spouse does for a living, if we've ever served on a jury before and if so were we the foreman and were we able to reach a verdict, if we have any LEOs in our immediate family, if we've ever been a victim of a crime and finally, if we've ever been convicted of a crime.
Generally speaking, defense attorneys don't like their jurors to be too close to law enforcement since there's an obvious potential for bias towards any police testimony, so it's here where The Assholes like to begin their dog and pony show. You know the people I'm talking about, "Oh yeah, yeah, my uncle's cousin was a cop." "I used to date a police officer for three years." "My neighbor is a guard at the prison." "My car was broken into once and it was soooo traumatizing I still have nightmnares about it." Seriously. Just saying whatever the fuck they can think of to make themselves look unfit for this jury duty. My turn comes up and I detail the normal shit; as for crimes against me, I say my credit card number has been jacked a few times, my phone has been stolen, my wife's car has been broken into and I committed petit larceny when I was 17. No big deal.
We eventually work our way through all forty jurors and now both the prosecutor and defense attorney get to ask some of us specific questions based upon our previous answers. This guy's car had been broken into, does he believe he will be able to remain impartial. The woman's cousin is a deputy two towns over, does she believe she will be able to remain impartial. This guy had been assaulted before, does he believe he will be able to remain impartial. Lots of people, lots of more or less the same question, lots of Lebron flopping by all. Unpronounceablename singles me out and asked if I would be able to remain impartial since my wife's car has been broken into and this was a car burglary case. I answered as honestly as I could, that is to say I'd like to think I would be able to remain impartial but if elements of this crime drew some familiar parallels to what happened to us, then sure perhaps I may take it personally. I though that was a fair answer and truth be told, I was pretty sure this was going to earn me a peremptory challenge from the the defense attorney -- who I just now placed as Peter Griffin -- but much to my surprise neither Unpronounceablename nor Peter Griffin seemed to give my response much attention. Not like say, the Goofy Guy in the Red Shirt next to me who explained that his car had been broken into five fucking times. Five fucking times!
Once all of the personal questions were completed, the judge -- El Hefe -- rocks his mic again and asks us all to step out into the hallway for a twenty minute recess while the attorneys go through the pool and chose the Unlucky Seven who would be their jurors. The forty of us file out en masse and play survival of the fittest for the limited number of chairs in the hallway, the rest of us migrate towards the window so we can get some decent cell reception. Sidebar: the TT was in at the shop for some suspension work, so this gave me a chance to reach out to my service advisor for an update. It needs new struts in the rear ($735) and new strut mounts and bushing up front ($690). I have a 15% off coupon (haha!) and since the car just ticked past 103k miles, I really can't complain as these are the original shocks on a fifteen year old vehicle. A few minutes after I give Sal from Audi of Fort Myers the go-ahead, one of the Deputies guarding the courtroom door opens it and the Bailiff walks out, "Okay, they're ready for you, would you all follow me back into the courtroom and you can sit wherever you please." So again the mass migration of Lee County residents from all walks of life, works its way back into courtroom 4A so see who gets to go home and who gets buttfucked.
I'll be honest, I was feeling pretty good about this so far. Seeing how I was the victim of a car burglary and there were some thirty-nine other people to choose from, I was pretty confident that I wasn't going to get picked. As such, I took one of the seats towards the back of the courtroom and fought the urge to play with my cell phone while the rest of the herd came in and found seats of their own, spreading throughout the back of the courtroom like an overly tanned and liver spotted virus. El Hefe taps his mic a few times before going on something to the effect of thank you for your patience and willingness to serve on a jury.... foundation of the legal system... Constitutional rights... yadda yadda yadda. I paid attention of course, because I'm a true believer of the Constitution, but I didn't pay that close attention, because hey, I was going to be outta here in a few minutes, right?!
El Hefe asks both the prosecution team (Doctor Taub from House and Unpronounceablename) along with Peter Griffin and his defendant, Chris Penn, to stand while he reads off the names of the selected jurors. This time El Hefe starts speaking without his traditional preemptory mic tap, "I am going to read seven names which will be members of the jury for this case, and when I am done, the rest of you are free to go with the thanks of the court." I start feeling around in my pocket for my car key, and lean forward off the back of the hard wooden bench, so I can spring up outta here and beat the crowd to the elevator. "Skinny Tanned Bald Dude." That's one. "Retired Engineer Dude."That's two. "Black Dude With A Beard." That's three. "Fat Accountant Dude." That's four. "Handsome And Charming Blogger Dude Who Was Ready To Get The Fuck Out Of Here But Now Just Learned That He Got Picked For This Jury And Isn't Going Anywhere Soon." Are you fucking kidding me?! Fuck. I'm five. My mind immediately flashed to Goofy Guy In the Red Shirt. "You cocksucker," I thought, "Why couldn't my car have been broken into five fucking times?"
Of course El Hefe continued on reading his list despite my silent cursing, so rounding out the lineup were A Little Overweight But Still Cute Divorced Chick, with Skinny Metrosexual Dude as our alternate. So now as I felt my ass lifting off of the wooden bench, my feet were carrying me towards the wrong end of the courtroom; I was heading towards the front, instead of the back where the doors to freedom. Just like Bert does on Judge Judy, the Bailiff holds the little door open allowing the seven of us to cross over to occupied territory, and we begrudgingly take our seats in the jury box.
Tune in Monday for Opening Statements...
Hey Ernie, it doesn't look like Street View shows Dreamer's Clothing Store, but that's where Dexter was looking shocked by the cute blonde. Brian
He's walking past Dreamers Women's Clothing, at 90 Stanton Street, Manhattan, NYC. Google Streetview doesn't show it there anymore, or it's before the pic was taken. Chris
Hey Ernie good for you doing your civic duty. Bring a book. Many long boring days i spent in a room with 300 other people waiting to be selected. Dexter is getting an eyeful around 90 Stanton St in New York. Street view is older than the facebook page of the business, not sure if they moved in or out since then. Found it by the Type 24 Bishops Crook lamppost, of all things. Good challenge. Ray
Hey Ernie, I found Dexter in about 10 minutes yesterday, it was pretty easy so I didn't bother sending it in. It is in the East Village in front of Dreamers. And here is more of the Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Society. Keep 'em coming, Tim
Find the: location of these skateboarding lessons. Find the: identify of this old warship. Find the: best ammo deals on the web!
And your FRIDAY FLICK: I imagine several hundred years ago, a group of very powerful men, not unlike yourself, were out conquering the known world. So they get to Africa, feeling pretty good about themselves, definitely feeling superior to the savages they see running in the jungle. That is, until one of the brothers drops his loincloth. And then these powerful men, all of a sudden, come face to face, so to speak, with one of life's great inequities.