High on my list of thrills is being shot at and missed.  I just now bounced home from reporting for jury duty at San Francisco Superior Court.

I sat there at first kinda stunned because I was traumatized over not being able to understand much of what the announcer was saying. So I went up there beside her podium, waited for her to stop, and then whined that I could hear her talking but could only with great difficulty understand the words.  Yes, I told her, I could understand her when I was standing face to face, but I couldn’t when listening to her voice over the speakers. I didn’t mention that a complicating factor was that she was born in the far east and had quite a strong accent, but to say this in San Francisco is politically incorrect. I’ve been living here for nearly fifty years and even taught ESL at City College, so I consider myself quite good at understanding imperfect English, just not when I have to listen to it on speakers. Clearly I wasn’t the first with this complaint because she stepped out of sight for a moment and reappeared holding earphones.

I gratefully accepted them and returned to my seat; but when she started talking again, the headphones were no improvement.  So I went back up there and told her. Marshaling all her powers of tolerance to near their breaking point, she took the phones, flipped a switch, twisted a dial (neither of which was marked to give any clue for its purpose), and brusquely returned them to me.

Finally I could hear, and for a couple of hours I sat there listening hard as she called out names and I watched nearly all of this week’s jury pool leave for their assigned courtrooms.  And then finally, after the last group had exited, she announced that we pitiful remaining few were dismissed.  Not for the rest of the day but rather for the whole remaining four days of our obligation. Oh tra la tra la, as I sure was dreading the usual pattern of going through the arduous interrogations until finally I said something that made either the prosecution or the defense kick me off his jury. But no, none of that this time because I’m free, free, having fulfilled my jury duty obligation to the city.

So yeah, there was extra air in my tires on the return home.

Meanwhile, confession time. A couple of weeks ago I somehow managed to destroy the drop menu capability on this website. And no, not just one of ’em but all of ’em. That means that most of this website is now invisible to the routine user. Hell, about the only thing that still works is the blog, which is why I’m inserting this announcement here. The data is not lost, and I can retrieve files relatively easily, but there are hundreds of files to fix one by one. I have the highest confidence that my guru can fix this problem globally relatively easily, but he’s temporarily unavailable. I’m going to make another effort to fix the problem, but will probably fail. Please bear with us, as I sure don’t want this website to die by inches.

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  1. David Queen
    Posted 23 April 2022 at 12:58 | Permalink

    Ha. Good for you. I got out of jury duty once by being a jerk. Literally … on purpose.
    It was a case of domestic abuse. The guy (abuser) looked like a real creep.
    All the female potential jurors during voir dire kept giving the same reason why they should be excused – because they themselves “had been victims of domestic abuse in the past.” One after another, Kleenex® in hand, teary-eyed sad stories,
    and the judge just ate it all up and kept excusing them, one-by-one. This went on for hours.
    I knew I had to go for a Hail Mary or I’d end up stuck on the jury, having to get up early every morning (I’m a night person) and drive some 60+ miles to the county courthouse.
    I raised my hand to ask the judge a question. “How am I supposed to make a decision to convict if there’s no clear cut undeniable hard evidence and it essentially boils down to a case of ‘he said/she said?'”
    Yes, I actually asked the judge that, right in front of the whole court, with a straight face no less. =D
    The D.A. immediately asked for a quick conference with his assistant & the judge, and about 5 minutes later I was dismissed.
    I supposed I should have felt guilty for such a shameless cheap trick, but I didn’t and still don’t. And yes, I too had “extra air in my tires” on the hour-long ride home.

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