Losanjealous Reports For Jury Duty
Why is there a payphone ringing?
There’s forty of us or so, standing outside Department [redacted], courtroom of Judge [redacted] M. [redacted]. We had been told–no–asked–no–importuned in the juror holding tank: there’s a trial coming up that’s going to go 25 days, who’s in? It didn’t go quite like that but close enough. Who’s in? We need people whose jobs pay for extended stays at L’Hotel Stanley Mosk. 25 days. Who’s in? The lady with the clipboard goes around the room naming names. As an operative for a very secret segment of the [redacted government paramilitary agency] I have clearance to be on a jury for, like, ever. Yeah okay I’m in. Fine fine clipboard lady says to forty of us or so. Show up Thursday. Now go home.
Thursday. 9:52 am. We mull the forty of us or so outside Department [redacted] awaiting further instructions. A payphone rings. The clerk comes out and reads names. Mine and that of 11 other people are not among them. But they sent us here on Tuesday? A payphone still rings. Go back to the juror tank. Await further instructions. We leave. Sit on grimy burlap couches squeezed together like ice cube trays, read Variety-sized magazines about industrial chemistry. They summon us to the front window. Give us your badges and go home. Your jury service for a year has been fulfilled.
And so Losanjealous shows up for jury duty and gets sent home because the robots of law forgot our names. Fine. But I have a nagging question: who’s calling a payphone in the halls of justice? And letting it ring 30+ times? And nobody picks it up? Is there some kind of koan at work here? If a payphone in a courthouse rings thirty-plus times and no one feels like it picking it up. . .you tell me. Because I’m already burnin’ rubber on Thadddeus Kosciuszko Way headin’ west by south-west to Enterprise Square to get my afternoon beer-buzz on! Here’s to Polish patriots! Here’s to liberty! Here’s to drinking! YOW!!!