Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jury Duty and Other Horrors

Oh boy.  Just the very words strike fear and loathing into the hearts of most.  I now know why AND why the state of Hawaii is broke.

For 2 days I had to sit on a jury.  Ok, I didn't mind, this is part of our wonderful rights like being able to vote and our favorite right of paying taxes.  So, I dutifully showed up and the horrors began.

We had a "criminal" trial which means that the verdict has to be unanimous.  Ok,  It took them a short while to seat the jury and about an hour to find 2 alternates.  Who even calls a 90 year old deaf guy who doesn't speak English to sit on a jury?  We went through about 15 of them until they found 2 people who they thought could remain upright throughout.  Ok, we're set to go.  Yikes.

The state prosecutor was this very very short woman in a very very too tight very very wrinkled suit.  The defense attorney was this guy with a voice that could shatter plywood and a suit he stole from Ebenezer Scrooge.  It was in very high fashion in the 3rd year of Victoria's reign.  The really scary part was that he has TWO of them!  Really.  Think frock coat.... buttoned up to just under the knot in his tie  ;D  This guy is long tall and skinny compared to the prosecutor who was most definitely NOT long tall and skinny.  The rest of the people all came from Samoa.  Now, for those of you who have never seen Samoans, this means that generally they are well over 6 feet tall and large and usually very good looking.  The entire saving grace of the trial was the judge and bailiff who were just too cute for words.

Now, The trial starts.  The defense guy has this loooooong African name that even the judge can't pronounce so he just calls him O.  Mr. O calls the prosecutor "Madame Prosecutor"  What century is this guy living in?  He has a suit, no, TWO suits from the early 1800's and calls her "Madame Prosecutor".  He has hands like Bela Lugosi.  That, combined with the plywood shattering voice, we all expected him to take flight as a bat.  To all of our great relief he manages to remain in human form for the remainder of the trial.

Anyway, the "case" boils down to this:  did the creepy defendant shout foul epithets out the window of his mail truck at his equally creepy ex wife and dull creepy kid.  THIS is a criminal offense?  Yikes.  And we wonder why Hawaii is broke.  It took 2 days of paying 14 jurors from Mordor, a judge from Samoa and baliff and another unknown middle aged guy who skulked about and spent the entire trial typing on a bright blue computer.

The court room had a temperature of Absolute Zero and I'm thinking I may have to lose 3 toes to frost bite.

Then, we go in for deliberations.  This was a good thing because both attorneys were so incompetent and pitiful that we, as one organism, thought about leaping from our jury seats and stringing both of them up until they promised to quit pretending to be attorneys and started selling used cars or something.  I mean, just exactly WHO does not know that you can't jump up and yell, "Objection!" AFTER the witness has answered?  Anyone NOT know that?  A 4 year old knows that.  The judge was ready to slap them silly.  We would have gleefully held them down. :D  And that was the very least of their transgressions.

So, we go into another courtroom which is even colder than the meat locker we just came from and find that, to my everlasting horror, some evil fool has decided that the jury will eat Korean food for lunch.  Think about it.  Korean food gave us Kim Jong Il, yanno?  I'm not even LOOKING at Korean food.  It's awful stuff. spicy grease over dead mystery meat.  Hot and spicy I love.  The rest.. not so much.  I go hungry.

Titi (yep, really. this is our 6'4 Samoan bailiff) asks if anyone is a vegetarian.  I say I am and he says, I think they have vegetables.  I inform him that I hate Korean food.  Sucks to be me.  But then, I make the grave mistake of asking Titi if I can have coffee.  Sweetie that he is he cheerfully says, SURE!  I'll make you some.  Oh boy.  I think happy thoughts of soaking my frozen feet in it.  Then the stark reality of what I just asked for hits me.

A little aside here.  For those of you who live here, well, we all know that Samoans in Hawaii are Mormons.  For those of you who don't live here let me inform you.  Samoans who live in Hawaii are Mormons.  There may be some who are not but it's doubtful.  All Samoans in the entire world are related, ergo, they are all Mormons  :D

The awful reality of my question is that I have just asked a Mormon, who has never had coffee, to make it.  Yikes.  I am pretty sure that it's against Mormon law for them to SMELL coffee much less make it.  Oh no.  True to my worst fear, darling Titi has made the world's worst coffee.  But, it's hot so I put the cup against my frozen feet.  This was a useless gesture as the cup is styrofoam.

So, we sit in the frozen room and select a foreman.  Foreperson.  :)  After that we unanimously choose 3 phrases that best describe the attorneys.  Madame Prosecutor comes in first with 1) incompetent 2) pitiful and 3) pathetic.  Mr O wins the second place black ribbon with 1) incompetent 2) pitiful 3) awful.  That out of the way, we get to deliberating.  What a ridiculous thing.

We immediately take a vote as we figure that MP (madame) has not even convinced us of her first name much less anything else so we figure it will be a unanimous vote and we can relax and they can eat dead Korean stuff and we'll all go home.  It was not to be.

2 of the jurors have decided that they don't like the guy's looks and MAYBE he is a bad guy.  The foreperson and the rest of us remind them that we are there to decide if, beyond a reasonable doubt, the guy yelled bad words.  It took us 2 hours and a curt note from the judge for them to finally understand that life is shades of gray and the law is black and white and never, ever will the twain meet.  We finally decide and Titi takes away our note to the judge.

The trial is over, there is absolutely no expression on anyone's face when the not guilty verdict is read and we all flee the court room.  

I got a cheap pen to keep, tho, and frostbite.  My tax dollars at work.  Oiks.


ChasinRainbows2 said...

Laughing out loud, been there done that, except for the frozen court room, LOL. Glad it's over for you. Smiles

Jackie said...

I am horrified that you had to go through all of that! Oh my gosh! I hope you wore socks on the second day. And furthermore, I've yelled some bad words to my DH who I love and adore, and I know the neighbors heard them... do you suppose I'll be in court soon? Oiks is right.

Glad you're still with us. :)

Hugs, Jax

Gilly said...

You're just never too old to learn YT, are you?? Who would have thought that Hawaii was populated with Samoan Mormans??????? Not I!!

I do resemble your remark about the short lady though :))

Sandy's Creations in Clay said...

The story of your jury duty is hilariously fascinating. I too did not know that Samoans are Mormans. Live and Learn!

Michele said...

Too funny. I don't understand your problem with "Madame Prosecutor" though - the phrase not the person. Sounds polite and correct to me.

MoeArt said...

Thanks, Suze. Hawaii courtrooms are all designed to give you hypothermia. :)

MoeArt said...

Yes, Jax, your free days are numbered. I'll send you cute sox, ok? :D xoxo

MoeArt said...

Listen, Short Stuff OT, Hawaii is DEFINITELY populated with Morman Samoans. And Buddhist Asians. :)

MoeArt said...

Actually, Sandy, I don't know if all Samoans are Mormons but I suspect they might be. It's just that here, they are. :D

MoeArt said...

Michele, even the judge didn't call her that! It was that phrase coming from Mr Scrooge frock coat that made it so ludicrous. He WAS being polite but as he was the only person calling her that, it sounded ridiculous. The Queen would have loved it. ;D We, the jury, thought it was idiotic. But then...we considered the source. All around pitiful.

Roberta Warshaw said...

This is a very funny post! I am cracking up!

Sparks of Ember said...

Wow! I've never had jury duty - never even been called except when we lived in Wyoming and their version of Jury Duty was calling a hotline once a week for 6 months on the off chance there might be a trial (there never was for me - lucky Hubby forgot to call once, missed a notification and got fined 10 hours community service *sigh*). Now I think I'm, glad it hasn't happened to me yet. You're such a noble citizen! (maybe you should have snuck some wine in - in one of those styrafoam cups) ;)

Trina Prenzi said...

Oh my goodness, it's experiences like this that make me cringe! You painted quite a picture with your descriptions Moe!

I do love reading your posts! Even in such a situation as your Jury Duty, the way you wrote it, you made me laugh!

MoeArt said...

That's good, Roberta. Laughing is fun. :)

MoeArt said...

Jury duty is always weird from what I hear but this one took the prize. :)

MoeArt said...

Thanks, Trina. I sure get myself into odd situations, don't I? :D

Robin M said...

Im glad we got to enjoy the story of your suffering. Loved it!