City Social Magazine

MAR 2013

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 20 of 67

By Christee Gabour Atwood And Justice for Y'all Oh the thrill! I was called for jury duty. I haven't been this excited since they learned how to fry Oreos so that delightful snack could be even more beneficial to the size of my hips. In case you've never gotten to do jury duty, let me walk you through the general process. It probably differs depending on where you're located, but I'll bet it's every bit as fun. We walked into the room with our little cards. They asked us a few questions and we found a seat and waited. Remember that word "waited." You'll be hearing it a lot. First, they explained to us what wonderful citizens we were for coming to do this. I agreed and nodded, smiling at everyone in the room. They were all my new best friends in this, our starring roles as defenders of justice. The few people who saw me smiling looked uncomfortable. Even the defendant seemed nervous. He shifted behind his lawyer and avoided making eye contact with me. It could have meant he was guilty. Or at least that's what I thought until I saw the judge behave similarly to the sight of my enthusiastically bared teeth and nodding head. Then, they let some people talk to the judge about why they thought they should be able to go home. I had more reasons than any of them, not the least of which was a dog that I now realized I hadn't taken out to make "boom boom" before I left home. But I didn't care. I was a part of the justice system and I was on the edge of my seat. So while they talked to the judge, we waited. I soon discovered that the edge of my seat was a tad uncomfortable, so I sat back but was no less enthusiastic. Occasionally, I would speak to someone near me, "Isn't this exciting? Don't you hope you get picked?" It wasn't long before there were big spaces on each side of me. Then, they pulled out a bingo drum and put our cards in there. They pulled names out and asked those individuals to go sit in the jury section. I wasn't called, but I still had hope. I smiled and listened to each question they asked the jurors. They discussed everything from relatives to past crimes to the death penalty. It was just like an evening with my in-laws. And I was ready. I knew I would be the perfect juror because I have no strong opinions on anything. In fact, I've been known to change my opinion in the middle of a sentence. I held onto hope until mid-afternoon, when they announced the rest of us could go home. I felt like a loser, but then I got a $12 check in the mail and felt much better. I never even got to tell them about my amazing ability to tell if a person is guilty just by his reaction to the shouted word, "Asparagus!" Maybe next time. Christee Gabour Atwood, a humorist and author who is trying to decide how to spend her $12, is the author of In Celebration of Elastic Waistbands: Episodes of Imperfection, Insanity, & Occasional Enlightenment. You can contact Christee on Facebook, Twitter, or by emailing Read us online at 21

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