I had to go in for Jury Duty on Tuesday morning. It was a terrible experience, but not because I had to sit in a room with 699 other people doing the same exact thing. I made it a terrible experience because I didn’t plan or prepare for it.
I called in on Friday afternoon to learn that I had to call in on Monday afternoon. Things happened and sort of forgot to check back in. I didn’t really remember until 2 am. That’s when I learned I had to be at the courthouse by 7:45am. Fear and anxiety kicked in; well, I’ll be honest I was already having trouble sleeping on Monday night. Maybe I was coming down from the high of The Guest or I had spent too much in front of YouTube looking for Eric The Actor calls from 2007 and my brain never properly turned off.
Even in my catatonic state, I managed to arrive at the court house on time and wearing pants. After checking in, I did what you normally would do at Jury Duty, I waited. I killed my time by alternating between the latest episode of “How Did This Get Made?” and watching videos of Boston Terriers eating spinach (IG: nicograph).
After a little while, they made announcement about validating parking. I checked my wallet because I had assume that I put the ticket in there while walking over, but it was there. Flash forward maybe 90 minutes later to our break, I fast walk over to the parking structure while listening to “The Magician” by Mike Simonetti on repeat and frantically look around my car for this elusive parking ticket. Not there. It just disappeared into the ether or I dropped on the staircase or gutter. I tried to get another ticket, but the machine told me that I was not a vehicle.
It was only 10:30 in the morning and I was already down 13 bucks.
After some more waiting, there was an extended lunch break. I sat in the sun for a while before retreating into the cafeteria. The lines were long and the vegan options didn’t seem to be that bountiful. There were salads, but upon closer inspection, there were eggs on the salad. I got mad, put the salad back in the cooler and walked out of the cafeteria. I thought like I wasn’t going to eat because there was nothing vegan friendly. I walked back over to the cafeteria because my headache was getting worse and perhaps it was food related. I saw something on one of the menus that said “vegetable sandwich”. I got back into the line, a long line at this point. One of the cashiers told me to go in another line for cold sandwiches. I walked up to the guy making sandwiches, nobody was making a order, I asked for a vegetable sandwich. It should’ve been called a condiment sandwich because it was just lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on wheat. Some guy thought I was cutting in line and told me that wasn’t right, but I wanted to shout at the guy, I’m just getting lettuce on a piece of bread, slow your fucking roll. Lettuce on a wheat bread with some carrot sticks was about 11 dollars.
There was another extended period of waiting where one of the highlights was seeing a guy on OkCupid in public. That inspired me to break out Tinder to see if there were any matches in the jury duty room. I don’t know if was it was the sleep deprivation or something else in the air, but there were a lot of attractive women. I must’ve fallen in love a handful of times. If you don’t fall in love at least once a day, you’re doing something wrong. I think another guy in the jury room had the same idea because some dude randomly popped up on Tinder.
Eventually, we were told to go home and not report back for one whole year. I walked back to the parking structure, naturally listening to “The Magician” again prepared to the full fee because I lost my parking ticket.
The cashier asked me if I wanted to go back and try to get the parking validate with a new card, but I said that I had to learn from my mistake and pay for the parking.
I went home and proceed to sleep for nine hours.
All of this could have been avoided if I planned ahead and prepared. I could have checked on line for restaurants with vegan friendly options that were close by; even if it was just a Mexican restaurant where I could’ve swooped in for a bean and rice burrito. I could have gotten more sleep and been fully aware and awake so I wouldn’t have lost my parking ticket and felt as gross. When I don’t get enough sleep, I feel really gross for some reason; like I haven’t showered in weeks.
For some reason, they played the movie, Mr. Popper’s Penguins in the jury room.