MY FIRST (AND, AS IT TURNS OUT, ONLY) DAY OF JURY DUTY

  1. 8:30 I arrive at the Supreme Court building in Brooklyn. A security guard who takes way too much pleasure in being a dick to people that clearly don't want to be there tells I'm in the wrong building and need to go one block over. He then says the same to an older Asian couple, a socially awkward redheaded kid, and some silent Plaid Guy. We do.
  2. 8:35 We go one block over. Another police officer tells us to walk another block, so we do. I try to make a joke but by the time it gets out of my mouth it just sounds like a complaint. I break off from the group (especially the creepy plaid guy) and dash to the proper building.
  3. 8:38 Arrive at the Judiciary Building. I'm not sure if that's it's real name but that's what I'm calling it now. I ask if I can take my banana through the metal detector despite the "No Food or Drink" sign and they say yes. Things are gonna be ok! I eat the banana.
    8:56 While writing this list I realize that the "No Food or Drink" sign just means no food or drink through the X-ray machine.
  4. 8:41 I arrive in the jury hall and pick a seat towards the back. On the way I pass a table with an important looking legal form that I'm supposed to fill out. There's also a NY Post-esque tabloid and the season schedule for the Brooklyn Cyclones.
  5. 8:47 I decide to write this list.
    9:00 I decide that maybe 5 updates every 17 minutes is a bit too much.
  6. 9:04 Someone enters the holding room and says she's going to show us a movie about Jury Duty. About a dozen people immediately flock to her to try to get out of it. Including Plaid Guy.
  7. 9:08 A large screen and projector descend from the ceiling and a movie called "Your Turn" begins.
    You can tell this movie is at least 5 years old because it tells us not to share details of the trial on MySpace
  8. 9:13 I realized I have food in my beard. Ew.
  9. 9:22 The movie is finished and another woman comes in. She has us fill out our information cards
  10. 9:31 The woman starts listing groups of people who can leave: Students, parents, people with prior felony convictions. About 25 people leave the holding room. Plaid Guy is among them.
  11. 9:47 They begin calling the names of jurors to move on to The Other Room. I get up to go to the bathroom. I finally catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and hope that my look of exhaustion will be sufficiently off-putting to not get selected.
  12. 9:55 Plaid Guy is back.
  13. 10:05 The Jury Lady (I don't know her job title yet) leaves the room, but before she leaves she reminds us where the restrooms are. A dozen people remember they could be peeing instead of sitting here and leave simultaneously.
  14. 10:31 Jury Lady is back. She reads off the first round of names of those selected to go to The Other Room. About half of the room leaves, but I'm not among them. I make another trip to the bathroom. You know, to keep things interesting.
    Nothing "interesting" happens in the bathroom, in case anybody was concerned. I'll try to choose better words in the future.
  15. 10:39 I buy a granola bar from the vending machine and find that not one, but TWO (!!!!) have fallen to the bottom. Everything is going to be ok.
  16. 11:11 A man has been snoring for 5 minutes now. I make a wish for him to stop and somehow it works.
  17. 11:13 Plaid Guy is getting antsy
  18. 12:51 Lunchbreak! Here comes the 🌞🌞🌞!!!
  19. 12:52 I realize this list is going to be far less action-packed than I'd expected
  20. 1:18 I buy a day planner at Paper Source. If I'm going to be sitting around all day, I at least want to plan how I'm going to do it
  21. 1:34 I order 2 chicken tenders, a soda, and a biscuit at Hill Country Kitchen. I like to think of jury duty as a vacation from eating healthy/pretending to be a vegetarian.
  22. 1:51 I return to the court building, finish the chicken, and stash the biscuit in my bag for later. It touches my gym shorts. I'm afraid the two will cancel each other out and disappear.
  23. 2:12 "How's Plaid Guy?" I wonder.
  24. 2:13 Not here. He's probably off being suspicious somewhere else. I return to The Hunger Games
  25. 3:26 The Jury Lady comes over the loudspeaker and says we can all go! I just have to turn in a card and then I'm free!
  26. 3:30 "Everybody whose last name starts with H through P please form a line to my right."
    !!!!!
  27. 3:31 "Michael Puckett."
    I receive a Jury Diploma (piece of paper) that I need to keep for 8 years. It thanks me for my "participation and contribution to the delivery of justice."
  28. 3:34 I'm free!
  29. 8:30 AM July 29, 2023 I arrive at the Supreme Court building in Brooklyn. A security guard who takes way too much pleasure in being a dick to people that clearly don't want to be there tells I'm in the wrong building and need to go one block over. He then says the same thing to...Plaid Guy.
    Cut to black. Roll credits.