A few weeks ago I got a summons for Jury Duty. Dismay and loathing are two emotions that come to mind when I think back to how I felt upon opening that missive. Also I worried that it might interfere with my “work” schedule as I was slated to leave town a few days after my summons date. Then a week later Sarah received a summons for the same day. I then had to admit, well now that’s just funny.

So on Tuesday morning we showed up at the Denver Halls of Justice and Penal Servitude, official summons in hand, to await our juroristic fate. This is the process as I understand it:

Upon signing in Ms. Umbridge starts by prepping you with a bleak video outlining reasons you might not want to be there. That’s like giving a cannonball-wound patient a pamphlet on how he or she might feel on sustaining a serious cannonball wound (little nod to Brian Regan there). Then they play a little Shirley Jackson-esque round of mini-heart-attack with you as you wait, fingers and toes crossed, listening to them monotonously calling out numbers. You hope yours will not be called but know, undoubtedly, it will. As you bow your head and accept your fate you are ushered into a courtroom where a paternal but slightly dour judge attempts to garner your civic sympathies by yet again humorously outlining reasons you might not to be there. This does nothing to break the gloomy atmosphere of ill-will nor your slight apprehension that perhaps it is you who is on trial here. This fear grows as the lawyers begin their drawn-out volley of needling questions in their attempt to glean the essence of your psyche and the meaning from your very soul.

Here is where I depart from the fate of thirteen people in that room. I was not chosen. In fact I was never even asked any questions because the second “black spot” didn’t come my way. I got lucky, I guess.

Okay so I’m painting a pretty dark picture of this process, but in reality I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to serve. I was fascinated the whole time I was there by the overwhelming “legality” of it all. I wanted to be picked and to exercise cool reason based on the credibility of the witnesses and the evidence brought forth. I became increasingly annoyed with a few potential jurors’ inability to understand the process and the fuzzy, illogical answers they responded with. I also had to roll my eyes at the guy who got out of serving with his puerile responses obviously crafted to be excused. But when it was all said and done it had only taken up my morning.

Sarah was not so lucky. She didn’t get picked to sit on the jury, but the selection process took up her morning and most of her afternoon. Since we had driven together that meant my afternoon as well. I took use of that time down to walk along 16th Street Mall listening to podcasts and watching crazies, of which Denver has a fair few. We met up a little while later, swapped war stories, then made our way to our merciful home and non-judging cats.