December 6, 2004
The low culture Guide to Jury Duty

The Jury Pool: Come on in, the justice is fine.

Jury Duty isn't just your civic duty: It can be your civic pleasure as well. With these simple tips, your time in the jury pool can be productive, enjoyable, and above all safe. Failure to follow these suggestions may result in jail time, so be forewarned: What you are about to read could save your life.

-Make sure you haven't eaten for at least twenty minutes before entering the jury pool so as to avoid uncomfortable cramps.

-Similarly, make sure you've drunk something—preferably a strong, alcoholic beverage—before the proceedings begin. It will lend a festive air to the entire affair, which is good, since you will probably want to kill yourself the moment you arrive 'till several weeks later when the details of the case will come back to you in nightmares. (But in your nightmare, the killer will be your dad: Don't ask us, we're not shrinks.)

-Don't bring a book or a magazine unless you want your fellow jurors to think of you as some sort of snob. Furthermore, displaying the ability to read will lead directly to the court officers not selecting you for trial. Best to show up with a lot of photos of your cats or your grandchildren, the better to facilitate conversations with those around you. If you must bring a book, bring a Bible: Everyone loves talking about the Bible with strangers.

-It's easy to get laughs in the jury room. Everyone there is stressed out and wants to be somewhere else: It's a perfect recipe for comedy. When the court officer calls out your name and asks if you are able to serve, be sure to say something funny like, "Ready? I was born fucking ready!" Also, classics play well: If you can get a Whoopee Cushion through security, it's worth putting on the judge's seat. Your fellow jurors will thank you.

-Many people try to get out of jury duty by claiming to be racists. While this is a good strategy, we recommend using it to get out of other things, like childcare payments and doctor's appointments. You shouldn't limit your mock pronouncements of racist ideology just to the courts. Speak them freely (on the subway, at the supermarket) and you'll start to see that you're not the only one who thinks that way. You may even be invited to join some cool secret societies.

-Do not watch the clock. Everyone who's ever gone through high school knows that watching the clock during a boring activity does not make time move faster. (Only meth can do that.) Instead, stare dead into the eyes of the person closest to you. Make a game out of it: How long can you stare at them before they turn away? Now, can you double it?

-This is so simple, it's the easiest to forget: Case out the room for single people of the opposite sex. (If you are gay, you should confine this search to the restrooms, which, as we all know, are hotbeds of municipal butt-sex. If you are a lesbian, you should've already gotten a jury exemption and be seeking a partner at your job at the organic food co-op.) The jury pool is a great pickup scene, mostly because you already have so much in common. You're potentially spending the next two weeks seeing this person every day: that's a perfectly acceptable length of time for a relationship. In fact, it's probably a little too long.

-Finally, if you are selected to be on the jury, you should not pump your fist and gloat. Be respectful to your fellow jury pool members who were not selected since they'll be deprived of all the fun you're about to have. Not everyone gets into this party, but you will set yourself apart by being gracious and serving with all the dignity your buzzed, staring, Whoopee Cushion-having ass can muster. Jury duty is an honor. Don't make us regret living in a Democracy.

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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