Wednesday, 9 July 2014

May It Please the Court...

Hello Friends.

Every time summer rolls around, I forget just how hard it is to be stuck inside working. No matter how lovely the air conditioning, no matter how many polo shirts I can bust out in July, being inside is always trumped by being outside. That is, unless, what's inside is more compelling, interesting, entertaining, appealing than what's outside.

There are very few options of things I'd stay inside for when it's this gorgeous out, but among them are delicious meals, sex parties, animal husbandry, delicious animals, meal parties, and sex husbandry. God knows those don't happen every day, plus I can't really leave my job to do them. Seems to me when it comes to staying indoors but away from work but not getting fired, there's really only one solution.

Dream: Get called for jury duty.

Goal: Achievable, I think. I'm almost a million percent certain that I am eligible for jury duty. I'm a Canadian citizen, I've never been arrested, I'm not an invalid, and I haven't been officially diagnosed as incompetent by any authority besides my Dad (you try making pancakes without getting batter everywhere, Pops!). By my basic understanding of Canada's judicial system, I think I'm ready to watch the live Dateline episode that is jury duty.

Plan: Remain a healthy, ordinary citizen and hope to be selected when the following events unfold:

For this to work out and be any fun, I cannot serve on a jury for something boring. Apparently in this country, you can be called to serve on a jury for a non-criminal cases. What the hell is that? How incredibly frustrating would it be to pass the selection process, get ushered into the courtroom, and then hear a stream of legalese about a potential copyright violation at an international conference of graham cracker suppliers? I'll answer for you: Very frustrating! For my trial, I want a murder, and the victim can't be someone too appealing. Here are some possible victim and suspect scenarios:

1) Wealthy businessman who has been cheating on his wife is murdered in cold blood by his mistress' brother, who (we found out later) has been involved with the wife! Criss-cross!     

2) Cult leader who runs depraved sex farm is murdered by either his most devoted follower (or is he?) or possibly a hunky farmhand who just comes by to milk the cows and not have sex with anyone (except for juror number 8 what WHAT!)

3) Dr. Oz is murdered by Dr. Phil

4) Dr. Phil is murdered by Dr. Oz

5) Doctors Phil and Oz are murdered by the nameless panel of Doctors on The Doctors

6) A scheming blonde socialite is murdered by her social-climbing best friend who had plastic surgery to look like Kate Winslet. If we are a hung jury (I can't speak for the rest, but #8 sure is what WHAT!) the headline might read, "Nobody Winslet!"

7) The guy who invented Crocs is murdered by the guy who invented drop crotch jeans (whatever we have to do to get both things off the market).

There are several more possible iterations, but it has to be sensational and both lawyers will have to work their butts off to make me feel sympathy for both the murderer and the murdered. As horrific as many of their profiled crimes are, I notice that Dateline and shows of that ilk tend to stop short or the truly devastating. Cases involving murdered children are almost never aired, for example, because such brutality is so senseless that you can't spend an hour with it on a Friday night. Similarly, I don't think I could listen to the facts of a case of that nature and remain impartial until all the information is presented. Give me a soapy, intriguing murder trial, however, and I'll relish my time in the jury box.

I don't want a lot of medical jargon and technical mumbo-jumbo. For that matter, keep away expertise of any kind. Show me a drawing of a bullet riddled body and say, "The bullets came from a gun and went into the body and that's how he died." DONE! No information about point of entry, blood-spatter, shell casings or anything else will take up space in my brain. It's like how, even though I'm a nervous flier who worries about every little bump on a plane, the minute someone tries to explain the phenomenon to me, I'm incredibly bored and irritated ("It's just responding to different air pockets that form over high and low pressures systems which..." "OH MY GOD STOP TALKING TO ME, PILOT!").

I want a reckless, devil-may-care lawyer who plays by his or her own rules. The other lawyer has to scream "Objection!" and the judge will have to shake their head and say, "I'm warning you, counsellor!" Also, if the lawyer or witness says something so potentially incendiary that the judge says, "The jury is instructed to disregard that last remark," guess what? I'm not disregarding shit! If it's so potentially damning that I have to disregard, it's probably one of the most important facts of the case!

I don't want to be the Foreperson, but I need to sit close enough to an entrance or exit of the jury box so I can get to the bathroom. My bladder has shrunk with age and I plan to bring a milkshake in every morning so I can do that "Shkshkshkkk!" thing during some emotional testimony, so I'll need also to be able to easily access the facilities throughout the trial.

The bailiff has to do something. Maybe he restrains the victim's family from physically attacking the suspect, maybe he helps me to and from the bathroom, I don't know.

Finally, the trial itself can't go on too long. I definitely want to take advantage of a hotel stay and free meals, but summer is such a short time, especially here in Edmonton. I'm taking no more vacation days until a wedding in September and by then it's sure to be wintry and gross, and busier at work, and I won't have time to determine the fate of another human being. Right now though, when work is slow and my appetite for a good story is growing, put me in that box, legal system, and tell me a really good story.

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