I just returned from the San Francisco Hall of Justice, where I seem to be spending a lot of time lately. This visit was spent getting an extension for Jury Duty, which I’ve been putting off since 1997. Upon arrival at the Hall of Justice, one must pass through a metal detector and submit all handbags for inspection. I’ve done this many times before, and needless to say, there’s never been a problem. Standing in line surrounded by criminals, I am suddenly singled out and the contents of my bag were emptied on a desk for all to examine. The security guard then pulls out my birth control pills and actually asks me, “What this?” A female criminal began to snicker.
“Um, those are my birth control pills. Thanks for holding them up in the air.”
“And what this?” he asked, holding my back-up pair of earrings.
“It’s my backup pair of earrings.” say I.
Another criminal pipes up. “Back up earrings? What for?”
The snickering female criminal, in a rare moment of sisterhood, replies, “In case she forget to accessorize, motherfucker.”
The entire line erupts into laughter, and I’m waved on through. I grab my bag, pills, and earrings, shoot a dirty look to the security guard, and make my way to Jury Room 307.
Because I’m asking for an extension, there are no lines, and I walk directly up to the desk. I’m given some shitty form to fill out, and am told to take a seat and pick an upcoming Monday to complete my service. The Jury Room is empty, so I pick a middle table and proceed to fill out said form. Suddenly, a huge Samoan pulls out a chair and sits right next to me. In a room filled with at least 30 tables and hundreds of chairs, we sit alone and pretend to ignore each other. Our proximity to each other began to make me uncomfortable, so I decided to speak.
“Jury Duty is complete bullshit.” (It’s all I could come up with.)
Tiny continues writing and ignoring me. I try again.
“I mean, I wouldn’t want me on my jury. I’m clearly an idiot. And I have the attention span of a toddler.”
I shut up, finish my form, and turn it in. Tiny is still furiously scrawling away at his form. I turn to leave the Jury Room and he yells after me, “I’ll see you later.”
What? I don’t recall making plans. Now, I’m home, with the door dead bolted and the alarm on. I was at the Hall of Justice for about 20 minutes, and I’ve returned feeling violated and stalked. I believe this is why people live in the suburbs…