829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Five Beans

At least I only had to serve one day.  Apparently, the
day after Columbus Day there is a light case-load in
the Mercer County judicial system.  Only one case 
pending, and they settled minutes after our two hour
 lunch break.  A third-rate cheesesteak lunch at that.

I've served my state honorably as a petit juror five
times since the late eighties.  The first time in 
Somerset county, I went all five days and was 
never picked.  The second, in Mercer County, 
I was selected as one of twelve and sat for a week 
in a cocaine-bust trial. I did all I could to stay awake 
in the courtroom; the high setting on the thermostat 
and the white-noise machine challenged my ability
to remain conscious.  We convicted the guy.

I was relieved of duty on my third tour due to the
conviction on my second.

Three years ago, I was tapped and made the 
obligatory call every night before the next court
day, and was told I wasn't needed.  0 for 5.

Two weeks ago, my number was called and I, along 
with 149 other upstanding citizens of Mercer County,
showed up at the courthouse in Trenton at 8:30 a.m.
I read half a book and fought aggressive assaults on my
resolve to stay awake, just barely staving off those attacks
with a loud snort and a quick shake of my head like nothing
had happened.  We were sent home with the promise of
being eligible for petit juror duty in three years.  I've 
already marked it on my calender, because I know 
they can't carry on without me.


  1. You needed 5 garbanzo beans to cover up the amount of that check! Jury duty in Jersey must be lucrative.

    1. Actually, I wanted to protect the address of my domicile. Like anyone with half a google brain couldn't stalk me. As if that would be worthwhile.

  2. It is encouraging to see that the State of New Jersey requires 2 signatures on checks of this magnitude. Prevents fraud and creates employment.

  3. When life gives you garbanzo beans, make hummus.

  4. That check is from Wachovia Bank. They were taken over by Wells Fargo 4 years ago. Do you really think it's going to be any good?