Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
People who have been reading this blog for a while know that I’m an unapologetic introvert. A lot of writers are, because writing requires you to spend a lot of time alone in a quiet room. You get used to it. In fact, you start to prefer it. I think it was Schopenhauer who said you’re better off staying away from society because you’re smarter than they are …
The worst thing an introvert can possibly find in his mailbox is a jury summons. I just got one.
Ever since I moved to a rural county six years ago, it feels like I’m getting these things constantly, since there aren’t as many people to pick from. Actually, this is the third one, and I got seated on a prospective panel just once but talked my way out the door, which is extremely painful for an introvert. You have to speak in front of fifty people or more, one of them a judge.
This time I asked for a postponement till mid-December, when it’s possible the holidays will interfere with court business and I might be able to dodge a bullet. Two or three times in the past I volunteered to appear during the week between Christmas and New Years, and each time I didn’t even have to show up. This is how introverts think. And the satisfaction in successfully avoiding public interaction is always sublime.
I’ve been forced to serve on two juries in the past. Traumatic. One case was a lawsuit brought by a man who hid from cops by jumping into a motion-activated trash compactor and got himself good and wrecked up and thought someone should pay for it. In the other, a woman fell into the landfill because of her own negligence and thought someone should pay for that too. If I have to serve on another civil jury my introvert head is going to ‘splode.
My wife is dying for me to land on a murder case. We don’t have many of those in this county, but every now and then a husband offs the wife or something (as they are wont to do), so there’s hope. I’d rather not have to be the arbiter of someone’s fate, but in the worst-case scenario I’d probably be the lone holdout who lets the accused walk. Henry Fonda I’m not. I’d have to go into the witness protection program.
Anyway, wish me luck in December. And for those of you who love jury duty, I’m happy for you, but I prefer to stay home in my quiet room making stuff up.