Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Bike Dork Goes to Court

Recently I received a notice for jury duty. Though I was not stoked, I was glad to be called to serve in Torrance, a few miles from my house. A quick ride. It is a few miles that I am glad I don't ride every day. The main streets in the Southbay are wide and drivers tend to take advantage of this by traveling at 50 or 60 mph. I just do not like that sucking feeling, as they whiz by.

With my bike securely locked to the nearly empty rack out front, I got in the line to enter the court house. The security is like the airport except you can keep your shoes on. My messenger bag however piqued their curiosity, and my Park Tool 15mm wrench/ bottle opener had to be checked at the door. This is the kind of silliness we come to expect from the authorities who protect us. One can not get upset about it.; better to just be nice to folks who have the the job of dealing with people who carry tools.

The jury waiting room and the courtroom itself where rather dank and chilly so left my dorky yellow jacket on. Full on Bike Dork. At least I had the sense to lock my helmet with my bike, and roll my pant leg down.

I would be a good juror. I have watched quite a few episodes of Perry Mason. I see how it all works. However at about 4:00 pm, on the second round of culling out bad jurors, The prosecutor cut me loose. At first I was relived; the case was likely to take 10 days or more. My work does not pay for jury duty. Then I thought "why me?" Was it my jacket? The only guy in the room in a safety yellow jacket... Or perhaps it was my chiding the defense lawyer for "dancing around" the issue with his civics 101 questioning. Of course your client is innocent until proven guilty. It was also stunning to see how many potential jurors did not get this basic American concept.

Though i did not get chosen, jury duty is no joke.The case was felony murder. It took my breath away to see this kid, he could have been one of my friends from MDL in Haiti. Made me think about the choices we make every day.

Stiff headwind on the way home. As I write this I realize I forgot to reclaim my wrench!

Dogh! What a Dork.

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