Alternate #2

I got picked for jury duty. I know. What are the odds? Slim. But not so slim after 90% of the people find a way to be excused and then the Clerk reads off 24 names randomly picked from the remaining pool and number 21 is Alice Wheat.

All the jurors sat up in the jury gallery and the rest of the seats in the court room were filled with the remaining civilians who sat like a bored and restless audience for the remainder of the day as reserves in case one of us was dismissed. Then the lady judge asked each juror to recite the following information: your name, neighborhood, martial status, occupation, age and occupation of children, number of other adults in household and their occupation, and any previous jury experience. This was my favorite part because if you took 24 random resident from the City of San Francisco and and sat them in rows and made them recite their basic facts, this was it! I DREAM about doing this on Caltrain. I want everone in my Caltrain car to stand up and say their name, age, occupation, and whether they own or rent because I think it’s interesting and also I’m nosy and want to know where I fall in the Caltrain gene pool.

“My name is Alexandra Sweet and I live in Mission Bay and I am a Transportation Planner and I am single but great news there is another adult in my household and the adult is a man and he is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Biophysics (wink) and I have no previous jury experience!”

There were professors and lawyers and Bloomberg journalists and an author who writes murder-mystery novels and also people who are unemployed. I decided who my favorite people were and hoped that we would all be picked to be on the jury and that we could then be best friends. Especially the two women sitting to my left, a lady in “finance”  who had a swanky purse and the Bloomberg journalist who had great hair.

I can’t talk about the case because it’s against the law but I can say that it includes an upsetting episode. And the judge asked if anyone had a relative or close friend who had experienced a similar type of upsetting epsiode. And just like that each juror recited, rather bluntly, their experience. It was sad and it was terrible and I was in the front row and stared straight ahead while the jurors behind me recounted these terrible experiences and the audience of reserved jury citizens watched on in silence. What I really wanted to do was turn around and jump over the seats and give the jurors a hug but this is not allowed I think. The mood was somber and by the end it was clear that some jurors would be dismissed.

Then the two attorneys stood up and asked us to recite our favorite TV show and hobbies which was an odd turn in the atmosphere, but they said it would help them to get to know us better. I panicked because Dr. Adam and I just got a TV two months ago and we only have 5 and a half channels and one of them is KPop which is non-stop Korean pop music videos.  I considered copying someone’s else’s answer but I had taken an oath and the jewish guilty weighed heavy on TV-less heart. Come to think of it right now if asked again I would say with full pride that my favorite television show is House Hunters or House Hunters International which I try to watch at the gym every time I go. But instead I said this:

“Well I just got a TV so I haven’t had time to pick a favorite TV show but mostly I just watch what’s on PBS and most recently it was a documentary about the Hoover Dam so that was good. Also I like to bike, play the piano, and put my feelings on the internet I am also on a championship soccer team in a co-ed league and our name is The Frogs.”

Strange enough, this was  similar to my profile on OKCrouton OKCupid where I was trying to woo other off-the-grid athletic NPR snobs. (PS it worked)  This also apparently worked on the attorneys because 2 hours later, 8 jurors were dismissed, 12 were chosen, and I was selected as Alternative #2.

Alternative #1 winked at me, which I know was just friendly because in his basic fact statement he said he has a domestic partner who is also a he, and afterward I introduced myself and he shrugged as if to say, Oh well here we are the two of us alternates together! And now we’re going to be friends.

So, there you have it. Starts Monday. Wish me luck.

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