Not much has changed in the Lee County Justice center, from the last time I served on a jury back in September of 2009. In fact, aside from having to take my fucking shoes off when going through security, nothing has changed really. Same jury waiting area, same interlocking metal chairs, hell even the same funny old guy running the thing; Harold the Jury Coordinator. So get there around 7:45, fifteen minutes early for my 8am report time. And of course we all sit there until 8:30 picking our noses, before Harold starts to call us to check in -- 100 jurors at a time, from numbers 1 all the way through 355. As juror number 72, I get called up in the first batch and when I return to where I was sitting, I find some Fat White Asshole sitting in my seat. So I sit in someone else's seat. Then the Fat White Asshole gets called up in the next batch (101-200) giving me the opportunity to reoccupy my old seat like the Gaza Strip. A few minutes later, Fat White Asshole returns to my/our/his seat, and finds me sitting in it. He begins to raise his hand and open his mouth as if he's going to say something, when I look him right in the eye, lean to one side, and let a slow pleasurable look come over my face before leaning back over to sit up straight. I didn't really fart, mind you, but this was enough to suggest to the Fat White Asshole that he has permanently lost this particular chair. He took another seat four rows over and occasionally cast a glance over his shoulder from time to time.
We sat through the same Rah-Rah-Jury-Duty video as before, which explained how important our jury duty was to the American legal system and all that shit. A woman from the County Clerks office comes up and thanks us all for appearing there today -- like we've got a fucking choice -- and inquires whether anyone in her captive audience would like to hear more about how the County Clerk's office operates. The fact that nary a single hand is raised did not stop her from giving her five minute dissertation anyway, and by the time she finally completed her little speech nearly everyone face was buried in their smartphones. She was followed by a woman from the County Elections Office, who made note that anyone wishing to register for the next election could do so in the office located right next to the jury waiting room. I'm already registered, I thought, Libertarian, motherfucker.
We sat with our thumbs in our asses for the next hour and a half and on or around 10am, Harold asked the room to listen closely as he was going to call 40 juror numbers for people to report for the only jury selection for the day. My ears perked up at this... only 40 out of 355 people? That's what, about a 1 in 9 chance of getting pegged? Things were looking up! And call forty numbers he did, none of which were 72. I was fucking stoked! I had stared into the belly of the beast and survived! No jury duty for me! I sat back in my chair and gave a smug look to the forty walking dead as they meandered their way towards the back of the room, grumbling under their breath with each step, and up to the Bailiff who would take them to their assigned courtroom. After they all left, the mood in the jury waiting room showed a marked improvement. We're good to go, right baby?! But Harold had one more small bomb to drop. "I'm going to call ten more numbers, and if your number is not called, we thank you for your service and you are free to go."
"Ten more numbers?" I thought. Must be some small jury or something. Anyway, there were some 315 other people left in the room to fill these ten seats so that's a what... 1 in 31 chance? Nah, I'm good! What's the first motherfucking number he calls? That's right, juror number seventy-fucking-two. I'm staring at the ground, "You. Have. Got. To. Be. Fucking. Kidding. Me." Harold went on to call nine more numbers, but I didn't hear them. I just sat there, shellshocked, the sound of my heartbeat pounding in my ears. Mother. Fucker. And after called out all the numbers on his short list, Harold removed his reading glasses, raised his head, and confirmed that yes, "For the rest of you, you are excused." The room exploded in a frenzy of quiet murmurs and people grabbing their jackets, each in a hurry to get the fuck out of Dodge. And who walks past me with a smug look on his face? That's right? Fat White Asshole. "Fuck you, pal." I thought to myself. I considered tripping him, sending his Fat White Ass to the ground like a trash bag filled with soup, but given I'm in the county courthouse thought better of my actions. The remaining three hundred people filed out, leaving the ten of us in the large vacant room.
"You ten people are just going to be held in case they can't pick a suitable jury from the forty people who went up before you. It should only take a couple of hours," Harold informed us. Well that's not too bad, I guess. I mean if they can't pick seven people (a jury of six plus one alternate) out of forty potentials then what the fuck kind of world do we live in, right? And so the rest of us sat there for about half an hour or so, fiddle fucking with our phones and perusing through Facebook when the Bailiff returned with one of the forty jurors with him. The two chatted together and walked up to Harold before the three of them started to talk in hushed whispers. The juror was smiling. I was not.
"It seems there was some wort of a mix-up," Harold informed the almost vacant room, "We called juror number 194, when we sent up 294. Is juror number 294 still here?" My mind returned to the crowd of three hundred now laughing and joking amongst themselves as they walked down Monroe street towards the juror parking lot. "Most certainly not" I thought to myself. "Well then, we're going to have to grab one of your ten to send up in their place... and the first person on the list is..." My mind flashed back to my being the very first number called of the ten jurors held in reserve. No. No. No. No. No. NO. NO. NO. NO. "Juror number 72, Ernie Stewart." My grip tightened on my phone, and I briefly clenched my eyes closed in despair. Mother. Fucker. I raised my hand, "Here."
The Bailiff came and collected me, and escorted me though a series of back hallways and private elevators until we arrived at the entrance to Courtroom 4A. A Lee County Deputy opened the courtroom doors for me, and I entered to see my thirty-nine fellow potentials all sitting in the bench seats that occupied the rear of the courtroom. I was ushered to the second of three rows and told to sit between Old Asian Lady and Goofy Guy In Red Shirt. As I was sitting on the left side of the courtroom, I happened to be on side occupied by the prosecution who sat just opposite a waist-high wooden wall; there were two of them, a man who looked remarkably like Dr Taub from House and a cute little brunette with an unpronounceable name. To my right, opposite the other batch of potential jurors, sat the defense; a middle aged white guy with absolutely no remarkable features whatsoever, and the defendant who believe it or not, was a dead ringer for Chris Penn after you cleaned him up and put him into a shirt and tie. "Okay good morning,," the Judge said into his microphone, causing his voice to boom out from the courtroom speakers like God, "and thank you for reporting for jury duty. Now Miss Unpronounceablename is going to explain the juror selection process, called Voir Dire, and we will begin choosing our seven jurors." [TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW...]
The glass balcony is on the north face of Bally's Las Vegas. I spotted the High Roller Ferris Wheel and followed the monorail tracks. Lt-Dan
Morning Ernie. Your Glass Balcony is at the Signature, MGM Grand - Tower C in Las Vegas. Don't know which floor but it's one of these. Love the New Year "Vegas" theme! Martov
Ernie, I'm no good at Google Street view so I pulled up my Property Map on the Las Vegas Today and Tomorrow site. By seeing the Monorail Station on the left and Koval Ave behind her puts her at the MGM Signature Suites. Tom
That balcony is at the Signature at MGM Grand. Dan
If you are not an asshole, then you enjoyed Ronda Rousey's bodypainted ass from yesterday, know that she'll be hosting Saturday Night Live later this month.
Beretta's new 1301 is gas operated semi-automatic shotgun designed for law-enforcement and home-defense. The basic shotgun (rifle stock, standard magazine capacity) retails for $1075 -- tack on the pistol grip and extended tube and you're looking at $1,240. But that's cool bruh, because right now you can scoop one with the pistil grip and extended tube for 6+1 capacity for only $999.
If you are not an asshole, then you'll agree with me when I say the the Season One intro to HBO's The Wire is one of the best television intros of all time. Although I think the one from Season Four is a close second. Anyway I will however, tip my hat to the reimagined version by Elliot Lim makes a nice addition to the lineup.