Diane over at Ladies Who Lunch Reviews had jury duty a while back and commented on it here. Which led me to comment on my jury experience, which led us to create a wild notion of posting about our experiences at the same time!
Just what kind of crazy shenanigans are these bloggers up to? The mind reels!
You’ll also note I’m posting on a Monday rather than my usual Wednesday. So if you feel all discombobulated right now, that’s why. (I love that word, discombobulated. I’d use it more often, except I hate feeling discombobulated. I only like the word. not the experience.)
Anyway, I shall now conjure up for you my unpleasant memory of when I served on a jury with idiots. But true to the spirit of this blog, I’m going to give you helpful tips as well, so you can avoid ever having to serve on a jury with idiots yourself.
(By the way, when I first came across Diane at Ladies Who Lunch Reviews, I figured she was an Elaine Stritch fan. So far that hasn’t come up on her blog. Is she or isn’t she? The world awaits.)
Okay, so right off the bat, the best thing about being called for jury duty in Phoenix — actually, the only thing that’s good about being called for jury duty in Phoenix — is that the municipal courthouse is right next to Sticklers.
Seriously good deli, Sticklers. Great sandwiches, great soups, vegetarian options too. They toast their sandwiches in this huge oven – you can watch your sandwich make its way through. Even if you don’t like your sandwich toasted, let them toast it. It’s worth it just for the oven viewing. By the time the sandwich makes its way through, your order is complete and you’re ready to go.
As to my jury experience, without going into too much detail, here’s what happened: It was a two-day trial regarding a drunk driver — excuse me, an alleged drunk driver — who was pulled over by police for reckless driving and cited. It took nearly a year for it to come to trial, as the drunk — excuse me, alleged drunk — was fighting it.
We had about eight hours total listening to the evidence and so forth, spread out over the two days, then we went to the jury room and spent nearly four hours in deliberation. We returned to say it was a hung jury.
The reason? Three of us were convinced the defendant was guiltier than all get-out, and the other three jurors were idiots.
Side note: Have you ever done a Myers-Briggs test to see what your personality type is? You can learn a lot of things about yourself: your strengths and weaknesses, how others view you, and also what you find energizing or draining.
What drains people with my personality type is being around idiots. And by this I mean people who are perfectly capable of coherent thought, yet refuse to listen to rational, logical arguments.
I mean, Hello! If a guy can’t walk two steps on a chalk line without stumbling, then turns to the policeman and says, “Guess I need a cab,” he might be a tad bit drunk, don’t you think?!
Wow, I’m feeling drained just remembering my jury experience. I wonder how Diane fared?
On a positive note, I think it’s safe to say I won’t ever be asked to serve on a jury again. One of the questions they ask is if you ever served on a jury before and what was the result. I think the fact mine ended as a hung jury makes me the equivalent of jury poison. At least I hope it does.
But what about you, my friends? How can we prevent my frustrating experience from becoming your own? I have a few suggestions:
- If you are summoned, bring a Bible with you and keep it visible. Every time either Husband or I had to report for jury duty, we noticed there’s at least one guy with a Bible, sitting in the waiting area. Usually with a lot of empty seats around him. That guy never gets selected. Ever.
- If you wind up in a group told to report for possible selection, you will first answer a lot of generic, informational questions. Then you are asked a series of specific questions based on your life experiences and whether or not you can be impartial. Answer that question with these exact words: “I can be, with God’s help.” I promise you will not be selected. I promise.
- If neither of those methods floats your boat, burst into tears. I know a woman who did this when she was being questioned as a possible juror. The bailiff actually escorted her out of the room. Granted, her tears were genuine, but that doesn’t mean yours has to be. If you can fake a good cry, go for it.
All right everyone, time for us all to check in with Diane and see how she did.
Hmm. Looks like she did a good job avoiding idiots. Good for you, Diane!
And now it’s time for a couple of recipes. Remember how I promised you two recipes from now until Christmas, one soup and one holiday cookie or treat? Well, as soon as I promised that our oven gave up the ghost.
Sad thing when a recipe blogger’s oven dies. Even sadder when she decides to wait until Black Friday to replace it.
But have no fear, I am a blogger who keeps her promises. Soups are the easy part (Yay for crockpots!). And talking about Stickler’s helped me remember the vegetarian stew I had there, so below is my version of it.
Also below is a holiday treat that’s fun to make, especially if you have kids. All you need is a microwave. 🙂
Hearty Vegetarian Stew
- 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire-Roasted tomatoes)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 large potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup beer or red wine
- 1 cup water or vegetable broth (or as much as needed to cover the vegetables)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Add all ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if you like, and serve with crusty bread.
Note: Feel free to use whatever vegies you have. I usually include shredded cabbage, but I was too lazy to go to the store.
Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Rods
- 1 package pretzel rods
- 1 package caramels
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 package milk chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- Toppings: crushed nuts (cashews are good, as well as sliced almonds or peanuts), sprinkles, mini M&M’s
Cover two baking sheets with waxed paper and butter. This is where you’ll set the finished rods.
Unwrap caramels, put in glass bowl with 2 Tablespoons water and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring, until melted. Cover pretzel rods with a thin layer of caramel, about 3/4 of the way down each rod (leaving a handle), and lay on waxed paper. Let cool until set.
Put chocolate chips and coconut oil in glass bowl, microwave in 30 second spurts, stirring, until just melted. Cover rods in chocolate, leaving a bit of caramel showing, and roll in your chosen toppings. Place on waxed paper until set.
Note: Be sure to put the caramel on in a thin layer. I’m afraid mine was a little thick so they’re difficult to eat. Not that we let it stop us. 🙂