Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Adventures in the Beeping Judicial System

Juror #11--that was me a few weeks ago after I was plucked from the mass of humanity huddled in the large room on the first floor of the government center and sent upstairs with 60 other people and finally empaneled. The case itself was sad, but not terribly complicated. For four days in a row, I got up and proudly clipped on my plastic "Juror" badge and got to the courthouse on time.

Now, as near as I can figure out, unless you are getting married or adopting a child, if you visiting this particular government center, you are not having a good time in your life. There are several signs that point to this, including the great number of people puffing away nervously on cigarettes outside of the building. I took a deep breath each morning and ducked under the wall of smoke to get inside the building. This is where you are confronted with the security check portion of your visit.

It was on a Thursday morning that I choose to wear a nice pair of slacks, white shirt and a stylin' jacket. To top it all off, I wore a big silver necklace, something that on someone like Oprah would have looked normal, but on a small-boned, small-headed person such as myself looked like something Flavor Flav would sport. Still, I thought, it was so shiny and new, and I was tired of all my tiny, small-headed person's jewelry, so I decided to go for it. All my clean girly trouser socks had holes in the toes, so in desperation, I grabbed a pair of Dan's thick, ribbed, man socks. My pants came down far enough to hide any evidence of the socks and I made a mental note not to cross my legs all day, so I was ready to go. I reached the government center, ducked under the wall of smoke and walked through the metal detector, only to set off the loud, beeping alarm.

Now, I've already explained in this blog how I feel about authority figures in uniforms. Come to think of it, the person does not even have to be wearing a badge. A manager at say, Target, can have the same effect on me. I am more than willing to comply with any and all demands. So it even surprised ME a little when I found myself balking at the uniformed officer's request to raise my pant legs. I lamely pointed at the large silver disc weighing down my neck and said, "It's probably my necklace." He grunted at me and once again pointed his metal-detecting wand toward my ankles. "Pull up your pant legs , Ma'am." OH, he was getting rough now. I really wanted to take him off to the side and explain to him that I was certainly not carrying any weaponry in my socks (think of the unsightly bulges that would create!) and ordinarily, I would be wearing thin women's trouser socks, but for the fact that I have nearly razor-like toenails, a condition that would almost make me eligible for my own special on TLC, (if those specials had not all been given away to seemingly ungrateful Indonesian Tree Men--see earlier post) and those toenails tend to rip through the lighter knits that women's socks are made of. Further, I wanted to explain to him that if he just stopped and thought for a minute instead of waving that modern-day club at me, he would realize that it was the silver turkey platter I had chosen to wear as ornamentation on my bird-like neck that set off his overly-sensitive alarm.

Now this is all what I wanted to tell him, but I finally, just relented and lifted up my pant legs looking for all the world like Eliza Doolittle practicing to be a "real lady," while exposing her true, backwards nature. My only hope is that on the day this big burly security man is forced to wear his wife's frilly pink socks is placed in a similar situation, I am there to see it.

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