Jane Andrews

 
 

LETTER OF THE LAW

 

For once I’m going to tell the truth about jury duty, because I got a jury duty summons today in the mail for March fifth and I’m juror number 252, which is too bad, because the truth is I like jury duty, actually I’d love to have jury duty on a really interesting case, although I’m embarrassed to admit it since it’s ghoulish and predatory and selfish and cold hearted, but you have to understand the first book I read for pleasure as a child was Nancy Drew and The Secret of the Old Attic and that started a life-long love for mysteries and inspired a desire to have titian colored hair, a snappy little roadster with a running board, a closet full of frocks, and a talent for damn near everything, including having “luncheon” instead of lunch, because luncheon is obviously classier and tastes better, even if it’s just grilled cheese on white bread with Fritos, but no one ever died in the Nancy Drew series, not the classic series anyway, I understand that these days Nancy does Zumba and eats frozen yogurt, but that’s not Nancy, that’s faux Nancy, I know imposters when I encounter them thanks to Nancy, Sherlock Holmes, Joe Leaphorn, Dave Robicheaux, Adrian Monk, Columbo, John Grisham, Agatha Christie, and all the other deities in the mystery-lover’s pantheon, so I know that if, say, I were a juror for a capital case I would totally rock, since I would either discover the real murderer based on details others have not put together or I would recognize the reasonable doubt or the damning gesture that would set the defendant free or send them to Sing Sing, excuse me, Central Prison, and you might not know this, but lots of people have told me I have a legal turn of mind, they say they admire my searingly logical arguments and ability to remember conversations verbatim (those people who don’t hate my legal turn of mind and what they call my accusatory, picky, snarky attitude) and those are traits and skills I’d love to employ to serve Blind Justice and use everything I’ve learned from watching endless (endless!) hours of every version of Law & Order on TV, or, and I’m ashamed to say it, but it’s true, I’d kind of like to commit a felony (if nobody got hurt) because the scofflaws I hear about are so dumb and lack style and never seem to see the big picture and how if they don’t want spend to all that money on a divorce lawyer, that a criminal lawyer in their murder case is not really going to be a budget saver, or that stealing less than a thousand dollars from the till at the Circle K with a handgun is hardly worth the risk, or setting fire to your workplace the day after you get fired is not really a subtle move, no, I want to kill, rob, or ignite with panache and for great gain, and therefore, on long road trips or when I wake up at 3:15 am and can’t go to sleep, I plan and plot and connive, usually about murder, what instrument of death to use, what setting to commit the crime in, is it worth trusting a confederate, how to establish an alibi, where to stash the body (always a toughie—darn those meddlesome kids) and how to get rid of the murder weapon, after that, I fret about DNA evidence, also cadaver dogs are always a concern, and what if I’m not as smart as I think I am, because another thought that comes to me in the sleepless hours is the possibility that law abiding, risk averse, boring person that I am, I will be unjustly charged with a terrible, gruesome crime and there will be no one as astute as I am on the jury, that it will be composed of twelve peers who watch Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead or WWE Wrestling instead of Law & Order who never read anything but quarterly financial reports or People Magazine and that those morons will convict me, so I’m eager to serve, get paid twelve dollars and get my parking validated, I love to be validated.

 

 

 

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