Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Dontcha hate seeing one of these in your mailbox? I've been looking forward to this day (ha!) for over a month. I was listed as a "standby juror" on the summons; instead of reporting to the Central Jury Room at 8 a.m. I was supposed to wait until 11 o'clock, call in, and find out at that time if I was needed. I called the number and the recorded message shouted, "You Are Needed Today! Please Report By 1 p.m.!" So I headed downtown through Level Red Pollution and traffic backed up by who knows what. I had to exit at Reunion Arena and was hoping I wouldn't get caught in worse traffic amongst the busses of Beaumont evacuees (I didn't).

I parked in the County Garage, rushed across Industrial Blvd. and climbed the 50 steps to the doors of the Court Building conveniently located next door to the Jail. Winded and sweaty, I thought if Rita had only veered west, this whole neighborhood might've gone under when the levee on the Trinity River failed, and I would have been spared this ordeal. (After the hurrican passed the newspaper published a report detailing this very scenario - a possibility that had conveniently been kept from us citizens prior to the storm.) This was my first visit to the courthouse since 9-11 and the summons had warned me about bringing weapons and explosives into the building so I left them at home and passed through the checkpoint without incident. There were only a dozen or so people in the Central Jury Room and no one at the front desk. A Bailiff beckoned me into an adjoining office and told me they had fulfilled their requirement for standby jurors and I was free to go. I was happy to go, but it cost me $3.00 to park for 30 minutes (reduced rate after having my parking ticket validated), a half gallon of gas, and a day's pay. Justice doesn't come cheap these days!

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