Today, local streets return to a dark time when Grit Citizens feared to walk them. Today, the threat of injustice again casts a shadow outside the County-City Building in downtown Tacoma.
For today, an illustrious law-and-order career comes to a close.
Today marks the end of jury duty for The Nose.
Calling the hotline every day for two weeks and showing up twice was heroic enough. Imagine the impact on society if we’d actually sat on a trial.
Admittedly, when we received the summons to report to Pierce County Superior Court, our feelings were mixed.
On one hand, jury duty is a pain in the wazoo. It’s inconvenient. It requires sacrifice when most civic duties don’t anymore. America got rid of the draft years ago, so we can let other people’s kids fight our wars. And the poobahs have made it so easy to vote by mail, it hardly feels like effort; more like filling out a sweepstakes entry.
So why can’t they give jurors the same low-demand treatment? Let us fulfill our oath at home in our bunny slippers, using Skype or something.
That way we wouldn’t have to shuffle through the courthouse corridors in color-coded badges, single-file, like schoolkids in a fire drill or cows in a slaughterhouse.
Plus, we could wear our giant Guns N’ Roses belt buckle without setting off the security beepers.
Duty calls, and hangs up: On the other hand, it’s been 20 years since our last summons. Who knows if we’ll get another?
Jury duty offers a rare chance to stand up for truth and justice, like Henry Fonda in “Twelve Angry Men” or Homer Simpson in Season 5, Episode 20.
Maybe we’d be assigned to a made-for-TV murder trial, and Judge Bev Grant would lead her courtroom in one last “Go Seahawks!” chant before she retires.
If we’re really lucky, we might score an autographed 8-by-10 glossy of Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
In the end, we got none of that. But we did get engaged and dumped — twice, in two days.
This is no joke. God bless our achy-breaky heart, we wish it were.
Left at the altar: On Day 1, dozens of citizens gathered in the jury assembly room, strangers in a strange land. Many of us were virgins, clueless what to expect.
The jury coordinator cleared things up during the orientation session.
Think of it as a swinging singles club, she said.
Her matchmaking analogies made us squirm at first, but soon we just rolled with it:
- “You have a hot date!” — You call the juror hotline and your group is told to report to the courthouse.
- “You got engaged!” — You’re one of 50 potential jurors given a badge, assigned to a case and escorted to a courtroom, single-file.
- “You are married!” — After hours of jury selection, you’re one of 14 jurors (12 plus two alternates) who will sit in on the trial.
- “Dumped at the altar!” — Thirty six broken hearts are sent back to the singles club to start over. And no staying in touch with the married folk; they have a new life now — a better life.
- “When you are married, you’re no longer mixing it up down here (in the assembly room) with single and engaged friends,” the jury coordinator explained. “That’s a no-no.”
As for Le Schnoz? Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Story of our life.
“Don’t take it personally,” Judge Ronald E. Culpepper told all us soon-to-be-rejects in his courtroom.
Mercifully, he stopped short of “I hope we can still be friends” or another lame breakup line.
Cetacean disorientation: A young whale swam up the Thea Foss Waterway toward the Tacoma Dome this week, just a day late for the Lady Gaga “Born This Way” tour.
There’s speculation that this cetacean may have misread the recent headline in the national LGBT publication, The Advocate. He thought it said: Tacoma is America’s top city for grays.
Our first question for the new guv: Sir, you want state government to adopt the “lean management” practices of Boeing and Toyota. Does that mean Jay Inslee’s Washington will catch on fire unexpectedly and operate with a stuck accelerator and bad brakes?
Dribbling into our hearts: We have no earthly idea what's going on in this outtake photo from the new governor's inauguration day basketball game. But we can have fun guessing.
- Jay "Showboat" Inslee ball-fakes a member of the Washington Generals.
- An intimate moment from the inaugural ball.
- New family-values governor wears his baby bjorn everywhere.
- An aggressive statehouse reporter puts on the full-court press.
- Offensive foul? Or just plain offensive?
- Weaning public employee unions will be harder than it looks.
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