Friday, May 09, 2008

I, the Jury; Obama-Clinton?; Meredith's Wardrobe (Friday Roundup)

I've done my time, I'm coming home ... Jury duty began and ended Monday morning. I learned a great deal about our county's judicial system, the difference between a district and a circuit court and that the Great State of Alabama is still under the assumption that $.05/mile is sufficient mileage reimbursement. This figure was arrived at sometime during the 1890s and remains on the state's constitution. It's a good thing that inflation hasn't affected gas prices, so I feel adequately compensated for my mileage.

The daily pay for jury work in this state is $10, which doesn't seem commensurate with the amount of time that a juror spends away from home, work and, perhaps, the mall. But for someone who was there for a little more than an hour, it wasn't quite so bad.

It was neither a felony nor a mental illness that led to my early dismissal. Just a lean docket already filled with seated juries and no need for the 150 people who reported Monday morning. It appears that everyone around here must be on good behavior and is staying clean and out of court. Except for the woman in front of me who was wearing slacks (not jeans or pants, even; they were "slacks") and a very present turquoise thong that became increasingly painful to keep track of. If she were on trial, I would have found her guilty of bad taste and offending everyone on the bench behind her. And then I would have slapped her with a fine for trying to worm out of jury duty, which she did when she and her thong approached the bench and asked to be excused. The judge promptly ordered her and her thong to return to their seat. This is a COURT OF LAW, not a NIGHT CLUB.

Within three days, I received a check for $11.80 and an invitation to be a poll worker, a position that pays exactly $11.80 LESS than being a juror. Poll workers always appear to be drinking bottomless cups of coffee and having a grand time sharpening pencils and handing out stickers before they break for lunch at Cracker Barrel. But I probably wouldn't make a very effective poll worker. I would ask the voter's name, pretend to scan the list, look the voter up and down and say things like, "Let me guess -- straight Democratic ticket, right?" Or, "THAT'S funny. You don't LOOK like a Republican. Boy, you sure had me fooled!" This is why political science and I never meshed.

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Obama-Clinton in '08? That's the ticket! ... Pundits who have nothing else to say after Tuesday's returns in North Carolina and Indiana are now mumbling about a possible Obama-Clinton ticket that, they theorize, would bring order and cohesion to the Democratic Party. As I've admitted, I'm no political scientist, but wouldn't that be like Montague-Capulet? Sharks-Jets? Crips-Bloods? Tyson-Holyfield?



If I had Photoshop on this computer, I would superimpose Obama's and Clinton's heads on the bodies of Tyson and Holyfield. And you would be laughing right now. I don't know which head would go on which body. I'll let you make that decision.

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I've gone almost all week without mentioning The Today Show, but I need to share with you a very urgent phone call I received at 7:15 a.m. Thursday. "I know you're busy getting everyone out the door, but you have GOT to see what Meredith is wearing today."

So I glanced at the TV just in time to see Meredith wearing a jacket that Matt had apparently just taken off and put on Meredith's cold shoulders as he departed for the train tracks beneath the Waldorf-Astoria in Midtown. WHY OH WHY is the lovely and once-trendy Meredith wearing my great-grandmother's clothes? Who gave her the stash of Simplicity patterns and told her to make her own suits? She used to be so much more hip than this. She fell into fashion peril about the same time Kathie Lee Gifford joined the crew. Draw your own conclusions, but I'm guessing Kathie Lee Gifford has stolen the key to the wardrobe department or taken all of the cute clothes as her own. And it's wrong.

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Some 33 years ago, Dennis Rosser in my third-grade class drew an asymmetrical orange basketball on a Corel plate as a gift for his mother on Mother's Day. Beneath his drawing were these words: Bounce Your Way to Mother's Day.

Have a delightful weekend, and whether you are a mother, have a mother or know a mother, may you bounce your way to Mother's Day...