Of Vinegar Girls, Juries, Cthulhu & Babs @ 09:30 am
Those of you who've been to our place have seen our print of Shag's "Vinegar Girl":
Rebecca discovered that the vinegar girl is based on an actual sign in beautiful Yarra, Australia, which is a suburb of Melbourne:
Hedonist Confidential, the show at which Vinegar Girl was first shown was held in Sydney and Melbourne, which probably explains the connection. It also, no doubt, explains why there is a platypus in the aquarium.
Yesterday, I went in for jury duty. Got to the downtown courthouse at 7:30. It's smack dab in the middle of everything: City Hall, the Times, the Music Center and the ass-ugly Disney Concert Hall:
I can't find any decent pictures of the actual building, which is much more retarded looking that the model, which also doesn't show you that a parking lots butts up against it on one side (where jurors park).
I go through the metal detector, make my way to the Jury Assembly Room, go through the boring process of filling out all the parts of the summons and turning it in. I get in a couple hours of writing character backgrounds for Miskatonic University. Including lunch and breaks, I wind up with 7 crabbed handwritten pages of stuff that needs to be typed up. Grunt.
Anyway, I get called into one of the courtrooms for jury selection. Thankfully (unlike last time, when I was one of the last 5 people called out of a pool of 300 to be examined for a murder case, which took 6 days before they got to me) I was sitting in the box right away: Juror #8.
The case was a rear-end car accident. The defendent admitted liability, but didn't feel that the plaintiff's injuries could possibly have been as serious (and as expensive) as were being reported. So the plaintiff was suing to get the full amount she wanted. The plaintiff's lawyers read out a list of doctors that might be testifying, and there were at least a dozen. Later discussion suggested that she was blaming the accident for soft brain injury, neck and back pain, Temporal-Mandibular-Joint Disorder, clinical depression and possibly even ingrown toenails for all I know.
Anyway, the judge asks a number of general questions. Probably the best was "Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of Psychiatry or Psychology?"
I squirm and raise my hand and say, "I wrote part of a book on insanity." The judge asks for more information, and pretty soon I'm talking about role-playing games. The judge asks what the name of the game is, and I respond as calmly as possible, "Call of Cthulhu".
Cthulhu is now part of the public record in court documents.
I didn't quite die of shame, but it was close.
Another totally random question caused a short conversation, too. The lawyers asked whether anyone had experience or knowledge of PET scans, and I told them that I did some consulting work for a manufacturer of PET machines.
Lunch comes and goes - the cafeteria's on the top floor, and you can walk out onto a roof -- it has a great view of city hall. After lunch, they finish examining us all, and then excuse two jurors, and get two more to fill their seats, and ask them questions. Two more get booted.
A couple more people get excused for cause, including one bastard who basically was saying whatever he could to get out of it. I think civil law is messed up, I think the doctors will just say what they've been told to say, my wife's a lawyer in the DA's office and says you can just buy witnesses... The judge talks with him for quite a while, and the guy actually lets slip that he also has a concern about money, since he's not being paid for jury service. The judge pounces on this and some heated words are exchanged. The guy sticks to his now-discredited story that he would have a problem dealing with the law objectively. The judge reams him for a bit and lets him go. As the guy's walking away...
JUDGE: You say your wife's a lawyer in the DA's office?
JUDGE: What's her name?
GUY: I don't remember.
JUDGE (immediately & testily): Take your seat again, sir.
The guy coughed up the name right away. Nevertheless, WHAT AN ASSHOLE!
Two more get booted. It's getting toward 3:30. I'm thinking that I'll have to come in another day. About this time, the judge tells the plaintiff's lawyers that they have 2 minutes of questioning time left, and the defense has 5 minutes left. Two minutes! Now I'm thinking that I'm stuck on the jury, but after asking a few more questions, I get the boot from the Defense. Who knows why? Was it that I'm a role-playing freak, or that I know science, or that I worked with PET (though not at all in a medical sense)? Or the dread name of Cthulhu?
Anyway, I go back to the assembly room, wait out the last half hour of service and then tear out of there and onto the 110 freeway and escape. I'm so glad I don't have to go back there, because as I understand it, "LOURDES GOT HER DRIVERS' LICENSE TODAY!!" so it's no longer safe to be on the streets (or sidewalks) that close to USC.
That evening, Becca and I watch Lady Eve and Rebecca notices that there's some resemblance between Rachel and Barbara Stanwyck:
Speaking of Rachel, she informs me that Googling "Mike Tice Rachel Heslin" gets a couple interesting results (use the Google cache). Looks like glued together Google searches intended to get more hits, because God knows more people search "Mike Tice Rachel Heslin" than "100% Free Porn".
Finally, I offer this to any of you girls who don't have a boyfriend, but would like some of the comfort of one: