OK, let’s continue our discussion of my jury duty experiences. When we left off, I had avoided potential conflict at the X-ray stand, the numbered paddle problem had been exposed and I had already been admonished by the Judge simply for being there.
And that would be when my phone started ringing. “Oh for crap sakes Mooner, turn your phone off.”
“Sorry, your honor,” I muttered. “It’s a new one and I can’t quite figure it out.”
“I told him at least twice your Honor.” This fussily said by the jury rustling fuss budget.
I fumbled with the off button and put the offending electronics back into my pocket. This phone distraction got me off the hook and the Judge says, “Next.”
Number 26 stands with his raised number 25 paddle and says, “I’m number 26, your honor and my name is…”
“Oh for shit sakes Mooner, will you trade paddles with that man so I can get on with this?”
“Objection your Honor,” this from the Prosecutor. “This man, number 25, has intentionally disrupted the record. He held a number 26 paddle while representing himself to be number 25. I move to strike his testimony and arrest Mister Johnson for mal intent.”
I’m thinking to myself, I thought, “Mal intent. What the fuck is mal intent?”
Maybe I should try to stop thinking to myself because the judge says, “Mooner, stop cursing in my courtroom and let me handle this or I’ll pitch your rosy red ass into my jail. I have experience with that, don’t I Mister Johnson.” That last part was statement not question.
Then he said, “Objection overruled Mister Prosecutor- irrelevant. He means well but trouble sticks to Mooner like ticks on a deer’s belly.” He added, “Now let’s move on.”
We traded paddles and the judge went all the way through the rest of the numbers without incident. The judge starts back in on his speech about how jury duty requires you to be honest and answer questions under oath and that he can pitch your rosy red ass into his jail if you tell lies. I know that this threat lacks any actual teeth because so many people tell so many obvious lies and their rosy red asses do not go to jail.
Me, it’s not my lies that get me locked up. It’s always the circumstance. And circumstantial evidence.
Anyway, the Judge is about five minutes into his speech again when my fucking phone goes off. Again. “I am so sorry Billy- I mean your Honor. It’s a new phone and I can’t figure it out yet.”
“Bailiff, would you please remove the battery from Mooner’s phone for him?”
He did, but under my watchful eye to insure I could figure how to put it back later. And we get back to the silliness that the judge has to go through as part of the voir dire jury selection process. Those silly words basically mean “truth telling” in French, and it is used to see if potential jurors might be prejudiced either for, or against, a particular party in a legal action.
Why are most French words so silly sounding? I think if I was French I would feel compelled to wear frilly dresses and speak my French with a snotty nose and phlegm-clogged throat.
Again, prejudice has no place in a courtroom. Except, of course, for the attorneys on both sides of the isle- prosecution and defense alike. With the exception of my guy Jeff, I think I might hate all lawyers. I say might only because I haven’t met all the lawyers.
I bring the bias part up now because bias raised its ugly head right at this point. “Your Honor, I wish to approach the bench.” That would be the Prosecutor.
“OK,” from the Judge.
A snippy announcement, “I would like to call number 25 to the bench for a conference.”
The judge says to me, he says, “It’s show time Mooner but I am warning you. If you drop your pants and wave your ass in my courtroom I’m authorizing the Sheriff Deputies to shoot it.” He then turned to the two armed men watching over things and told them, “If this man waves his bare ass at me, I want you to shoot to kill.”
Everyone laughed but me as I walked to the podium known as the bench. The prosecutor starts in on me right away, “Allow me to cut to the chase Mister Johnson. You have been arrested and charged with murder more than once, right?”
What the fuck is this all about?
“What the fuck is this all about?” I waited a beat and he replied, “Just answer the question.”
Now me, I have already been sworn in and promised to tell the truth, which does not require a promise from me, but I know I need to be careful what I say and sometimes the truth can hurt.
“I plead the Fifth.” Take that asswipe.
“Your Honor, will you instruct him to answer.”
“Answer him Mooner.”
From me, “The Fifth.”
“Did you know that this is a murder case?” The Prosecutor.
From me, “I do now- hell everybody knows now. Did he kill anybody I know?”
“Lower your voice, sir. Now, can you tell me why you should be allowed to participate in a murder trial when you hold the District Attorney, my boss, in such low regards?” He says this and folds his arms in that “got you” posture small-minded men use.
“Just because your boss is a brain dead Republican right wing religious fuckwad doesn’t mean I can’t render fair judgment for another man who is assumed to be innocent.”
He was looking at me with this stupid look on his weaselly face so I added, “Maybe I mean presumed innocent.”
Then my ADHD started this fritz dealie it does when I get angry and I had dozens of thoughts spinning in my head all at once. “Hold on just a minute and let me sort out my thoughts,” I told them.
After some short period of time the snotty Prosecutor blinked and said, “Come on Mister Johnson you are giving the wheels of justice a flat tire.” And then he turned and snickered for the audience.
“I have an idea Mister Assistant District Attorney,” I said.
“And that would be?” he inquired.
“You go fuck yourself because I plead the Fifth.”
Normally, this is where I would lower my pants to half mast and display my tastefully-coiffed butt hair, currently plucked and dyed to say, “Happy Birthday USA,” in red, white and blue. Like I told you the other week, SAC Ellen and I are taking the dogs, Dixie and Squirt, and meeting some folks out to Marfa for July Fourth. I’m going to march in their parade and the dogs are going to pull me in a wagon. This particular parade route is too long for me to waddle backwards with my head between my knees, so I’ll be pulled in the wagon this time.
I love parades.
I left SAC Ellen in charge of our accommodations for this trip and you would think we were planing a trip around the world. I have never heard so much conversation and cogitation required to book three rooms for three nights in west Texas.
“It’s Marfa and Fort Davis for shit sakes,” I said this one time after she had spent several hours on the phone with various hospitality people. “You grill those poor people like you think they smuggled a weapon of mass destruction into your territory.”
I think maybe my attitude cost me a sexless night but I always stand up for the little guy.
And I am digressing. Basically, the Prosecutor did not want me on this jury but the defense did. So this Assistant District Attorney is trying to grill my ass in front a courtroom full of nice people and the defense attorney is doing nothing to stop him. The Judge, of course, takes a neutral stand because that is his job and he harbors at least a slight bias towards me hisownself.
I won’t bore you with all the details of the discussion, but the Prosecutor’s argument was basically this. “How can you, Mister Johnson, provide an unbiased ruling in this case when you have been accused and acquitted of so many crimes, including murder?”
My answer, “I can do that by setting my bias aside and factoring your case against the accused tempered with the defense presented by this other lawyer. And since I have a very clear understanding of what, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt means,’ I will, thereunder, render fair and impartial judgment.”
“But you are biased by your experience, Sir,” was all he managed to get out.
“Well fucking duh. Of course I am,” my clever response. “Is it not that lifelong experience coupled with my promise to be fair and just that qualifies me to be a juror?”
Now the Judge is paying attention. “Stop preaching and go sit down Mooner. The Prosecution deserves you for poking his stick in your cage.”
When I took a deep breath to continue my sermon, the Judge stopped me cold. “I said sit!”
I sat. I got several pats on the back and “Atta boys” from my fellow prospective jurors- rewards for a job well done. I started thinking about things not courtroom related and the next thing I know, I’m debating that, if I absolutely had to choose, whether I would rather have sex with the Sarah Palin lookalike from down to the security station or would I choose the actual Sarah Palin.
Would I prefer a 300 pound-plus local girl with a cartoon of the Alamo and my autograph on her ass and who looks like the politician, or would I instead be more desirous of the actual lunatic right-wing religious fuckball with nice skin and who seems to maybe have a dirty side?
See this is a debate because I would have sex with either of them if I liked them because I do not judge books by their covers. Which reminds me that I need to get the cover designed for my book. I have been letting that slip and need to get it on schedule.
Anyway, it seems that my not paying attention to the live action and thinking about having sex with the two Sarah Palins had turned into a dream in which the two Sarahs were fighting over who got to have sex with me. I was at the point in my dream where I say to the girls, “You don’t need to fight over me girls, there’s plenty of Mooner to go around.”
I hear a voice that says, “What did you just say?” to which I repeated the part about not fighting over me.
That’s when everything unraveled on me. But I better stop right here before I offend the blog word count police again.
Let’s all have a cold Carta Blanca beer and a slab of homegrown tomato. More later.