"A roller coaster ride of boredom, horror, hilarity, and sociopathic behavior!"
--pullquote from the imaginary review for my upcoming movie, "Grand Jury: No, It's Not Like Regular Jury, There's Not a Trial, It's…Forget It, Just Forget It."
Well, that happened. For two weeks I was trapped in a windowless room, either falling asleep waiting for a case or listening to an an exhausted ADA listing 48 separate charges that sounded suspiciously alike; trying not to sympathetically break down along with any number of traumatized witnesses; or silently pleading with my associates to stop engaging in asinine fights with each other during deliberations. One of my fellow jurors on the last day observed, "This was like the worst summer camp ever." Worst summer camp ever, or BEST? I would rather do just about anything than go back to summer camp, but then I was never much for "team sports" or "deer ticks."
Actually it wasn't that bad. (I went to drama camp! Can you tell?) Sure, it was occasionally harrowing and often dull, and sure, far too many restroom-users seemed to be incapable of flushing (or was this some form of civil disobedience?) but I got to meet a fascinating array of people, the vast majority of whom were committed to sussing out the facts in each case and doing the right thing. Plus, we had laughs. Oh, but there were laughs!
I was determined in the beginning not to a) talk to anyone or b) like anyone but their charms were too much and by the end we were having lunch together and chatting during coffee breaks. Then the talk began of maintaining friendships beyond our duties, and I pretended to take an emergency phone call. Because either a) I have enough friends for whom I don't have enough time, or b) I am a terrible person. Take your pick!
I mean, they were great and all, but I wanted to get back to my regular life. On the last day one of the assistant district attorneys informed us that the grand jurors always went out on the last night, and invited their favorite ADAs. (You meet a ton of them.) (Yes, you have favorites.) I suspect this was a ploy designed to get them free drinks, and anyway the last thing I wanted to do was go out. The first thing I wanted to get the hell out of there. When we were all officially released I could not tear ass from the building fast enough. I literally backed out of the room and if anyone had caught me I would have pretended I was going to the bathroom. Where I would have flushed, because maybe I'm not nice but I am also not an animal.