Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Policeman is our Friend. . .Part Two

It takes a little over a year for someone who moves to a new state to be plotted back on the grid.  It comes in the form of jury duty and Moondoggy is definitely back on the radar.  Living where we do, with a high density of retirees, this area is ripe for the picking.

Jury duty here is a week long obligation. . .or one trial, whichever is more painful.   Moondoggy received his notice and was scheduled to call in on a Sunday evening to see if he needed to appear at the courthouse the next day or remain on call the whole week and stay within an hour of the courthouse. The first call was a reprieve and an admonishment to call again the next evening.  This continued all week until Thursday when the recording directed him to call in again Friday morning by 10:30.  Waiting around, he made the call at the appointed time and was then directed to appear immediately.  Begrudgingly, he showed up within the hour and was then directed to wait an hour and half until the lawyers and judge returned from lunch. Upon their return, the judge gave an overview of the trial, a DUI case and named the defendant as well as the arresting officers.  And that's when Moondoggy's ears perked.  The arresting officer's name rang a bell. . .and from what he could see, the guy looked vaguely familiar.  It was him, the motorcycle cop who had brazenly pulled Moondoggy over, on his bicycle several months ago and issued the $300 ticket.  The incident had been festering in Moondoggy's craw for months - the giver of the "chicken shit" ticket now a reviled legend. It was so bad that all I had to do was make a joke about stop signs and I could raise Moondoggy's hackles beginning a tirade that could last for hours. And there he was, in the same courtroom with the enemy. The enemy needed him.

By about 1:30, the beginning of jury selection began, seating all but 2 jurors by 3:00.  Moondoggy thought he was in the clear until they dismissed the rest of the group and decided to pick the last 2 jurors from the remaining group. . . of which Moondoggy was one.  Then, it was time for a small break.  By now, he is seething.

At 3:45,  they only need one more juror and they really want to get this jury empaneled and go home for the weekend. Moondoggy is called for questioning.  Normally, he is the first one to believe that someone who drives drunk should be prosecuted - a prosecuting attorney's dream. In most cases, that might be the reason he would have difficultly being impartial.  But when the judge asked him, "Is there any reason you might have difficulty being impartial," the weight of the stress of a week of being on jury call, the now four and half hours spent waiting for them to get this jury set on Friday afternoon (which meant that he would be obligated into the next week) and the trifecta of the resurging anger over the bike ticket inspired his response. "Yes, in fact, there is, your Honor.  I believe the arresting officer - Officer M- there, is the same officer who pulled me over and wrote me a ticket. . . while riding my bike."  The judge, who had been shuffling papers, looked up and suppressed a smile."Your bike?"

"Yes, my bike.  He said I blew a stop sign in a residential area." The titters and giggles started in earnest, first with the empaneled jury and then moved on to the attorneys and the judge.  "It wasn't a pleasant experience," Moondoggy continued, "$300 worth of unpleasant, actually."

The judge pulled it together and asked, "And you would have difficulty remaining impartial?"

"Yes, I believe I would."

It took about 3 seconds for the judge to dismiss him with the blessing of both attorneys who were still cracking up.  Moondoggy exited the courtroom but not without stopping for an extra long gaze at the cop who was now the butt of a courtroom joke.  Moondoggy just smiled. Karma comes full circle.  Now we just have to wait wait for karma to deal with the cyclists. 

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