Well, I survived the Jury Summons. I can't go into many details about the case but let's just say that being the well rounded woman I am, it was evident from the very first question that I was going to be dismissed. Pray tell, what was this first question you ask. Simple, "How many of you ride a motorcycle and what kind?" I was panel member number five, so I was sitting on the first row.
My hand goes up as I was instructed and while holding my knitting I politely answer, "I ride a 2009 CVO Springer Softtail." "Is that a Harley?" "Yes." "Stock pipes?" "No sir, two into one pipes that have been tuned on the Dyna machine to boost performance." A voice in the back of the room, "Do you have the Screamin' Eagle package?" "Yes, with the 110 engine." A different voice from the back, "Do you have the black/green or the blue/gunmetal version?" "It is the Candy Cobalt Blue with the gunmetal and loaded with chrome." At which point the judge intervenes and we move on to the rest of the panel members for their respective answers.
Next question, "Have you every driven a vehicle and towed anything with it. If yes, what?" Again the hand goes up. I am the only person in the front row with my hand up so I go again. "A Ford Conversion Van towing a 17' Malibu Ski Boat." "Seriously, you drove a huge van towing a ski boat?" "Yes sir, we camped in it due to the fold down full size bed and went to Lake Somerville quite often." "Fine. At any point while driving and towing did you ever feel the need to come to a complete stop before you turned?" "Yes sir, there were many times that I felt it necessary to bring the can and the trailer to a complete stop before maneuvering a turn, especially to the left." Voice from the back, "It is illegal to come to a complete stop unless there is oncoming traffic." My retort, "I really don't give a flying flip what the law states. As a driver it is my responsibility to make certain that my actions do not cause any harmful consequences to myself, my passengers or to others. So, I'll stop when ever I feel it is necessary, let traffic go around and then make the turn when I'm good and ready." "Even if that means you could be issued a citation?" "Absolutely!" Everyone else answers with various trailers and boats.
We keep going and the final question is about sky diving. Once again the hand goes up. At which point both attorneys are dumb-founded. At which point I am asked, "Ms. Ping, looking at you sitting here knitting it is hard to believe that a woman of your age has done so many things in your life that contradict your outward appearance. Can you explain?"
My dander was up now...."If it pleases the court, may I remind you sir that as an attorney you of all people should know not to pull the gender card, the age card or personal appearance card. Yes, I knit. Big flippin' deal. I have been doing it for the better part of thirty years. It keeps me from wanting to smack insolent people. As for my age, other than the fact that you are privy to it due to the Summons Card, it is none of your business what I outwardly portray. As long as I am a law abiding citizen I can look however I so choose. I may have tattoos and piercings all over my body but you can't see them. Would that matter to the case? Not unless it is about piercing and tattoos. And as for what I chose to enjoy, that sir is certainly none of your business. If I want to bungee jump off the Fred Hartman Bridge and it is legal I just might. I might want to learn hot to drive a drag car. Point is, sir, you have no right to pass judgment on me or my appearance. The only facts that you can utilize are my answers that are pertinent to choosing a twelve-person panel for this civil case." Stopping to take a breath, "and I am sadden and dismayed that the judicial system would allow you to interrogate me this way."
The Judge intervenes again. He apologizes and reminds the counsel that they cannot question any one in this manner. A little too late. I am seething waiting for a break. Finally, we are given a twenty minute break. Most of the panel members steered clear of me to allow me to cool off. One did ask me if I needed any water or anything. I declined and just sat there doing my crossword puzzles in black ink. Which caused another panel member to remark that I was too smart for this case and should be disqualified. I asked why and he simply said that anyone who did crossword puzzles in ink was smarter than the average person and that was good for me but bad news for a jury.
That led me to think about that after we were finally dismissed, after the twelve special jurors had been chosen and sworn in. Am I really a challenge to court cases? Because I am so diversified in my likes and interests do I make it hard to be objective? I would hate to think that my county is so backwards that there will not be a panel that I could serve upon. I would like to think that these are the very qualities that make it able for me to be open-minded and objective. We shall see.
I will continue to do crossword puzzles in black ink. I will continue to read every book, magazine and manner of print that catches my eye. I will continue to search the Internet for information. I will continue to follow social media. In short I will continue to stretch my limits and grow for as long as I am physically able. Attorneys take heed....I am not a push over just because I knit....I can debate with the best of you...just sayin....
And, Congrats to the US Soccer team on their victory today!