Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Your Guilty Now I'm Off to Hollywood

Your Guilty Now I'm Off to Hollywood

In the "your guilty now out of my way, I've got a screenplay to shop!" department, my friend, Steve, got called for jury duty. He didn't just get called, he was asked, as part of the summons, to complete a DETAILED QUESTIONNAIRE including (but not limited to!) specifying his hobbies, interests, and his views on the death penalty. This is all before he even has to show up in court, presumably to answer some even more detailed questions.

He's going down. He's going down hard. He's in for murder. It's got to be murder, rape, or some serious bad ass mojo mayhem. If it were traffic court, they wouldn't give a damn about your hobbies, interests, or viewpoint on the death penalty. They wouldn't stop to ask you the time of day. They'd just plunk your sorry butt down and force you to listen to five hours of some schmuck babbling on about how his tire pressure was low, his wife was pregnant (about to have the baby in the back of the car any second!) and the cops all have it in for him, after which point they'd give you your $12, thank you for serving, and send you on your merry way (and, the poor helpless speeding sap will pay a fine and be done with it.)

Picture poor Steve, sequestered in a cheap flea-bag Motel 6 surrounded by horrible pimento cheese sandwiches (they can't afford meat, what with the State's budget and all) for like 6 months, while jurors argue over State's evidence and take small straw ballots again and again ad infinitum, only to remain helpless deadlocked and sans internet connections of any kind. (Could Steve even LIVE without, like, access to the net and email for that long?)

I told him, "If you see a guy named Michael wearing one glove, hold out for more $$$$ otherwise, tell them your hobbies are skeet shooting with large caliber bullets and strangling cats in the park. Oh, and, this would be a very good time to take out that old T-shirt that reads, 'We Hang 'Em High in Texas,' you know, the one featuring a pretty picture of a noose on the front..."

Steve's friend Matthew who, as it turns out, is a co-worker of mine, tells me I should look at this as a big opportunity and write a screenplay about it. I guess he's right, I mean, it could be a big opportunity. And, I suppose, I *could* write a screenplay about it all, provided Steve can survive the allotted six months without any internet connection or email to speak of, while eating only pimento cheese sandwiches and the remainder of straw poles long since cast aside, and remember enough of it to feed me some "gory" details.

It could be like some kind of twisted, demented Survivor where the castaways enjoy life but team up to take it all out on poor hapless unsuspecting Jeff Probst (because, it goes without saying, the jury will, no doubt, find the wandering drifter guilty of all counts and the child-beating, wife stabbing, gunman will, no doubt, either cop some kind of a lame ass plea or win freedom on appeal thanks to some slick slime bag of a defense attorney who will, in turn, become the real "winner" in the case, by walking away with the most money. Isn't justice grand?)

I guess it would be a big opportunity. Unless, of course, you're the guy sitting at the defense table.

Until next time...

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