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irrelevant photo of my nephewsWednesday, 1.4.06: Reindeer Games Begin

How can anyone be a "Law & Order" or "CSI" fan without being curious about the criminal justice system? Or without thinking about its importance?

And yet when the summons arrives for jury duty, everyone starts plotting their way out of it.

I got called for Grand Jury duty. Fifty to 60 people showed up at Courtroom 7 yesterday morning facing the prospect of 18 consecutive weekdays serving the justice system. After explaining exactly what the commitment involved, the clerk asked if anyone present had issues that needed to be resolved before they'd be able to serve.

Thirty hands shot up.

I'm Rudolph the Snot-Nosed Reindeer

As this group was escorted out for their "problem-solving" interviews, the 26 remaining draftees were told that 23 of us would be drawn at random for the January grand jury and 3 would be released.

There was a little ripple of bewilderment in our group. It felt like the whiners had gotten disappeared -- banished. Those remaining were referred to as "ready to serve."

I have a cold -- I'm Rudolph the Snot-Nosed Reindeer. As they started drawing the names, I started thinking how sweet it would be to get to go home and crawl back into bed.

Susan, with your nose so bright, won't you guide our sleigh tonight?

It sounds dopey but I began to think of people who've done military service -- those National Guard soldiers who have gotten ripped out of their lives to go to Iraq. A month of jury duty didn't seem so bad.

My name got called. Okay. Glad I brought a fat stack of tissues.

Later, in the jury room, we filled out another form. Yes, I had supervisory experience... yes, I had facilitated meetings... and -- before I knew it, yes, the supervising judge had appointed me foreman.

"Susan, with your nose so bright, won't you guide our sleigh tonight?"

Grand Jury, continued>>>

Photo: Irrelevant to the text -- just playing with photos taken over Christmas. These are my nephews Brendan and John

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