4 reasons why I would be a great juror

My life in a nutshell.

Story of my life.

 

The jury duty system in this country is messed up. Why? Because I have never been called for, let alone served on, a jury. And I am part of .05 percent of the population who actually wants to perform this civic duty.

Yes, you read that right. I want to do jury duty.

Why? I dunno, it just seems like it would be interesting. I am probably romanticizing it in my mind, thinking whatever trial I would be on would be some high-profile case with lots of twists and turns and gotcha! moments.

And now, my dear husband got to serve on a jury, and it is Just. Not. Fair.

Here’s what would be fair: Let me be on the jury. I have four great reasons why:

1) I have a pretty good understanding of the legal system. I edit and discuss cases in the news, and my husband is a lawyer, so I automatically understand How These Things Work better than 97 percent of the general population. Do you know what a motion in limine or voir dire are? Well, I don’t really, either. But I do know they are things that go on in court, so I’m one step ahead of you there.

2) I have extensive experience pretending to be a witness at mock trials. Zach was on trial team in law school, and they had to practice a lot before competition. They needed people to serve as witnesses in the case, and I was basically the big gun they called in when no one else would do. I even schooled a real, live lawyer once when she was questioning me and she got her facts mixed up. Then, drunk on the power of justice, I was all “The truth? You can’t handle the truth! I’m putting the system on trial! No, you’re out of order!” It was my finest moment yet.

3) I’ve watched some shows and movies involving juries, so I pretty much got this thing. My favorite? Definitely William Hung and his Hung Jury.

4) Because I actually want to be on one, for crying out loud! How often do you come across that sort of enthusiasm during selection? Isn’t it mostly just people hemming and hawing, doing whatever they can to get out of it? Telling you they can’t do it because their great aunt’s cousin’s chicken just died and they absolutely cannot miss the funeral? Wouldn’t it be refreshing for a change to have someone eager and willing to fulfill her civic duty? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

 

Put me in, Judge! I'm ready!

Put me in, Judge! I’m ready!

 

I have never seen ‘E.T.’

OK, the headline isn’t exactly accurate. I have seen approximately four seconds of “E.T.,” or however long it takes in the movie for E.T. to make his first appearance and scare the complete shit out of me.

That was when I was, oh, 4 or 5 years old, probably, and I plan to die without ever going through that horror again. I know he’s America’s Most Beloved Alien, but his creepy neck and freaky fingers are just too much for my psyche.

On the last day of sixth grade, my teacher announced that we would be watching “E.T.,” and everyone cheered in excitement, while I started to have what I now recognize as a panic attack. Rather than suck it up and face my fear, I offered to help the teacher with packing up books and other end-of-the-school-year chores. I regret nothing.

So, when people make reference to E.T. phoning home, etc., I really have no context as to what it means, just that it’s pretty much the worst thing that’s ever happened. If he ever shows up at my house, I will probably kick the crap out of him and run away, screaming in fear. Sorry, little buddy.

OH, THE HUMANITY!
(Image source)

 

I want to get into the World Cup so I can feel worldly and sophisticated, but it’s hard because I kind of hate soccer

I want to like soccer, I really do. It’s the most popular sport in the rest of the world (where it’s also called football, appropriately), so there must be something to it. And with the World Cup underway, it’s the perfect opportunity to try to figure out what that “something” is.

 

b

But man, I just really have a hard time getting into it. So I joined a “World Cup Fantasy League” at work, in which I drafted four teams in hopes of piquing my interest in the game in general. (Go France, Chile, Mexico and Nigeria!)

But there are still several factors standing in the way of that happening:

The lack of timeouts/commercials. I am pretty sure someone once told me this is because soccer teams basically have corporate sponsors, so they don’t need commercials to fund televising games. Or something. But as someone who likes to stay well-hydrated and non-hungry, there’s a good chance I will need to use the bathroom and/or grab a scrumptious plate of cheese fries during any 90-minute duration. But when are you supposed to take a break when there are no commercials?!? WHEN?

The minimal scoring. It’s not the low numbers at the end per say; it’s more the frustration of having the excitement build up whenever a team has a shot at the goal, only to have the opportunity thwarted 99 percent of the time. Then, when they do manage to score, it’s usually when you’re in the bathroom.

The ties. Seriously, why does it seem that 95 percent of soccer games end in a tie? What, pray tell, is the point of playing a game if a likely outcome is the same as if the it had never been played at all? This is America, damn it. We play sports to see which team’s display of skill and brute force can rake in the most money.  Obviously, this can only be done by declaring a clear winner and loser of each game.

The “injuries.” Are professional soccer players also required to attend the Royal Tampa Academy of Dramatic Tricks? Because I have never seen grown men overreact the way soccer players do when they get “injured.” Seems like whenever a player gets tapped on the shin the wrong way, he falls over, grimacing in pain, convincing me that his entire leg has fallen off. Then the training crew comes over with the “magic spray,” and, with just a quick misting of that, ta da! Leg is magically reattached and good as new! It’s maaaaaaaagic. 

I would just like to say that if soccer teams do indeed have a “magic spray” that cures even the worst of ills, it’s kind of a dick move for them to not share it with the rest of the injured world.

Stoppage time. The clock is only a few seconds away from hitting 90 minutes, and, after what’s seemed like a g.d. eternity, you’re finally going to get to use the restroom and/or put delicious food in your tummy.

But wait.

It’s. Not. Over.

Why? Stoppage time.

Why, whyyyyyy can’t soccer just be like other sports and stop the damn clock when there’s a timeout/”injury”/other nonsense on the field? Isn’t it harder to have to keep track of all the time that ticks of the clock than to just stop it? Seriously, can someone explain it to me? I really just don’t get it, and I’m feeling kind of lazy right now and don’t want to Google it.

The time I had to play it at recess in elementary school (aka, “probably the real reason”). One time, in fifth grade, I got talked into playing soccer at recess instead of enjoying my usual entertainment of the tire swing. They made me be the goalie, probably because I was short and scrawny and they figured they could get anything past me.

And … they were right. Oh, I tried. I jumped and I dived and I slid to try to stop the ball, but they all just flew right past me. I’m pretty sure I still have scars on my knees from the grass burns. I don’t remember the exact score at the end, but it was something like 400 to zero. From that day forward, I vowed I would never play soccer again.

***

As you can probably tell, I’m actually quite clueless about soccer. The last time I watched it was the 2010 World Cup, upon which most of my “knowledge” is based. And, it’s entirely possible most of the games featured Team USA, which, let’s face it, doesn’t represent the pinnacle of the game.

(Also, I have a small bladder and, possibly, uromysitisis.)

But, I’m going into this World Cup with an open mind. I just hope my bladder and tummy can hang on for the ride.

The stigma of buying toilet paper

Why is it that when you run into someone you know at a store, and they happen to be lugging around a big package of toilet paper, they get all embarrassed about it?

Isn’t it a good thing for people to know that you do, in fact, use toilet paper? Shouldn’t we be suspicious of people we never see buying toilet paper?

I’ve put a medium amount of thought into this, and, yes. We should definitely be suspicious of people we never see buying toilet paper.

Toilet paper

I must leave this place immediately

Someone posted this photo to the Facebook page of a local TV station recently:

Snake

That is a snake. What kind of snake? A huge-ass one. Just chillin’ out on a sidewalk, right in the middle of the town in which I live.

This is the worst thing that’s ever happened.

The worst part about the worst thing that’s ever happened? The corner listed with the photo is wrong, because it does not exist. (Avenues intersect with streets, not other avenues.) So I don’t even know where it actually was.

IT COULD BE ANYWHERE.

It could be somewhere I run a lot.

It could be right outside our apartment building.

It could be under our bed, waiting for me to go to sleep so it can slither around my arm and hiss in my face, causing me to scream myself to death.

THIS PLACE IS NO LONGER SAFE. I MUST LEAVE IT IMMEDIATELY.

George Michael has really been invading my personal space lately

I’ve had this song stuck in my head ever since that one baseball player on some team made it his “walk-up song,” so now it can be stuck in your heads, too. Consider it an opportunity to practice your air sax skills.

 

Squirrel Tips 4 Life: The only cure for hiccups you’ll ever need

I have decided to embark on a new series here on Squirrel Thoughts in which I share some quirky tips that will undoubtedly improve all your lives by at least three-fold.

(I’m going with that measurement because I’m not entirely sure what “three-fold” means, and I figure it’s probably pretty hard to measure life improvement by it, so no one can blame me later if my tips don’t work for them. This should head off any angry commenters saying their lives only improved by one- or two-fold, at most.)

(Also, I’ve only come up with two tips so far, so this series might only run once a decade.)

So here it is, my first Squirrel Tip 4 Life … The Cure for Hiccups that Never Fails: peanut butter.

Peanut butter

Yep. Next time you have the hiccups and are within arm’s reach of a jar of peanut butter, just scoop out a big ol’ spoonful and eat it. Simple as that. Your hiccups will be gone momentarily.

Crazy, right? All this time, you’ve been holding your breath until you passed out or balancing upside-down on a chair while sipping water through a corrugated straw to try to rid yourself of those pesky hiccups. Well, your days of looking absolutely ridiculous are over!*

*In this scenario. I can’t help you with the rest of your life. I’m not a miracle-worker, folks.

 

My mom used this remedy on my brother and me when we were kids. Lucky us, huh? Can you think of a more delicious medicine than peanut butter? Sure beats Children’s Tylenol, aka that Nasty Grape-Flavored Chalk Crap. Anytime I got the hiccups, I’d get all giddy and run toward the kitchen, grab a spoon and a chair because I am was still too short to reach anything in the cupboard otherwise, and get me a big ol’ spoonful of the good stuff. I fantasized about discovering a way to purposely cause the hiccups, because being a grubby little ragamuffin eating spoonfuls of peanut butter is pretty much as good as it gets. That’s living the dream right there, kids.

Anyway, because of this, I grew up assuming this cure was common knowledge. But whenever I mention it to someone currently afflicted by the little annoyance, they look at me like I’ve grown a second nose. And if you Google “cure for hiccups,” you’ll get all sorts of nonsensical remedies in the results, but peanut butter rarely pops up.

Well, search no more, loyal Squirrel Thoughts readers! Now all you have to do is keep a jar of peanut butter in your purse or wallet at all times, and the The Cure for Hiccups that Never Fails will always be within reach. Hic-hic-hooray!

This badger clearly has the hiccups. Why else would he be eating peanut butter?

This badger clearly has the hiccups. Why else would he be eating peanut butter?

Images: Wikimedia Commons

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