Uncle Sam Wants You!

I just got a summons for jury duty. "Uncle Sam Wants You!" is what they are saying. It makes me want to don a Rosie the Riveter kerchief on my head and do a salute. And listen to the Andrew Sisters Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. I love that song.

My mom always said that as a citizen it is not just a duty, but a privilege to serve on a jury. She is a naturalized citizen, and has an appreciation for these sorts of things. She said every citizen should serve at least once. And I agree.

However, I didn't always agree. I spent my 20's dodging jury duty in California. I say "dodging" because I am picturing the State of California throwing a red dodge ball at me. And of course when you are playing dodge ball the whole point of it is to not get hit. So being a rule follower, I played a spirited game of dodge ball with the State. Being a gracious winner, I am not rubbing it in their face that they lost.

I can't remember now what type of excuses they used to accept, but since I was a student that was probably what got me off the hook. All I really remember is that it was all done on the up and up. I wasn't about to start a life of crime by ignoring a paltry jury summons. No, if I was going to become a bad egg I would do it for something that is really worth it. Like holding up the M&M chocolate factory for millions of dollars worth of chocolate. That's how you do it, son!

Eventually, I skipped town (read: I moved to Las Vegas), and they lost track of me. When the guv'ment finally caught up with me again I was 18 months pregnant with Ivy. I'm like an elephant, my gestation times are longer than the average human.

Of course, that was my medical excuse, which was perfectly acceptable since I was due on the same day I was supposed to report.

And now, 6 years after the last call, I am being summoned again. Except now I have three children, one of whom is still nursing. I checked the website and the only acceptable excuses are still for medical reasons with doctor's note, or for being over the age of 70. Technically, I do not qualify for either excuse.

However, since I am the sole caregiver to the children that means I would have to show up with all three in tow. It would be in their own best interest to excuse me.

I can just imagine Ivy raising her hand, saying to the judge, "Um, excuse me? I can swim real good. I can even jump off the side of the pool with no help. My teacher does this game called Chop Chop Timber....", and on and on and ON and ON....

And then Violet would be yanking at me trying to squeeze her hand into my shirt to pinch me, while she pesters me for a snack. And Rose would be crying and squirming off my lap because she wants to walk around and refuses to be restrained now that she has found her freedom in walking. And there I am, starting to break into a sweat while I try to keep my cool and answer their questions over the din of three bored and hungry children.

If all that takes place, then I am sure they will be begging us to leave and never come back. Ever. So for their sake (and for the sake of my own sanity), I truly hope they will excuse me right away.


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