Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Law & Order (& Knitting)

Yesterday, I became a true citizen.  In the past I may have had a passport, may have voted, but today was the true test.  Today I went in for jury duty.

Ahh, jury duty.  Everyone gives knowing condolences when they learn that you've received a jury summons, and they wish you luck in not getting chosen to serve in an actual trial.  It's as tedious as getting anything done at the DPS, but at least you get to sit down rather than stand in line.  And while the defendants obviously have a lot at stake, most jurors are just mildly annoyed to have their daily routines disturbed, whereas everyone at the DPS is worn to their last thread of sanity in dealing with whatever official piece of paper they are there to submit or retrieve.

When I first learned that I would be making the trip to the courthouse, my first thought was, 'They'll at least let me knit...right?'  I had thought that it was obvious, as knitting is generally accepted on flights, and I wouldn't expect a building to need to be any more secure than a place.  But I did read rules for certain districts which expressly forbade the fiber arts.  For example, Oregon:
On your initial visit to the courthouse, our security staff will not allow you to bring anything into the building that could be used as a weapon. Generally speaking, that includes objects like knitting needles, embroidery scissors, crochet hooks, and other objects that you might consider part of your survival kit for a long day of sitting, waiting and listening.
Thankfully, that's just the first day, and a nice judge will let jurors craft while they consider.  But still, I was hoping to only make one visit to the courthouse, and I wanted to have some kind of productivity while I was there, seeing as I wouldn't be able to get any actual work done.

I called the clerk, and she said no.  But she didn't seem sure, so my mom also called the courthouse itself, and they were more ambivalent.  So I took my chances and packed a project bag, ready to return it to the car if security decided my garroting the district attorney was a credible threat.

Huzzah!  I made it through!  And so, when we were not being addressed by the judge or one of the lawyers, I split my time between knitting and reading.  I finished a few rows of a cowl I'm improvising out of the handpsun I made during the Tour de Fleece, and got about halfway through a book I bought for a dollar at Half Price Books over the weekend.  And I ended up getting released in time for a late lunch and an afternoon's work.

So all's well that ends well.  But it's probably not going to get ripped from the headlines for an episode of 'Law & Order' anytime soon.  I can just see the look Jerry Orbach's Detective Lennie Briscoe might have made testifying in front of a jury of knitters.
Sorry, Lennie.  Go on, tell me all about the perp.  I'll finish those purls up later.

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