how was jury duty?" asks my boss.
sitting at the front desk with my first cup of Peet's Italian Roast,
sorting through the overflowing contents of my *In Box.* (Amazing. I
take one day off from work, and my *In Box* just sort of spontaneously
refills, all by itself. Too bad my checking account doesn't behave the same way.)
a moment I consider being evasive. Oh, you know how it is,
I could say to JoAnne. Just one of those pain-in-the-butt
things you've got to do as a good responsible citizen, blah blah blah.
But that would be misleading. That would make it sound like I actually WENT
to jury duty yesterday, instead of sitting around the apartment in
my Happy Pants all day, eating nachos and listening to old Klaatu
not sure I would be comfortable misleading her like that, frankly.
consider tiptoeing around the truth, ever-so-slightly. Mostly
I just sat around and read magazines all day ,
I could say. It sounds like it could be true, even if it isn't completely. (I only read magazines for part of the day
yesterday. Then I took a nap.) Plus it leaves me
wide open to further interrogation. If, for instance, she were to ask
me which courthouse I had to report to, I would draw a blank
... and the next thing I know, I would probably be
admitting that I spent the day organizing my underwear drawer,
downloading Bay City Rollers MP3 files off the Internet and cooking
Mexican Chicken Pizza for dinner.
not sure how that would go over, frankly.
even, in a moment of abject lunacy, consider telling her the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me god. I
would admit to her that my juror group number was never drawn -- that I
called the courthouse numerous times, beginning the night before I was
scheduled to serve, and that by midafternoon yesterday my group had
been dismissed altogether. I never even had to report to the
courthouse. But telling her all of this -- that I accidentally wound up
with one long, delicious, unexpected Alone Day, just when I needed one
most -- would be stoopid. Things are nuts around The Dirt Company this
week, in preparation for next week's thrilling three-day Mold Seminar.
Everybody is cranky and on edge, trying to get ready for
it. Does she really need to hear that I got to
sleep an extra couple of hours yesterday morning, and then enjoyed a
long, drooling afternoon nap, on top of that? ... or that the only phone
call I had to answer was David, calling at 5 p.m. to say he was running
late? ... or that I never even bothered with shoes, Maybelline, fax toner
cartridges OR uncomfortable undergarments, the
a sensitive and caring Administrative Ass, I want to spare her that
kind of pain.
instead I go for the technicality -- the teeny-tiny molecule of
relevant fact that lies somewhere between the varnished and the
"I was dismissed at 2 p.m.," I say, with a shrug.
I leave it at that.