I (Alison) was recently honored to be chosen for Columbus, Ohio Jury Duty. Say what? Honored? Yep. Believe it or not, it was probably the coolest 2 weeks of my life. So I either live a pretty boring life, or I’m crazy, or maybe a tad of both. At any rate, I kept referring to my 2 weeks as “Jury Duty Vacation.”
So why did jury duty rock? Well first, let me say that the common scenario for jury duty is to sit in a room all day watching movies or reading, and generally just waiting around all day to do something. And while that’s probably true for most courts, it was NOT my experience at the Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus, Ohio.
Overall, it was a great learning experience. We had the option to sit and watch movies all day for sure, but we could also speak with judges and magistrates and observe court rooms and cases. It was an eye-opening experience to see the courts in action (it was NOT like Law & Order) and get a re-education on the legal system.
We also got to take tours of the Ohio Supreme Court and Statehouse as well as our maximum security jail downtown (the latter was a slightly unnerving experience as we were walking around cell blocks filled with prisoners in their beds). The officer who took us on the jail tour said we could try on the police riot gear (huge padded vests, masks, and plexiglass shields). Did you hear that?!?!? He said we could PUT ON THEIR RIOT UNIFORMS!!! After all, he said when else would we get a chance to do that. How cool is that? I never thought jury duty would entail this experience.
When movies weren’t playing in the jury room, the jury commissioner played classic rock concert videos. I’m not sure how many times we were subjected to the RUSH concert, but it was perhaps the only downside to jury duty :D I’ve never been a fan of their music, but it’s not because I don’t think they’re super talented, because I totally get that they’re all incredible musicians. It’s because Geddy Lee’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard for me. But I can say that unlike other aging musicians, Geddy still “has it” and sounds pretty much the same as he’s always sounded. So I guess I have a newfound appreciation for RUSH.
I asked Jason if he would do a caricature of Geddy for this blog post, and he said sure. I said, “Great, that’s one less thing that I have to do. I have some internet pics for you to work from.” To which Jason cockily replied, “I know what Geddy looks like!” as he whipped out a super quick 1-minute caricature without photo reference. Show off.
Another cool thing about being downtown is that I got to walk around town after jury duty ended for the day, so I felt like a tourist in my own city. I’m quite fond of the Avocado, Bacon And Tomato Hash at First Watch Cafe, Pistachia Vera‘s Raspberry Passion Fruit Truffle Torte, and the mini cupcakes at Kitty’s Cakes. I ate like a tourist for 2 weeks, but I did so much walking that I didn’t gain any weight. Woot.
So did I actually get to serve on a jury case? Nope. I was really hoping I would get to, but I do wonder if my thoughts on jury duty would be the same had I actually been on a jury. I never even made it to the voir dire process (the process where they question the jurors). If I’d made it that far, would I have had the courage to pull a Liz Lemon pulling a Princess Leia? hmmmm…