Jury Duty in the West

by Steven Gowin

We watched the cheesy Jury Duty video again with its inspirational strings and trumpet music... gunfight music.

What good citizens. We're all good citizens. After all, we're here for our jury duty. Somebody reeks of alcohol... probably vodka.

My wife says you can tell the crooks from the cops from the cowboys at the taco truck across the street. How? You just can. You'll see.

At the fast food joint next door, a homeless guy sneaks in and out of the rain. In, he's partially dry. Out, for a blast of vodka, wet... Royal Gate.

Once through the metal detector and up the steps to the jury room, everyone settles in, laptops out, tapping on. At least there's wireless.

Another video. This one about the Grand Jury. Grand juries last a year. Torture we imagine... keeping out mouths shut. Big brother is near, here, right over a shoulder.

Is the wireless fast enough, I wonder, to watch Gunsmoke on my iPad? Where were the juries in Gunsmoke? Could a Longbranch jury get a shot of vodka?

But there it is. Bailiff calls my name; the numbing wheels of justice grind ahead. I am crippled; call me Chester, call me juror.