Monday, April 16, 2007


More tales of jury duty…

One of the major challenges of the trial is staying awake. It's not that the case isn't interesting--it is. But not every moment is scintillating. Some witnesses are dull. Some lines of questioning are tedious. The attorneys have the witnesses explain things we've heard explained several times before. And, today, we had to watch a video deposition. I remarked to one of my fellow jurors, "That's the most boring movie I've ever seen."

As you sit there, you droop. You feel the heaviness of the eyelids and the wave of tiredness hit. How to fight it? Well, I've taken Pele's suggestions to heart and I've started chewing things. At first, it was hard candies. The problem was that the noise annoyed those sitting near me. I can't really suck on hard candies for long--I'm a biter. However, I've come up with some alternate chewing options, which include:

Hot Tamales
Cinnamon Tic-Tacs
Altoids (especially the chocolate covered ones)
Sugar-free mints--but not too many
Hard candies, in moderation

When I learned that chewing and spicy, minty flavors help keep you alert, I passed on the tip to my fellow jurors (they were talking about how to stay awake on the second or third day of the trial). Now we're all engaged in a steady stream of unwrapping, chewing, unwrapping and chewing. The unwrapping is the noisiest part, though some of us are more subtle than others. Some also pass candy or nuts amongst themselves.

It's good that we all take this seriously enough to try and stay awake. It's a shame that the lawyers can't spice up things a bit!

PS I take notes almost constantly, which also helps. I've filled seven pads so far, about double that of anyone else.

Grateful for: wakefulness.

PPS I just heard about the VA Tech shooting when I got home--no internet during the work day means we're in a news-free bubble. What is wrong with people?

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