Jury Duty Woes

Today, I’m serving my second day of jury duty in Manhattan—a surprise, since I was sure I’d be blacklisted after my first.

While my bag was going through the X-ray machine, the guard looked at my bright pink pants and silver shoes and said, “You don’t look like someone who would bring knives to jury duty.” Before I left, I had thoroughly searched my bag for the knife I brought on Sunday’s hike through Central Park with Steve Brill. I never found it, so I assumed I’d taken it out the night before.

“Oh yeah, my Swiss Army knife. I thought it might be in there,” I replied casually.

“Not one knife, but two!” he said with a little more alarm.

I didn’t know what he was talking about. Had someone planted weapons on me? Was I unknowingly part of some violent plot to make a statement about the inhumane process of sitting crammed in a bleak room while hoping your name would never be called? Or was it a joke? Maybe someone thought it would be funny to get the girl with giant bows on her shoes in trouble.

He dumped my bag out on the table: A Food & Wine cookbook, a folder full of recipes to edit, New York magazine and (oops!) a box holding two E. Warther & Son knives. Right! I brought the handcrafted paring and butcher knives home to test but forgot to take them out of my bag. I could feel the blood turning my face as bright as my pants. I felt dizzy. I muttered something about being mortified. I looked up and he was laughing at me. “We've got a knife carrier here,” he yelled out to his buddy, another guard who winked at me. He escorted me to a third guard, who took my knives and wrote up a slip for them.

“I’m not even going to ask,” he said, smiling.

By then I had regained my composure. “No, you see, I work for a food magazine. They’re kitchen knives. I was going to test them. I swear. I’m not violent. Unless I’m cutting up a chicken.” He gave me the slip to reclaim my knives at the end of the day, which I did. He remembered me right away. “Knives. Food magazine. Here you go.” I thanked him and started walking away.

“Are you back tomorrow?” he yelled to me.

“Yes. I promise I won’t bring these back,” I responded, anticipating some sort of scolding remark.

“I was just going to tell you to bring me a magazine,” he said.

When you hear the guards on Centre Street talking about the best wines for summer and the merits of grilling over wood, now you’ll know why.

DownComment IconEmail IconFacebook IconGoogle Plus IconGrid IconInstagram IconLinkedin IconList IconMenu IconMinus IconPinterest IconPlus IconRss IconSave IconSearch IconShare IconShopping Cart IconSpeech BubbleSnapchat IconTumblr IconTwitter IconWhatsapp IconYoutube Icon