I was standing at the window at the Boyd County Circuit Clerk’s office calmly filling out the form required from those of us summoned for jury duty. Most of the questions were easy.
Actually, all of the questions were easy. It is just that some of them were easier than others. For example, I had no problems with my name, age and address.
It also asked my wife’s name, which I quickly wrote down without even really thinking about it. Then I noticed the form wanted her last name first and her first name second, and I had already written it down wrong. In ink. Not wanting those in the clerk’s office to think I was married to Cannon Lynda, I scratched out what I had written and wrote down Cannon Lynda so they would know her name was Lynda Cannon.
When it asked how many people were living in my household, I wrote down “2” without even thinking. Then, I remembered that my daughter and two granddaughters were living with us so I scratched our “2” and wrote down “5.” When it asked for my granddaughters’ names, I got their middle names backwards. I started to scratch out what I had I written, but then I asked myself, “Do they really need to know that my youngest granddaughter is Brooklyn Grace instead of Brooklyn Faith?”
Of course not. So, not wanting to scratch out even more information, I left the names of my granddaughters as is, even though I knew their middle names were wrong. I sure hope I don’t get found in contempt of court for knowingly submitting false information on an official document.
As I turned in the form, I apologized for all the scratched out words.
“What can I say? I’m a man and I don’t follow directions well,” I told the deputy clerk
“Well, at least you are honest about it,” the deputy clerk replied
“Exactly,” I said. “Like a lot of men I know, I only look at the directions as a last resort after I have totally screwed up whatever I am doing.”
“You know you could have filled out this form at home,” she said.
“I know it and I did that, but I lost the form after filling it out.”
“But it was with the summons we sent you to report for jury duty,” she explained. “You didn’t lose the summons, did you?”
“Of course not!” I replied indignantly. “It’s just that I can’t find it.”
“Then it’s lost,” she said.
“Lost means that you have carelessly discarded whatever you are looking for,” I explained. “But I remember
putting the summons in a safe place where it could not get lost ... It’s just that I can’t remember where that place is.”
“Well, that certainly explains why you weren’t here Friday like you were supposed to be.”
“Do you mean I failed to show up for my first day of jury duty? What will they do to me?”
“Probably nothing.” she replied. “But you missed out on an easy $12.50 in pay.”
“Drat,” I cried. “I needed that $12.50 for my vacation.”
As I drove back to Ashland to report to work, I thought that while I do OK for a scatterbrain, my life would be a lot easier if only I were better organized and neater. I waste way too much time looking for things I have misplaced and forgetting important things, like picking up my granddaughter on time. But, alas, at 65, the chances of me getting organized and improving my memory are zilch.
JOHN CANNON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (606) 326-2649.