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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: GIve me a "C"
By Kristen Hester


I don’t usually shy away from my civic responsibilities, but on this particular day I desperately wanted to avoid being selected for jury duty. Any other time I might enjoy dispensing a little justice in the world, but this was not the week. Today I was needed at the high school where I taught. Homecoming was only three days away and as the cheerleader coach, I did not want to miss any pep rally rehearsals. I am a former cheerleader myself and understand that not everyone fully appreciates my sport. I also realize that others may not see pep rally practice as a legitimate exemption, but I felt quite justified in my desire for a dismissal. It was homecoming after all.

As I sat on the hard pew, I tried to pay attention to the lawyers but my mind continually drifted to dance routines and pyramid formations. I tapped my feet quietly to the music in my head and worked out stunts with my fingers. The lawyers were asking questions, but my mind was else where. Two bits, four bits....

I glanced over at the couple who were suing their homebuilder for mental anguish. Puh-leeeze. I was in mental anguish having to listen to these lawyers go on and on when my cheerleaders needed me. Six bits, a dollar...

I’d heard you wouldn’t be selected for jury duty if you asked lots of questions and were opinionated. So far I had worked out a pyramid dismount in my head, but hadn’t asked a single question. I feared I might be stuck in the courtroom for days. All for the Bulldogs, stand up and holler.

“Does anyone else have a question?” a female lawyer in a boring navy suit asked.

For the sake of homecoming, I lifted my hand.

“Yes?” The lawyer turned her ice blue eyes to me.

I didn’t have a question, so I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “If I’m selected, do I have to pay attention during the trial?”

The lawyer’s eyes widened. “Why don’t we ask the judge,” she said through tight lips. She slowly turned her head first and then her body toward the robed man sitting at the front of the room. “Judge?”

The tall, white-haired judge peered over his spectacles down at me. He did not look pleased at my question. “Is there a problem, Miss?”

I swallowed. “I just have trouble sitting still for a long time.”

The lady behind me, who incidently looked like she’d been sucking a lemon, spoke up. “I can testify to that. She’s been very distracting.”

My face burned from embarrassment. The lawyers from each side approached the judge and whispered amongst themselves. Finally the one in the navy suit asked me to approach the bench.

I walked obediently to the judge. Is this the way my students feel when they get sent to the principal’s office? He removed his glasses and leaned forward in his chair. His big hands were clasped in front of him.

“Is there a reason why you can’t concentrate during the trial?”

“Well, nothing’s been diagnosed. I just can’t pay attention that long.”

The judge stared silently at me.

I’d already made a fool of myself, so I decided to go for it. “And another thing. I don’t think those people look like they have suffered mental anguish.” I nodded toward the plaintiffs. “I wouldn’t give them two bits...I mean a penny.”

The judge sighed heavily. I had a feeling he knew exactly what I was doing. “You may go home.”

It took all my self control not to do a celebration hurkey right there in the courtroom. I tried to look disappointed, but I’m a cheerleader, not an actress. I picked up my purse and walked briskly out of the courtroom before anyone could change their mind.

As I got in the elevator and headed towards the parking garage, I glanced at my watch. I should make it back to the school just in time for practice. Hip-Hip-Hooray!

When the elevator doors opened and I entered the parking garage, my heart sank. As I stared at the sea of automobiles in the massive structure I realized I had no idea where I had parked. My inability to concentrate may have gotten me out of jury duty, but it also caused me to miss cheerleading practice. It took me two hours to find my car that day.

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This article has been read 775 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 08/01/08
Hee, Hee... she sounds like a victim of self-diagnosed ADD. The last line seemed unnecessary. I liked the one before it better.
Thanks for the smiles!
Karen Wilber08/01/08
I like the bit of irony at the end. This was well done, engaging, and fun. Great one for this week's topic.
Marita Vandertogt08/02/08
Loved the humour in this piece... great read.
Chely Roach08/04/08
This was a hoot! I loved it when the lady "testified" against her, or I suppose on her behalf, lol. Loved it!
Carole Robishaw 08/04/08
This sounds like something I would do, and I can NEVER remember where I parked the car, I do good to remember which store at the mall I parked near.
Lynda Schultz 08/04/08
Too cute! Well done.
Betty Castleberry08/05/08
Kristen, this is CUTE! I giggled at the ending. Kudos.
Lyn Churchyard08/06/08
Great story Kristen, oh how I felt for her, the poor girl. I know exactly how she felt! I parked at the airport and when I returned 3 days later, I could not remember where I had parked the car. It took me two hours to find it too.

I had to giggle at this, it is so real. Well done!

Edmond Ng 08/06/08
A very well-written and interesting story. I can feel what is going on inside the MC, and I believe many of us must have felt this way at one time or other before, with our minds far away while in a meeting, in a church service, or some place else. I particularly like the way you ended the story with a sense of humor.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
Delightful mc here. I loved the question she asked the judge and her assessment of lack of suffering, then the irony of the results of her failure to concentrate.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/06/08
Oh, so funny! Wish I could say I don't relate, but unfortunately...
This is so natural and real. Very well done.
Helen Dowd08/18/08
Excellent, and right to the point. I was called to jury duty once. I rather enjoyed it, but then, I wasn't worried about some important other engagement...But I could certainly relate to the questioning you went through. For some strange reason I was picked. Guess I wasn't as smart as you...Great job on this challenge...Helen
Karlene Jacobsen08/18/08
This was great![lol] I can relate to the courtroom drama. When the MC says "Do I have to pay attention?" I loved it. I find my wandering so often thinking about the next article I will write, how I can improve or maybe which way my living room will look the largest...

Thank you for the day-brightener.