Sunday, December 29, 2002

JURY DUTY, 11/12/02
So, for those of you who don't live in DC, you get a summons for jury duty every 5-10 years. No big deal. In DC, you get summoned every two years because there are so many criminals and so few taxpayers. I think I just summarized many things about DC right there.

When I arrived at the courthouse, I was ushered into the Juror's Lounge, which has rows of seats and "art from local galleries," mostly consisting of castoffs from the Motel 6 Seashore Scene Gallery of Fine Art. I was surrounded by a cross-section of District residents, or rather, the sort of residents that actually show up for jury duty. I was the only one who actually watched the orientation video, "So You're a Juror", narrated by Renee Puissant, a poor man's Troy McClure and a local news anchor. It had all this weird porn-music, and I kept expecting Joe Juror to rip off his clothes and breathily say, "You're not the usual defense attorney!" I have a sick mind. There was also a section on, "It's Not Hard to Dress for Court," which stopped just short of saying, "Shoes go on your FEET, not your hands."

I then was put on a jury selection panel for a medical malpractice case. I think someone had talked to David E. Kelley, because it was a botched adult circumcision. Very girls club. I got out of that one because I pled financial hardship (two weeks of missed work), and because I hate doctors. I noticed not many of the men were being picked for that jury.

I then sat around for a few hours, worked, read the rest of The Last Hurrah, and ate lunch at Teaism. I also called my friend Nate (hi, Nate!) to tell him about the botched circumcision and gloat over its ickiness. Gabbing in a hallway about circumcision isn't a good way to make friends, by the way.
My next trial was a criminal case, involving a stabbing and the female version of circumcision. Now, is there something about me that made the courts say, "Genitalia!"? (For those of you who went to college with me, shut up.) I got out of that one too, by fainting every time they said "vagina." So as soon as I left, I called Nate to apologize about the circumcision thing. Mea culpa.

So, I learned a little about the courts, a lot about DC, and way more about Renee Puissant than I ever needed (her blouse in the video was a tad thin, and she was cold, and ugh! Trauma!). I suck at civil responsibility.


Hey kids,

As Mike and I are the only people in America who watch Girls Club (I really really can't do the lowercase), I thought I would be kind enough to recap it for you for the oh, five or six episodes that will see the light of day.

Girls Club is the story of three female lawyers (Tuesday from That 80's Show, Clare from 90210, and Gretchen Mol, who as far as I can tell has never acted in anything but is nonetheless famous) who repeatedly scratch their well-manicured hands at the glass ceiling at their firm. This show is so poorly edited that you really don't know what is happening, except for lots of contrived zaniness: Noel from Felicity dies from autoerotic asphyxiation, gynecologist faints and perfoms an accidental muff-dive during an exam, Clare crashes her Saab into her cheatin' boyfriend's car door. Somehow, the car-door scene is played as a big drama. I'm sorry, if I'd just crashed into my boyfriend's car, I'd at least SOMEWHAT see the humor in the situation. It's like all the leftover plots that sucked too much for Ally McBeal (a lousy show to begin with) were sent to the Girls Club Graveyard.

The "Club" in Girls Club refers to the weaponry used by David E. Kelley to hammer home the post-feminist themes of this show. Here are the Kelley-feminist "themes":
1. All men are evil, evil, EVIL. There's a smarmy boss, a cheating boyfriend, an ambiguously gay potentially cheating boyfriend, a rapist, a yelling boss, and so on and so forth. The first step to being a feminist is to hate men because they're all awful.
2. Casual sex makes you strong and empowered. In a totally gratuitous scene, Gretchen Mol can't sleep so she invites her ex over for some groinertainment. As far as I can tell, David E. Kelley wanted to see the sex-face of a blonde younger than Michelle Pfeiffer. Of course, all 6 of us in America who saw Celebrity have already seen Gretchen's sex-face. And the scene is laughably boring, as Gretchen is far too bland for anyone to care that she uses her boyfriend as Sominex. I use Gretchen as my personal Sominex.
3. It's OK to be a thoroughly incompetent lawyer, because incompetence makes you a feminist. Supposedly these chicks went to Stanford. I don't see it, unless they went to Stanford State in Sheboygan. They loudly use profane language in court, screw up depositions, insult their superiors, and are generally failures as lawyers. But their supposedly awful, tough bosses don't fire them. I don't think it's the glass ceiling keeping them down so much as the Peter Principle and almighty God's sense of justice.

So, I will be watching this show every Monday until Fox puts a stake in its heart. Loyal readers are welcome to join me in the Girls Club drinking game:
1. Drink every time they say "penis" or "dick" to prove their empowerment
2. Drink every time they drink
3. Drink twice every time they make a mistake at work they should have been fired for
4. Drink every time Gretchen Mol comes on the screen, Lord knows you can't watch her "acting" while sober.

PS - I hereby trademark the word "groinertainment"

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