Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Verdict is In....

There is nary a phrase in the English lexicon more terrifying than "jury duty". Today I spent the day in LA's downtown courthouse. I wasn't sure what to expect. I left the house before sunup, drove 17 miles to reach the juror's parking garage. It was so early in the morning I didn't eat before I left the house. Once I was standing in line outside the courthouse I was wishing I had snatched a bite before sliding into the dark and early Monday morning.

Jury duty is one of those things that everyone dreads. I know I did. I hated getting up in the morning. But-the thing that really gets me, is how out of control you are. You are at the mercy of the court. There is no getting out of it. You must serve and you must starve while you do it.

Once I was inside the courthouse, I noticed a "snack shack" outside the juror's room. The coffee was nothing more than brown water. All of the buns or muffins looked like they had been popped out of a comic book. They were cartoons on a rack, in colors brighter than day and in forms that can never be equated to food unless Fred Flintstone is serving or maybe Scooby has offered you a snack. I knew then I was in trouble and dreaded the next course.... lunch.

I waited in the juror's room until I was called to be on a panel. The next two weeks of my life hung in the balance. I was stressed. I still had a glimmer of hope that lunch may be my golden ticket. A place to disappear for an hour, in hope of finding a new adventure... the 9th floor cafeteria.

Can you say prison food? I am one of those people that love "mom and pop" places. I love relaxed, home away from home atmospheres. Eating establishments don't need to be perfect. I have never minded a little rough around the edges. This place made me feel like I had just walked into the cafeteria on D-Block. It was that blue color that all governmental buildings have somewhere, painted down their long corridors or in this case, their cafeteria. I was surprised to see the long, galley style lines, full of yellow food. People lined up on two sides waiting their turn for the long stainless steel spoon to plop their yellow of choice down on their plate. As I was desiring something other than yellow today, I sought out a small romaine leaf salad in a Styrofoam bowl with slices of cucumber and a radish on top. There weren't many appetizing romaine leaves left so I picked out what looked best (see picture above).

What a day. I was starving once I arrived back home. I plan to make myself a delicious meal tonight and somehow recover from my day in court. If I had been chosen for the jury and had to give the food my verdict, the verdict would be death by firing squad.


p.s. Forgive the horrible photography....I didn't have my camera with me as I didn't think I could take it into the courthouse! Photo via cell phone.


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