“My name is Marissa Brady and my hobbies primarily center around buying and selling marijuana. I have strong distrust of the police and the judicial system as a whole.” That should surely win me a ticket out of jury duty I thought to myself as juror after juror introduced himself and listed his hobbies to the court. It was my first time with jury duty and earlier in the day after the Pledge of Allegiance the Court Personnel had instilled within me a strong sense of pride and excitement to be on jury duty. I was contributing to the unique judicial system that makes us American! It was mere moments into the day before I was swinging the flag, singing Yankee Doodle, while simultaneously reciting the Gettysburg Address. But by 3 pm when I was seated in front of Mr. Dewey, on trial for possession of marijuana, I realized that the judicial system is not so much wonderful as it is boring. I had enjoyed my moments in the lunchroom eating my Lean Cuisine watching the Anna Nicole trial with my co-jurors, where we shared some petty conversation and commiseration. But at a certain point I realized I would much rather be outside enjoying the sunshine than locked up inside the Broward County Courthouse with the dredges of society. Unfortunately, it was as I was contemplating this that it was my turn to introduce myself and the following pitiful sentence projected from my lips, “ My name is Marissa Brady and I enjoy reading, writing, beach activities, and cycling”. As soon as my turn had passed I had turned from cool and confident to scarlet with shame. “Could I have come across as a little bit MORE law abiding??” I do not think so. I am sure everyone in the Court Room nicknamed me Suzy Suck Up within an instant. I am fairly certain I even saw a raised eyebrow from the Honorable Judge. After my turn to speak I was sick with worry that I would have to endure another day of order and procedure. Why couldn’t I have just mentioned the fact that I hate cops and think marijuana should flow through the streets like beads at Mardi Gras??? It would have been a small task that could have easily ousted me from my juror seat. Perhaps I could have simulated a Turret’s attack or perhaps initiated a drug deal from within the walls of the courtroom. But instead I had to practically come skipping out in my habit and rosary with a picnic basket housing a puppy in arms. Perhaps it was this behavior that encouraged GOD to look out for me because as it turned out I was not selected. I have never felt a joy as pure as the moment the last juror was selected and I was not selected to serve on the case. I was free and am now untouchable for at least 12 more months. As promised by the Court Personnel I did drive away from the experience with a good feeling, but it was not so much warm and fuzzy as enormously relieved to not have to return the following day. I may not have truly contributed to the outcome of the trial, but at least I got home before sunset and in time to watch the first of many episodes of Law and Order.
Late yesterday evening I found myself hungry and on the run. A typical meeting that, under normal circumstances, should end after an hour and a half came to a creeping, sputtering halt after about 4. This was mostly attributable to the fact that the client with whom we met harbors an obsessive dependency on crack cocaine, which caused him to speak at the speed of light for about 95% of our demonstration turned one-man circus. As we left the meeting in a hurry, to get my boss to the airport for his flight and my co-worker and me back to a civilization based on less speaking and more boozing, we realized we were all extraordinarily hungry.
On any typical day my diet consists mostly of vegetables, lean meats, legumes, and whole grains in a strong and purposeful effort to avoid a literal meld into the couch. This becomes increasingly more difficult when you are in Key Largo and apparently the only dining option for those quick to escape is a McDonald’s “Express”. I use quotes here to signify the humorous use of the word express, as I am fairly certain the employees of this establishment drove to Miami and back in rush hour in order to provide us our meal. However, it was after this feat was accomplished on this fine day I found myself enjoying the American treat known as the Big Mac. Initially I was only going to eat half, but with every Lucifer inspired bite I became more infatuated with this succulent chaotic assemblage and huffed it down in its entirety faster than you can say Kokomo.
It is not that I truly believe this sandwich to be a good one. Clearly the bread is soggy, the lettuce wilted, the meat most likely not meat at all. However, I have to admit, it was the most delicious thing to grace my tongue in a long while. I don’t know if it is due to the recent caloric restrictions, the four hours spent in Satan’s sand box, or that I was contributing to the ultimate symbol of a questionably moral American Capitalist society, but it just felt so good to be so bad. It was like sneaking out past curfew and getting caught. I knew it was wrong and I would have to pay for it later, but even as I spent 2 hours on the elliptical to repent for the detour off my path of nutrition nirvana I could still taste that special sauce on my lips and it tasted just as sweet.
As I was recently reprimanded for a lack of present blogging I have been thinking about on which subject I can blog. What infinite possibilities. The new and enthralling changes in my life are too plentiful to count. The new people I’ve been meeting, the swank parties I’ve been attending, the revelations I’ve been making…. while meditating on these gems of progress, it hit me like a bad dream that in fact nothing is new in my life at all. Not only are none of the aforementioned examples of good fortune my own, but I am also scraping closer to the bottom than ever before.
In my previous life, when I actually had one, whenever I was sad or lonely all it took was a little baby or a puppy to walk by and all of my previous embittered emotions would dissolve instantly. These tiny, illiterate creatures were somewhat of a prescription painkiller for me, with fewer side-effects (other than temporary memory loss they were minimal). Anyway back to the point. As of late, the sight of these little cherubs doesn’t even fight to improve my contentment. For a few days I even considered not having children! It is as if nothing can lift my mood, not even the innocence of the ignorant and infantile. That’s when the real revelation occurred (actually right this instant).
The reason babies haven’t been making me happy lately is because… THERE ARE NO BABIES! I used to love walking around downtown Ithaca and watching all the hippie families with their patchwork pants and pom-pom hats, with tiny clones in toe. Laughing babies on shoulders, in strollers, swinging from swings. Some families doubled my pleasure by hanging tight to a Grateful dead leash which happened to be keeping a scruffy little mutt at bay. I love watching families at the beach playing Frisbee, twirling on tire swings, or engaged a round of Marco Polo. How uncomplicated and beautiful life is. No thought of tomorrow or the future unless an impending trip to Disney is in the works.
In truth, the average age of Broward County is 71 (yes this is the same age as the only man to approach me in a bar in a flirtatious manner. I know he was 71 because he told me). I am not embellishing this fact, this is no fillip, but a solid statistic provided to me by the car insurance company in explanation of the fact that my car insurance is astronomically high. Due to the elderly population there are no babies for me to ogle over. Therefore, I am pretty bummed on a consistent basis. This morning I woke up singing my special Birthday song thinking it was late June. Upon the realization that it is in fact still February and that I have somehow entered some sort of time vacuum from which there is no escape I began to silently weep.**
**Now that WAS overstatement, and there is no cause for concern, just bring me a baby or toddler and I will be as good as new. If you bring me that freak of nature from the Volvo commercial however, run for your life. If you still have yet to view this haunting advertisement consider yourself lucky and avoid TV at all costs in case of its appearance.