Letterpress List No. 18: Duty Bound

Whew! Dodged a bullet.

Or considering that it was an attempted first-degree murder case, Shop Boy should simply say that he fulfilled his jury duty to the City of Baltimore yesterday without having to actually sit in judgment. By three numbers. This is no small thing.

See, Shop Boy dreads this stuff. Not the public service. He pays his taxes, obeys the law and, Lord knows, serves on juries. (Between you and me, would you pick me to decide your fate? These legal types can’t get enough of Shop Boy.) But the service always comes at the worst possible time, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I’m still a little sore over one particular case a few years back in which a judge whose name ended in a vowel chose Shop Boy out of the crowd to be his jury foreman because of our shared cultural heritage. (They all have the names that match the juror numbers.) Yes, “Shop Boy” actually comes from the Italian phrase for “Pick Me.” It’s an Ellis Island translation. (Oh, wait a minute. My peoples didn’t exactly come through Ellis Island. Never mind.)

There I stood yesterday, Juror No. 672, as we were called one by one to stand before the court and be, uh, judged worthy or not of serving on this attempted murder case. There were about 60 of us in the mix, once all the folks who couldn’t possibly in any way, nope, no how serve today. People will say anything — public humiliation be darned — to squirrel out of their duty. Shop Boy won’t. So, as Juror No. 669 waited to learn her fate, il signore — Pick Me — was sweating. OK, bullets.

Well, standing and cheering is really bad form in such instances, so as she was chosen and we the unneeded and unworthy were led out while the jury was sworn in — and with the clock moving toward 4 p.m. — Shop Boy stayed with an internal end zone dance.

Case closed.

Until the next jury summons arrives, of course, at the worst possible time.

***

Letterpress List No. 18

This might have been called Music to Serve By, but you can’t listen to music in the jury waiting area of the courthouse. No cell phones either. It’s positively Neanderthal. (Or kinda like letterpress printing, I suppose.) So save these songs for those times when we are thankful not to be in the defendant’s chair staring at a bunch of folks who’d rather be anywhere else.

Like right now.

Most of these songs, about an hour’s worth, should be available in the usual places. Great or goofy video links are from YouTube.

Smooth CriminalMichael Jackson (Shop Boy prefers Alien Ant Farm’s cover — it’s faster and rougher — but Jackson was pretty amazing, lest we forget.)
Give the Kid a BreakAlice Cooper (Satan as judge, jury and executioner. Alice as ham.)
Take the Money and Runthe Eagles (And keep running.)
Chain GangSam Cooke (Hard time.)
I Fought the Law the Clash (Ditto.)
Tough LoveHamell on Trial (Somebody call the cops.)
Went Down SwingingTom Petty (Like Benny Goodman … or something.)
Murder Was the CaseSnoop Dogg (Going out like a thug. Sigh.)
Renegade Styx (The news is out.)
Missed Me
Dresden Dolls (“Serves you right for kissing little girls.”)
JailbaitTed Nugent (Ditto.)
My Wife Thinks You’re Dead Junior Brown (Um, great to see you, honey. Been too long. Now beat it.)
Another Body DropsCypress Hill (Killing to a heart-stopping beat.)
Bohemian RhapsodyQueen (Threw it all away.)
18 and LifeSkid Row (Ditto.)
Prison SongSystem of a Down (Grim statistics. Mary wishes Shop Boy had never heard this one, by one of her least favorite bands. I was smitten.)
Captive HonourMegadeth (“Where evil lives and evil rules.” Again, let’s be grateful for a moment.)
Folsom Prison BluesJohnny Cash (Justice served.)

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