Eight Of The Most Vanilla Minds

In spite of the sun shining nearly our entire day, that wind was still more than intolerable, but at least it’s one more day off the calendar of this unpredictable month of March.

Most of my morning was getting a file readied for a closing next week, and thank goodness I looked the docs over carefully, because I happened to notice an error that was made, so I sent an email back to the closing company to alert them, and not a half hour later, a corrected one arrived in my email.

A seller of mine who’s making the last improvements on a home I recently sold, called and asked if I would stop over and look at the color choice he’d made on the back splash of the new kitchen counter they’d installed. As far as I was concerned, their choice of color was more than acceptable. Without a doubt, that family has done the most fantastic work with the homes they’ve purchased and re-sold over the years. In spite of my being just a bit too particular at times, I continue to bow to their abilities. Yes, the new owner of that home is going to be enjoying it for many years to come.

While driving away from that beauty, I received a call from the contractor who was asking if I had time to take a peek at another home that’s on its final lap of being resurrected from years of neglect and abuse. Since I’d not been there in weeks, I was delighted to see all the big jobs done, and now the focus in on those many little things which seem insignificant, but still time consuming. After I got a good look at everything, I could personally see myself living there, and mostly due to it’s over-sized kitchen and open floor plan. Of course I’m always a sucker for fully re-finished distressed hardwood flooring which always warms a room up. I gave the contractor a good boost by saying, “When knowing what this home looked like before you started, I never would’ve imagined it looking this good.” If only more of our first-time buyers would purchase cheaper homes which are in the rough, instead of buying those many lipsticked pigs which have been the craze since the pandemic arrived. Oh well, they’ll learn the hard way.

When I got back to office, I received a phone call from one of my relatives who for some reason, started asking me questions about several rings that belonged to my grandmother. I had to keep myself from being overly agitated, and only because I was certain the story of what happened to them was disclosed many years ago, so I had to take another trip down memory lane, and explain the circumstances of those so-called “missing” rings. First of all, the ring that was supposed to have been passed down to my mother after my grandmother’s death, didn’t end up that way, because back when my aunt from out of State was visiting my grandmother, she ended up talking my grandmother into giving it to her. Since my aunt’s now taking her dirt nap, likely one of her daughters has it. The other ring she spoke of, was gifted by my grandmother while she was still alive, to another daughter who took a shining to it. After giving today’s caller the full scoop on the status of those “missing” rings, I could sense there was a bit more than a little embarrassment being shown. It never ceases to amaze me in how family members can forget about things they’d been familiarized with way back then. My gosh! Today’s questions weren’t at all what I was expecting.

Once that phone call was over, it was nearing the hour I had to be over at the courthouse and get signed in for jury duty, and by the time it was all over, I’d spent over three and a half hours there.

We started out with thirty-eight people, but two of them were privately excused by the judge due to one issue or another, so then there were thirty-six of us, and after listening to some additional instructions from the judge, we had to wait for their lottery to pick the sixteen who’d be fully grilled by the opposing attorneys in that case. Guess what? I didn’t get picked as part of those sixteen, but for some reason, a woman who was picked, managed to speak to the attorneys and judge about an important gathering she had to be at Friday afternoon, so in the end, they let her off. Well, unlucky me, was called as the next lottery choice, so up to the jury box I headed to replace that empty seat.

The plaintiff’s attorney was the first up with his many questions, and for whatever reason he asked me a question I couldn’t help answering truthfully, which was all about how I view the way in which the attorneys do everything they can to massage those final eight jurors into swinging more to their side versus the opposing attorneys’ statements. Well, what I said, caused him to ask that I be removed, but the other attorney refused, so onward the questioning went with the other fifteen.

After the plaintiff’s attorney was finished, the defendant’s started in, and wouldn’t you know, he asked me a question that he didn’t like, so then he requested my removal, and not to my surprise, the plaintiff’s attorney who earlier wanted me removed, insisted I stay. Yes it was a merry-go-round.

Once all the questions were answered, the elimination process began between the two sides, which lasted another half hour. While waiting, the guy next to me asked what exactly they were doing, so I said, “They’re looking for eight of the most “vanilla” minds, just so they’ll have a better chance at getting an acceptable verdict, and by the way, I’ll lay down a substantial wager, you’re gonna get picked.” Oh, if only I had a my camera to take a photo of that look he gave me. Well, as I suspected, I was cut and he was the first to be called as one of the eight. Don’t you just hate being right sometimes?

Tonight’s One-liner Is: If you wish to be a success in these times, promise everything, and deliver nothing.

Joe Chodur

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