Impartiality Bonkers by
(28 Stories)

Prompted By Jury Duty

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One time I was almost chosen,

In this case, there are no ‘impartial’ jurors Saving our democracy is what’s important ‘No one’s above the law

but quickly eliminated

because grandma was mugged.

(she wasn’t hurt)


When I was married in the middle of divorce

I threw away the many summons

with no repercussions.


Then as a teacher, I received the notices

every two years.

“Grandma getting mugged” worked like a charm.


Performing my civic duty was less important to me

than leaving a classroom of second graders

for 4 weeks or more.


Today I am retired

would likely volunteer if I only could

for the following cases:


Haven’t been to Florida in ages,

Georgia’s ‘always on my mind’

NYC’s a path train away,

If need be, Bedminster’s in my own backyard. 

Profile photo of Patricia Valese pattyv

Characterizations: funny, moving, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Like you, I’ve been called but never served. But I never used “grandma was mugged as an excuse”, Patty. If I was available (i.e. – not during the summer when I’m on Martha’s Vineyard), I would gladly serve now too.

    • pattyv says:

      Hey Betsy Grandma did get mugged. One of the questions was if you or any family members were victims of a crime? See, you would like to serve, they really should revamp the entire system, or at least perform a system analysis.

  2. As always Party you do so well what good poets do so well – you say so much with so little words!

    And now I discover you were a second grade teacher, brava!

    • pattyv says:

      Worked in the Montclair library through my college years. Chose to work with the primary grades. I had two teenage sons when I graduated, and couldn’t deal with the head-games. The young ones are so there, a joy to teach.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    Wouldn’t we all love to be on those juries! Just hope those trials really happen and Justice is served.

    • pattyv says:

      I’m with you there Khati. Reminds me how we all felt waiting for the Mueller report. I think Jack Smith wouldn’t be wasting his energy if he doesn’t take it all the way to the end.

  4. A great story. But even a better coda.

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    Go get him, Patti! someone has to do it. And as a former teacher and later preschool director, it’s pretty hard on kids when their teacher ends up on a jury.

    • pattyv says:

      Especially when you go through all the trouble to be excused, and they postpone a teaching month later. Never understood why they simply don’t call you in during the summer. Oh, we gotta get him this time Laurie, Canada won’t let us in.

  6. Suzy says:

    Patty, your reference to the Montclair library in your response to Dana really got my attention. I grew up in Essex County NJ, and went to high school on the campus of Montclair State College, so you and I share the same stomping grounds.

    P.S. In California, where I live now, when you get a jury summons during the year, you can request to be rescheduled during the summer and they will do it. You don’t even have to say why. Don’t know if that’s true in other states.

    • pattyv says:

      Hi Suzy, yes grew up and still living in Essex County. Montclair State is expanding so much. I often attend events there, Hillary was there this year. Have a few friends who teach there. Of course New Jersey doesn’t offer anything as sane as letting teachers serve in the summer. Love this state but it definitely is unhinged.

  7. Dave Ventre says:

    If Donnie Dipshit’s crack legal team gets its way, the jury will consist only of old white guys in MAGA hats who have all been mugged. By black transsexual Muslims.

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