159, 160Posted: June 11, 2016
Thursday I made the trip to Hartford and back, which turned out to be a trip to Holyoke, Massachusetts and back, when the truck coming down from the farm had a weird shaking sputtering problem, and so Josh, the guy who does that part of the driving, couldn’t drive the thing on the freeway. We met in the Barnes&Noble parking lot there at the mall, which adds another parking lot to the long list of strange parking lots where syrup has been moved from one truck into another. I would name them all but then that would reveal too much.
I’m reminded right now of the time immediately after Hurricane Sandy, when New York was starving for gasoline, and the lines for gas were four and five hours long, if there was any left. Howie drove down to supply me with syrup for the market, and he brought a big container of gas for me–and we put it into my van in the Gowanus Lowe’s parking lot, and we wondered if anyone saw us, would they shoot us.
Once I got home to Brooklyn, which was only about an hour later than I normally would have gotten home, I took my friend Nick to Costco so he could make lists and take pictures–he and Jamie are getting married the 4th of July weekend. Costco on a Thursday night at 7pm feels like it might be Costco on the eve of the apocalypse–carts strewn about, chaos in the parking lot, a plastic clamshell of chocolate danishes being kicked down the escalator. We escaped unharmed.
Friday I drove the van to market and delivered 35 gallons of syrup to two different restaurants in three trips all before 7:45am, because I had to rush off to Jury Duty in Brooklyn, where I sat for two hours with my friend Mike who had a summons for the same day–what a wonderful thing to happen. We sat in the back making jokes like bad kids at church. They asked if anyone had a vacation conflict they should write “vacation” on their summons and bring it to the front, along with the proof, which would look like an airline ticket, purchased before the date of the summons, and showing travel in the next two weeks. I had that–remarkably, it just worked out that way. And the clerk wrote some mysterious code on my summons and told me to go home.
I have A LOT of problems with the way juries are made and function in our court system. I would write ten days worth of posts only on their ineffectiveness. Starting maybe with the fact that there are giant letters above the judge’s bench that spell out “In God We Trust.” Um. I think those two things are supposed to be separate, right?
I had to leave Mike behind after they dismissed me, and I felt like I was leaving an injured brother on the battlefield, like a coward. It was Grand Jury service, two weeks, and less interest in what might be your radical political positions–23 people on each jury, so they actually want a mixture, or so they say. Mike got picked. Poor guy. Actually, it’s not so bad. The poor guy is the person accused of whatever he’s accused of forced to submit to the whims of 23 people from Brooklyn who didn’t happen to have a plane ticket in their pocket.