The other day I had jury duty. I knew about it for weeks; I planned for it. I prepared my staff at the medical school so they could continue without me for a few days. DH, who has served quite a bit, told me that I could bring my knitting but I shouldn’t expect to knit once in a court room or during a trial. Fair enough, most of the time is spent waiting to be called anyway. I picked the bag with a mindless knitting project, so I could knit and talk easily. I made sure I had no metal needles: good, the project is now on plastic toy needles, the kind used to teach children to knit. They are bubble-gum pink and quite dull. I cannot make bobbles or do certain stitches with them because they have round ends instead of points. Did I say they were bubble-gum pink? Make that Day-Glo bubble-gum pink; they couldn’t possibly be mistaken for a weapon, they are visible for miles.
Thus equipped with knitting and lunch in tow, I had DH drop me off at the juror’s entrance to the courthouse (I really believe in car-pooling. The money saved on gas and oil can be spent on more yarn). DH having dropped me off early, I sauntered into the courthouse. The guard, spying my bag, asked me if that’s knitting in there. Yes, I replied. He asked me if there are knitting needles along with the knitting. I replied again yes. The guard, who now acted like he is on a roll and about to apprehend public enemy #1, told me that the needles have to go back to the car. What car? I was dropped off, I said. He responded that he’ll be happy to throw the needles away (good thing I didn't switch to the Brittany walnut needles I have). I told him they were all-plastic and toys to boot. He repeated his absurd offer. I told him my knitting would unravel. He laughed. At that I turned on my heels and left the courthouse.
Now I knew that DH was teaching and so I could not call him to pick up the offending knitting. I also knew that failure to report for jury duty would lead to terrible consequences: contempt of court, misdemeanor citations, confiscation of all knitting needles, including the precious horde of black walnut needles…. I must think and plan. So I walked in the summery air. As I walked, I spied a woman carrying a large pink carry-all. I recalled seeing this woman and her carry-all just seconds before I stepped into the courthouse. She was now approaching from the parking lot, wearing a resolute air. Aha! She evidently was caught with contraband that ought not be banned, walked to her car, counted to ten s-l-o-w-l-y and now is walking back to the courthouse. I waited. She did not reemerge so she must have been admitted for jury duty.
Feeling more confident, I rearranged my knitting bag, hiding the offending weapons of mass destruction on the bottom. I took off my sun hat, thinking the guard might remember the pale mauve cap but not the redhead since he couldn’t see the tresses. The hat I draped over the contents of the bag. Heading into battle once more, I held out my jury summons. Now there are throngs of jurors on line, and the guards cannot move us through the single security checkpoint fast enough. To the very same guard who wanted to throw my knitting needles away not 15 minutes earlier, I sweetly said, “These dog poop pick-up bags are what’s in my pockets. Do I have to take my jacket off?” And the very same guard replied, “No, do what makes you comfortable.” Out of the corner of my eye, as I passed through the metal detector, I watched my knitting bag go through the X-ray machine. A female guard looked at the bag, poked it once, then handed it over. Feeling elated, I arrived at the check-in desk. “Your service is canceled, Ms. Knitter,” the court clerk told me.
The lesson to be learned here is that when you are not meant to knit while on jury duty, you won’t, no matter how hard you may try.