And now, a word from the Cook County Circuit Court…

A few weeks back I found a certfied mail notification in my mailbox. The slip didn’t identify a sender, so I didn’t think much of it.

Last night I came home to a second delivery attempt notification. This time, the sender was identified on the slip as “Cook County Court.” I started to panic. Was I being sued? Was my home being foreclosed? Had someone finally found the body of the drifter I killed for gas money back in ’87? I tried not to think too much about what the letter contained, but every time I did, my stress levels rose. I knew there was no legit cause for concern, but the mind can be a funny thing.

I went to the post office before work today, sacrificing a punctual arrival at the office for an immediate answer to the question of the letter. I got there right at 8, photo I.D. in hand. I had the envelope open and its contents removed seconds after it was handed to me, and well before I walked out the front door. The good news is that I wasn’t pulled into some random and unexpected litigation, nor was my home being foreclosed. Furthermore, the body of “Fast” Philly Abrams remains safely hidden off a dirt road just outside of Norman, Oklahoma.

The bad news is that I’ve been summoned–make that “Commanded”–to serve on a Grand Jury this coming Tuesday at the center of hell known as 26th and California. I’m guessing that a Grand Jury doesn’t serve for nearly as long as a trial jury potentially can, but I’m bracing for the worst.

When I had jury duty in the past, I was notified by snail mail. I guess the seriousness of being called for a Grand Jury warrants the certified letter. Whatever the reason, Cook County can feel good knowing that they scared the shit out of me. They should send certified letters to all problem children and citizens with high potential for criminal behavior. That would at least give them pause before they considered doing something horrible.

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