The Call Of (Jury) Duty

Greg Tamblyn Newsletter – June, 2015

“Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.”
- Mark Twain

In this issue:

  • The Call Of (Jury) Duty
  • Insomnia Strategy That Works
  • Fathers Day Humor
  • Expert Relationship & Dating Advice
  • The Future Of Yoga, and More Cool Stuff
  • Upcoming Concert Schedule


AUTHOR’S NOTE: I am not encouraging anyone – even you! – to avoid jury duty. But if you think you’ll ever have to, read on…

Jury duty is one of those civic obligations like voting, recycling, and complaining about potholes, that everyone should do out of sheer gratitude for living in a country where the government doesn’t spy on its citizens. Oh, wait….

I’d often wondered why my government had never called me for jury duty. I’m a registered voter, have a passport, driver’s license, social security card, traffic tickets, annual correspondence with the IRS, and a yearly dog license. I even signed up for Obamacare. How could they not find me?

Maybe they didn’t like my youtube videos or something.

Anyway, they must have picked up my psychic angst (or tapped my calls) because they finally got in touch.

Perfect Timing

Naturally, they found me at the most inconvenient time. I was scheduled to hit the road for my only gig tour of the month. (No tour, no income.) Fortunately my next door neighbor, a county legislator and nice guy named Scott, was able to get my jury date postponed for a few weeks.

* Scott also worked in the Carter White House, and knows rock star Stephen Stills.

** I highly recommend living next door to Scott.

So another month rolled around and it was time for my date with some accused person’s destiny. The way it works here in Jackson County, Missouri is you show up at the courthouse bright and early Monday morning. Then you spend a few hours waiting for guidance.

The main courthouse is downtown, only 5 minutes from where I live. Or 10 minutes, if you include time to park legally. So of course they sent me to another, smaller courthouse at the opposite end of the county. A place called Independence. It’s so far away I didn’t even know it was inhabited. I thought only hobbits and deer hunters lived there.

Ha Ha! Just kidding. Independence is not only full of regular people, it’s the home of Harry Truman, the former President who famously said of civic duty, “The Buck Stops Here.” Although these days he would be referring to Congress’ refusal to fund infrastructure and fix potholes.

Free Coffee and Video

So after driving 45 minutes across town in rush hour traffic, I got herded into a holding cell the size of a grade-school classroom containing 150 people and chairs for maybe 75. I made it just in time for the free coffee. (Well, they said it was coffee.)

They tried to keep us occupied with a video explaining what jury duty is all about. The video did its work, to an extent, but not because it was actually helpful. Mainly because I thought it was funny.

It was co-hosted by a woman – possibly a news anchor – who was very attractive and elegantly dressed. The other co-host was local baseball legend George Brett. George was “dressed,” shall we say, rather casually. He wore a golf shirt, jeans, and boat shoes with no socks. I think he was trying to suggest that we could show up for jury duty in lawn-mowing clothes.

Also, George – bless his heart – doesn’t live in Jackson County. He doesn’t even live in the state of Missouri. George lives across the state line in Mission Hills, Kansas, a ritzy suburb where even the starter houses cost about 2 million. If you get called for jury duty over there, they send a chauffeur.

This struck me as ironic.

Judge Descends From Olympus

After what seemed like forever, the judge finally graced us with his presence, and began to dispense his wisdom. He tried to be Judge Roy Bean and Atticus Finch at the same time – a tough hombre, but occasionally pleasant. His basic message was that unless you were pregnant, on active duty military, or a surgeon with a bleeding patient, you were there for the duration, and there was no way out.

He made a special point of letting us know that financial hardship was not an excuse. As an example, he recounted how famous baseball player Ted Williams gave up four prime baseball years to fight in two wars. And if Ted could give up four of his prime earning years, we could give up a couple of weeks of our measly, mundane lives.

* He neglected to mention that Ted got paid an officer’s salary during that time.

** I was intrigued by the ongoing baseball theme of the day. I wondered if we were going to sing “Take Me Out To The Courtroom” at stretch time.

Anyway, he let us know there wasn’t much chance to get out of jury duty. But if we thought we had a good reason, he would be in a back office for 10 minutes, and we could go talk to him. A few people got up and formed a line in the back.

Then It Got Weird

Did I want to get out of jury duty? Not especially. I thought it might be kind of fun. Or at least interesting. I’d seen The Runaway Jury. I’d seen 12 Angry Men. I know what life and death drama goes on in those jury rooms. And besides, it was my civic duty as a multi-card-carrying, tax-paying, pothole-complaining citizen.

But there was a problem. A conundrum. I was teetering on the horns of a citizen’s dilemma. And I decided I better go tell him the truth.

So I stood at the end of the line and waited my turn. When I got called into his little office, there was Mr. No-Nonsense Judge Roy Finch sitting behind a desk.

He motioned me to sit down and asked, “What’s up?”

I said, “I’m a musician.”

He said, “I can see that from your paperwork.”

Wow, I thought. These guys are organized.

I said, “The reason I’m a musician is because my sleep habits are so weird I can’t have a normal job. I’m a night owl. Every night I’m up till one or two AM. Then I sleep for five and a half hours. Then I’m wide awake so I get up and work till lunch. Then after lunch I basically go into a coma for two hours. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just telling you this so when you look over at me in your jury box after lunch and I’m unconscious, you’ll know why.”

He stared at me for a minute.

Then he smiled.

Then he started laughing.

Then he said, “In 40 years of jury prospecting, I’ve never heard that one. Go on, get out of here.”

So, I did.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
- Mark Twain


Coincidentally, there’s a helpful article in the New York Times this week about an insomnia strategy that’s been proven more effective than drugs. You can check it out here.


I’ve added new quotes and one-liners to the Fathers Day Jokes page at my JokeQuote site. Also added a brand new page of Dad Jokes & Funny Father Quotes. Go grab a laugh!


My long-time friend, Dating & Relationship Coach, author and trainer Rosalind Sedacca, CCT moved from divorce in mid-life to embrace being single and then happily married for the past ten years. Now she’s sharing her insights and strategies in coaching programs for women and men looking for long-term meaningful relationships.

Rosalind is offering a FREE relationship advice session via phone or Skype so you can share your thoughts, and ask questions about your dating and relationship concerns. :)   Contact Rosalind to schedule your complimentary session at (Copy and paste email address into a new email message.)

If you’d like to check out her sites first:


The good people at The Shift Network have some amazing courses running now, and coming up, including:

  • The Future of Yoga
  • The Inspiring Women Summit
  • The Body Intelligence Summit
  • The Enlightened Business Summit
  • The Healthy Money Summit
  • Re-Igniting Your Creativity
  • Activating Your Heart Energy
  • And more

As always, the intro materials are free and extensive. You have the option to go deeper. For info about all these courses, including the well known instructors (Deepak Chopra, etc.) click this banner:


Below are cities where I’ll soon be inflicting myself, my songs, and my messages on the general public. Hopefully including you. All info about each appearance is at the CALENDAR LINK below the list.

  • Wichita KS – Sunday June 14
  • Houston TX – Weds June 24
  • Kerrville TX – Thurs June 25
  • San Angelo TX – Fri June 26
  • San Antonio TX – Sun June 28
  • Lawrence KS – Sun July 26
  • Bloomington IN – Sun Aug 30
  • Grand Rapids MI – Sun Sept 20
  • Kitchener ONT – Weds Sept 23
  • Bay City MI – Sun Sept 27 (dates still open on MI & Canada tour)
  • Mesa AZ – Weds Oct 15

All current info available on my Calendar – please click the link for times, dates, ticket info, etc.

If you’ve read this far, big thanks. As always, I appreciate your support, and love hearing your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.

* If you’ve never commented here before, it will take a short while to get your comment approved. But don’t worry – it’ll happen!



© 2015 Greg Tamblyn


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8 Responses to The Call Of (Jury) Duty

  1. Good job! Good laughs!

    I always managed to get out of jury duty one-way-or-another. The last time I just ignored it and nothing happened. I didn’t actually do that on purpose. (I don’t think I did.)

  2. Joyce Schones says:

    I enjoy reading your delightfully quirky humor and look forward to your being at San Antonio Unity this month!

  3. Meryl Ann Butler says:

    I just got a jury summons a couple of weeks ago myself! However, Virginia has entered the electronic age–anyone who feels they have a good reason for exemption can just send an email! And I had a very good reason…I’m the only family member available to take my elderly dad to his doctor appointments, which happen weekly. So they emailed me back to say, “The Jury Commissioners have reviewed your request and have excused you from your jury service. You may disregard the summons you have received.”

    If I get asked again, as a night-owl artist, your explanation would work great for me too! Not that I wouldn’t want to be of service…and I’m pretty curious about the process, too! But if I got involved with a trial that lasted more than a week, at their remarkably generous offer of $30/day I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent and I guess I’d end up being evicted…they ought to at least pay minimum wage!

    Your story is great, hoping it becomes a ballad…;-)

  4. JD Martin says:

    Thanks for the morning smiles!!

  5. Dan Johnson says:

    I look forward to your emails and that’s a rare thing. I get way too many emails and I’ve learned to identify and delete the unwanted ones real fast. I never fail to get a good laugh or several from yours, so keep’em coming.



  6. Charla Jean says:

    You have the lyrics for another of your wondrously informative and true to life songs. I so enjoyed your Jury Duty story. Have been crazy on the go ever since your visit to northern California…just wanted to reiterate how much I enjoyed your “guesting” and concert at my home. Namaste, Darla

  7. Pam says:

    You are the funniest and coolest dude around!! My smiles and laughter never stop every time I read your newsletters.
    Love your humor!
    Haw River, NC

  8. jerry says:

    May the force be with you.
    May you be the force.
    Thank you for entertaining me with your songs.

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