Yesterday was my first day on the bench of team of “Team New Hampshire.” TNH is the domiciled residents who are called by our State to serve on jury duty. Oh pity us, it was in the spanking new Superior Court building on Chestnut St., Manchester.
The old courthouse had a problem for those entering. The waiting area preceding the metal detector was about six feet by eight feet so you were in the uncomfortable position of having to hold the door open for people coming in as well as for the for the crush of humanity packed in the small place already where you damn near strip for the metal detector - no room to turn and cough.
Standing room only, mostly outside in the elements, door ajar, uncomfortable pressing of the flesh with strangers, this describes the good old days in the Manchester Courthouse.
Now, with the new and improved court lobby, the automatic doors do not close because there is a line outside the door just before the metal detector lobby. No one has to hold the door open for the, line of twice as many people as the lobby will hold, crowd of prospective jurors. Two thirds of the juror pool will arrive either wet, cold, or both with the brand new courthouse because there is nowhere for over 100 people to stand in the new lobby.
Once inside we were escorted to a new jury pool room with a sign on the wall that said: Capacity 138.
It was packed tight seating and standing room only until some bailiffs wheeled in some ten or more office chairs from another room.
Then we watched an hour long video on a TV set. And I thought to myself, hmmm, doesn’t that look like an automatic viewing screen opening in the ceiling just above the TV set? You know the type of screen I am talking about, it lowers mechanically so a room with 150 people can all see what is being presented. It’s the kind of screen built into many new courthouses, churches, and offices where more often than not – they work.
Once out of jury duty for the day, in the sardine can courthouse with the giant hallways and twenty foot ceilings, I started towards my car. About then I spotted a woman who appeared to have fallen and was trying to gather up some white belongings, like paper. She was on her hands and knees and what looked like elbows as well.
But as I approached it struck me that she was writing something on the sidewalk in front of the fire station with a big piece of chalk.
Off to the car, no need to help her with that. This was kind of an abnormal day, so far.
On the way back home I thought I would drop in the Golden Arches of Goffstown and hit the Dollar 9.5% menu.
As soon as I walk in, who do you think is sitting in the booth in front of me – you guessed it, Senator Bob Smith! Who else?
We had a multi-second discussion of how the NH conservatives have once again split up into tiny camps and off I went with my double burgers.
This morning I see in the papers that my fallen street artist has been arrested for writing in the street.
So where the hell was Vermin Supreme yesterday?