Last week one of my more soft-spoken co-workers popped into my cube, lowered her voice and said, “Beth, I need to ask you a question and I need you to take it seriously.” My curiosity was piqued; this isn’t someone who would normally seek me out for advice. I mean, I sit over here, she sits over there and there’s all of that distance between us. I worried that this was possibly something I couldn’t and maybe shouldn’t handle. I mean, I am the token blonde among my friends and when forced into being overly serious, my mind tends to flit about in protest and I develop fuzzy animal Tourette’s. “Your marriage is in shambles and you need my advice? FLUFFY BUNNY BEAGLE EARS!! Sorry. You were saying?”
“Beth, I need you to promise me you’ll take this seriously.”
I leaned in a little closer and adopted my version of the serious and concerned face. I threw in some forehead wrinkles just for show. “Of course.”
“Beth, I was speaking to Lillian and she said that you helped her get out of jury duty.”
“I did?” I was confused, I really couldn’t recall ever doing this or even claiming I could do this.
“Yes. Beth, she said you did a dance.”
“What?” Now I was surprised. It’s not that I doubted her word. I mean it completely sounds like me, but I couldn’t recall the specifics. Heck, I’d do a pratfall for a laugh under the right circumstances so a dance wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities.
“Beth, I’m serious. I need you to do your dance. I don’t want to go to jury duty. Will you do the same dance you did for Lillian for me?”
She had absolute faith in my abilities and I did my best not to let her down by trying to imagine what ridiculous movements I previously made to drive off a jury summons (or get laughs) – nothing specific came to mind, so I was left improvising a goofy chair wiggle dance. I waved my arms about in the air, shook my tush, threw my head around and then declared, “that’s the dance”.
She was impressed and a little awed (as you would be, if I cornered you and your fight-or-flight instinct didn’t kick-in fast enough). “Beth, thank you sooooo much. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I’ll let you know what happens.”
This encounter stressed me out a bit, because she was actually placing a great deal of faith in my antics. I wasn’t sure what I was going to say when this blew up in my face and she was selected to be a juror. “Shoot, I forgot I needed to stand up.” “Shoot, you asked on a Tuesday. This never works on a Tuesday.”
The following week I received the update, “Beth, I called the courthouse and they said I didn’t have to show-up. They’ve already selected the jury and they’ve released me. I can’t thank you enough. Your dance worked just like Lillian said it would. I’m going to call her and thank her for sending me to you.”
What I’ve taken away from this is either I have the potential to be a charismatic cult leader or I may actually have magical dance powers that impact our judicial system. I should probably use these powers for evil. I mean good. Crazy typos. (Note to karma: I appreciate your humor and accept that I am going to be sequestered for a year.)