Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Banana Handler

I've spent the last week on jury duty, deep in the dusty bowels of San Francisco Superior Court. Since I'm not at liberty to discuss the details of this ongoing criminal case, let me just say that attorneys, during the lengthy selection process, won't pass up a chance to fill their jury boxes with former Catholic altar boys like me, however lapsed. That, and the fact that a number of jury candidates suddenly professed a simultaneous disdain for a basic tenet of the U.S. Constitution, is how I became Juror #3.

One incident that remains with me, though, is the type of observation that obsesses me for days whenever I reluctantly succumb to spending time in close contact my fellow humans -- or worse, a jury of my peers. One afternoon in the Jury Assembly Room, a vast hall where jurors can waste hours waiting to be called to duty or dismissed, I was tapping away at my laptop, trying from afar to keep my staff from rapidly going rogue, when I heard someone sit down at the next table. It was another member of my jury, a young man with the sun-touched look of a landscaper but who, much to my surprise when we were asked to state our professions, turns out to somehow be in finance. I watched him remove his lunch from his knapsack, each piece in a specially-designed, store-bought container: sandwich holder, drink receptacle, etc. Then he pulled out a curved, oblong yellow plastic object that reminded me of the gimmicky telephones that were produced in the 1980s, the ones that resembled hamburgers or Garfield the Cat. He set it down on the table, snapped it open, and removed a banana from it.

Isn't the whole point of a banana that it's its own container? And what happens if your banana is more curved than your banana holder? Your Honor, I object!