Today I reported for jury duty. What this means is I drove an hour and a half to the Metropolis--some of which time I spent on an INTERSTATE HIGHWAY, which is one of many things I try to avoid in my everyday life, paid five dollars for parking, went up to the jury room, and got told my number wasn't up today so please go away.

So now I am going to have to call the Jury Duty Phone Tree every night FOR THIRTY NIGHTS and find out if I have to report the next morning. That is a crappy way of doing business, I think, and would you be at all surprised if I said this was FEDERAL jury duty, because that is how the government works. "Works," I mean.

But this is the part that was of special interest to me:

Obviously, to get into the Federal Building, I had to go through a metal detector and have all my stuff scanned, like at the airport. Only, the first time I went through, I beeped. I had forgotten my keys were in my pocket, so I took them out and went through again.

And I beeped again. And later, I figured out that I had change in my pocket, because I may teach reading comprehension skills but apparently have none of my own, and I had not emptied my pockets before I went through the stupid metal detector.

But here is the interesting part: in spite of my having set the thing off, the guard told me to go on ahead into the building.


I didn't even have to go through the metal detector for a third time; he just pushed me through the doors and there I was, in a building owned by the government of the United States of America, with potentially a bomb in my pocket.

Maybe he saw the knitting in my bag, or the giant biography of Queen Elizabeth I, and decided that someone who was so obviously a giant nerd was basically harmless; maybe he did some racial profiling and decided that I wasn't the type to blow things up.

I don't know his reasoning, but I am a little disturbed that a person whose sole responsibility is to ensure the safety of government employees who work ("work") in Metropolis USA COULD have let a terrorist into the building today.

He's lucky it was only me.

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