Well, as you know, usually, when it comes to the US mail, the letters and other things they bring you don’t include much good news.

However, the other day, I opened my mail and there was a very flattering invitation from the US government, which had chosen me for an extraordinary honor. The letter said, in very formal wording, that they wanted me to serve on a jury.

I’m not sure exactly sure what it was that caused them to select me, but my best guess is that they’ve read what I written over the years and have gotten the impression from that that I am a wise, educated person of very sound judgment.

Regardless of the reason, they have invited me – along with, if I’m not mistaken, 11 other people (though I have no idea who they are) – to come down to the courthouse and be a juror, where I, and a jury of my peers, will sit in judgment of other people and perhaps even get to say whether they live or die.

Like I said, I’m extremely honored that the US government picked me as one of 12 people out of a county of a half million, and I really don’t know what I’ve done to deserve being offered what is perhaps the most important job in society. Given the magnitude of deciding other people’s fate, I can only imagine how amazingly selective and thorough that process must have been to select me, and I know that, now that I’ve been asked to be a juror, I’m in a very exclusive club indeed.

So, if you weren’t one of those selected, you definitely shouldn’t feel bad: It may simply be that the government people don’t know much about you and you therefore aren’t on their radar yet or something like that. Also, when it comes to something this important, they must have people of absolutely impeccable character; and therefore probably any minor indiscretion – from a parking ticket to giving a cop the evil eye one time – disqualifies you on the spot. Since, in some cases, we may be deciding life or death matters, the extensive vetting process must weed many people out.

I haven’t RSVP’d yet to let them know I’m going to do it, but why in the world would I pass up an opportunity like that after they’ve looked at everyone in the county and decided I’m the right person for the job. When I go to the courthouse and give my acceptance speech, I’m going to let them know that their trust has been well placed.

They don’t know that I’m going to accept yet, though, so they are pulling out all the stops: They’ve offered me free VIP parking in a special lot. Plus, you can’t take your cell phone or computer into the courthouse, however I will be allowed to take my phone and computer in. They also are paying me for my service. We haven’t talked money and terms yet, but, given the importance of the job, I have a hunch that they pay very, very well.

I know I will make a fantastic juror because I can tell if someone is guilty just by looking at them. It’s more of an art than a science, but I’m extremely good at it.

The entrance of the courthouse isn’t far from the Rhino Times office and sometimes, if it’s a nice day, I’ll sit out in the plaza and have lunch or something and watch people go into the courthouse, and, even without knowing anything at all about them, I can pretty much tell who they are and why they are going in. I can sit there and reel it off …

Drug dealer.

Robber.

Attorney.

Paralegal.

Beat his wife.

Shot her husband.

Attorney.

Prostitute.

Judge.

Criminal.

Criminal.

I mean, it is uncanny how good I am at it, and, like I said, I could do it all day long and just from sight alone. And, if it’s that easy for me to tell by just looking at them as they walk into the courthouse, well, just imagine how good I’ll be at it when I can sit there and listen to whatever story the criminal has made up and I can write down questions the judge will ask them.

It is hard to describe where I got my ability to be able to tell who’s guilty. It’s just kind of a second sense. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is you need to look for – you really just have to pay close attention to the way they walk, what they’re wearing, and to things like do they have shifty eyes.

Another thing that helps is that you pretty much know the people on trial are guilty because otherwise why would they be in court to begin with. You know, it’s not like they wandered in there to ask directions and that’s why they’re there. I mean, they do have a right to be presumed innocent but, in the end, they’re there because a policeman caught them doing something wrong.

Like I said, I absolutely agree that all people are completely innocent until proven guilty and they should all absolutely be given the benefit of the doubt – even those people who are clearly criminals – but, you know, you also have to be realistic about the situation. You have to ask yourself, well, if they weren’t guilty, why were they arrested in the first place? Were they arrested because they donated too much money to a church? Or because they helped a Boy Scout across the street in heavy traffic? Are they in court because they were asking about the price of tea in China? I don’t think so. I don’t believe they arrest you for any of that – at least they didn’t the last time I checked.

It’s like, after a big crime has been committed and the authorities announce they’re looking for so and so because he or she is a “person of interest” – which, as I’m sure you know, is just a fancy police way of saying, “the person who did it.”

Anyway, a lot of people I come across are soft on crime, but I can assure you that I am not one of those people, and I can tell you I am raring to go and ready to lock these guys up after a fair trial.

I have also been practicing a lot of things I want to say in court when we issue the verdict …

“Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time, Buster!”

“Throw the book at him!”

“The truth! The TRUTH! You can’t handle the truth!”

I am telling you this: We are going to put some bad guys away. This whole piedmont triad area is going to be a heck of a lot safer once I am on the case.

If you are a criminal about to go to trial when I’m on the jury – well, all I can tell you is that you are going very far up the river and you better say goodbye to your mother and tell her to start working on that cake with a file on it.

Because I’m going to put you under the jail.

So, if you are a bad guy who’s about to commit a crime and then be brought before me, well, before you do that, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?”

Well, do ya – Punk?

Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden