It was last summer when I was invited to be a part of the British judicial system. This took up around two and a half weeks of my time, however I had nothing better to do that summer so thought it would be at the very least something interesting that I could share with people, quite possibly in the form of a blog post.
Coincidentally, after a day or so waiting in the bleak, sweaty, cramped waiting room, with no form of entertainment, other than to sidle up next to someone who appeared to be around your age and trying to converse with them. Having brief encounter and discussion about the pain of jury service, the waiting, the missing of days off work (at this point in time I was one hundred percent unemployed). This becoming a game, as someone like myself who struggle to talk to people in a normal and sociable fashion, I began to collect data. When was it an appropriate time to sigh, laugh, tut, thus completing the humanoid pretence I wanted to achieve. It was in this I realized I could be anyone. A fireman, a marine biologist, a commander at the Legion of Doom. Instead I choose to be a slightly more normal version of myself, hiding the awkwardness and strange humour under a blanket of normality.
It was then we were placed into are selection of jurors. Myself obviously, two other people who I had already tactically acquired through small talk and “bants”. They were both very pleasant, not intrusive enough to uncover my disguise of regularity, but nice enough to converse with and better than sitting alone on fake blue leather chairs watching time place away into nothingness. A flamboyant fabulous man accompanied us on our journey, who I was unsure of at first. He was bold and confident, not falling under the social etiquette of the central criminal court’s waiting room. He would bounce from person to person, ignoring all logical times to chuckle and sneer, but instead would laugh hysterically, slapping his hand against his uncovered knees. He became incredibly popular, ending up organising after service pub meet ups in which we discuss the crimes of that day. In all a very nice and genuine person.
As I sat there in the cold room of courtroom eleven of the Old Bailey staring at the man opposite who was currently spiralling downward into an eruption of idiocy and the futures of a jail cell. For him, criminal action didn’t seem the norm, however his blissful ignorance of the problematic circumstances that occur when implying you are going to burn someone’s house down is a true shame.
In the mix of lawyers, judges and criminal activity, was the man sitting next to me, a man by the name of “Handsome Giles.”Clearly “Handsome Giles” was not given the name “Handsome Giles” by birth, most likely the more stream lined Giles, however the adjective thrust upon him within the environment of the court room. He was a solitary creature and as you may have guessed rather dashing, somewhat of a mystic being that would appear at times when needed, fading away in the evenings and lunch breaks. Spending the majority of his time either on the phone discussing business or in the restrooms.
Sitting next to this aloof male, watching the hilarious scenes of Etonian gentlemen discussing the meaning behind text messages and the use of emoticons. Examining every colon and end of bracket, “Commonly taken to mean a smiley face your honour.” As well as the continuing use of the C word, with superb diction and timing.
It was at this point that “Handsome Giles”, lent forward, unzipped his back, without any sense of rebellion and awareness of his position in the court room, he produced a pink and white stripped paper packet of Pick N’ Mix. Sneaking them into his mouth, like an infant hiding his wrong doings from his mother. This not only is an odd thing to do, firstly eating any form of sweets opposite a man who you are about to find guilty, but secondly and more importantly a grown business man consuming a packet of Pick N’ Mix. The sweet of choice for children, gathering their pocket change so they can select their preferred glucose, gelatine sugar coated nibble. A business man, silver suit, matching tie, black leather oxford shoes, picking tiny caricature eggs and chocolate buttons into his polished white mouth, 11 feet away from an aging Judge. Sliding them past the crowds of policemen and lawyers into his chiseled jaw. He was never caught, the crime never seen, mildly disturbing being in the central hub of the London judicial system, however he did offer me a “Yummy Gummy” which I declined as my focus was drawn to a photo of a chicken given as evidence.