Friday, October 22, 2004

The Way I See It

Trying to survive in October

Chris Millspaugh

Commentary by Chris Millspaugh

It all started on the first of this month when I went to the Post Office and found the summons for jury duty in Boise! It seems the District Court in the capital city needs me to serve on a jury for the month of November. There?s over 100,000 people in the Treasure Valley who should be eligible for service to the court and they can get there in twenty minutes. The Courthouse is exactly 161.6 miles from my condo. The word, ?convenient? doesn?t apply here, know what I?m sayin??

Starting on Friday, Oct. 29, I have to call long distance to Boise to see if I?m supposed to appear the following Monday for jury selection. Then, call every Friday throughout the month of November to see about the following Monday, also. They?re killin? me!

On Oct. 2, I was in Boise to attend a wedding held at the Idaho Shakespeare Theatre Festival grounds. I go to The Bon to get a wedding gift since the bride is registered there, buy some nice martini glasses for the couple for $70 and am coerced into getting a Bon charge card which I end up charging $27.57 for three Jockey Briefs.

At the wedding, under the trees in the alcove by the theatre, I?m observing the ceremony and marveling at the voice of the woman singing ?Ave Maria? and the sister of the groom becomes emotional and spills an 16-ouncer of Budweiser on my neck. Despite my objections, the rest of the evening everyone assumes I?m smashed on my lips.

From the 4th to the 8th, I conduct seven oral histories at the Library, one of which had to be re-recorded because I forgot to push play. On the 10th, I announce ?The Trailing of the Sheep? Parade, and personally call each of the ewes by name and shout out, ?Who?s your Shepard? Who?s your Shepard?? much to the dismay of an elderly woman from Buhl standing nearby. ?What do you think you?re doing?? she roared.

?Hey, that?s what they used to say in the old sheep ranching days!? I explained.

She didn?t buy it and said, ?Up yours, Don Pardo.?

Last Tuesday, my granddaughter turned 12. We went out to dinner, then went and had cake and presents, and, then she gave me her birthday card to me that she forgot to give to me on August 26. Two days later, my daughter came to town, borrowed my car on Friday, put down the back windows, shorted out the electrical system and couldn?t get them back up. The next night it rained and snowed. There I was outside in a typhoon cramming old overcoats into the open windows and spreading newspapers on the back seat. I think I got pneumonia.

By Oct. 16 and 17, the Jazz Jamboree is finishing up and for some reason, everybody parks in my parking area by my condo. There?s no room for me and it?s just as well because 90 percent of the people I see driving around call out, ?Hey, you better get those windows up. It?s going to snow tonight!? I ran over three of them.

This week, I?m trying to put together a benefit party for my friend, Paula, whom I?ve known for 25 years, writing a book treatment to get into a publisher in Nebraska, taping five episodes of ?The Blaine County Historical Minute? and putting in 40 hours at my regular gig, the Yankees are choking and they just turned my water off at the condo complex to repair some plumbing at another building.

It?s only the 22nd of the month and I still have the Boise State/Fresno State game tomorrow, Paula?s party on Oct. 27 and Halloween the next weekend.

October is rough! But, what do I care? In November, I?ll be on jury duty 161.6 miles away from my home where I?ll probably be sequestered with sheep ranchers from Buhl.

Have a Merry Christmas if I don?t see you for a while and nice talking to you.

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