Blue Envelopes

Ever since my husband got sentenced to prison for violating Section 31, Point 4 lit. e.i.V.m. Section 18 Para 3 Law Governing Association Affairs 2002, I have been having a lot of fun with it. When he teases me about one of my peccadilloes, I answer ““Hey -– at least I am not a convicted criminal!”” There have been a lot of jokes about my husband “being sent to the Big House”, in the slammer, and “doing time”. I told him that he is somehow a little sexier now that he’’s got a rap sheet. I asked him if he ever considered wearing something striped -– or maybe a jumpsuit . . . ?

Yesterday the humor fizzled when the postman left a yellow notice at our door instructing my husband to come pick up yet another official registered letter -– this time from the Provincial Courts. ““What now?”” we thought and immediately wracked our brains for any potential crimes we may have inadvertently committed. For the next 24 hours we were slightly anxious and irritated by thoughts usually foreign to us. Big Brother was watching us. Big Government was once again intruding into our private lives. Why couldn’’t the government govern a little less? For the first time, Ronald Reagan’’s “nine most terrifying words” rang a tiny bit true: “I’’m from the government and I’m here to . . .” What?

My husband had to work today so I went to the Post Office to pick up the letter. As the clerk handed me the official blue envelope, I was a bit relieved to see a whole box full of them. Whatever trouble we were in, it concerned half the village. I texted my husband about that and asked if I should open the letter. Ten seconds later, my cell phone chimed and I saw the one word answer: ““Yes””. I nervously tore open the envelope . . .

I called my husband and he uncharacteristically picked up after just one ring. “”What is it?”” he asked instead of the usual ““Hi””.

“”Jury duty,” ” I answered. I actually heard his muscles relaxing.

He asked for details about when and where and I gave him whatever information I could find in the letter. I could see him on the other end of the line, mentally checking his calendar and trying to figure out how to fit this in.

““I suppose there is a way for you to get out of it.””

““Yeah, well, we’ll see,”” he said and we ended the call.

I am fairly sure he will not try to get out of it. We share the same attitudes when it comes to stuff like this. It’’s an important civic duty, just like voting and protesting and educating (and paying taxes, by the way). The more people there are who do these things -– i.e. the work of governing – the better democracy functions. I love the concept of civil disobedience where it is righteous, and yet, I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, – “That government is best in which most govern.”

That means, I not only like big government, I like biggest government.

How blue can you get?

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