I received a subpoena in the mail a few weeks ago. The subpoena asked for me to appear in court to testify against the man who pulled the knife out at the pizza place that I work at.

Unfortunately for me, as well as the West Hollywood justice system, I did not receive the subpoena in time to attend.

The subpoena was sent to me on September 23rd, asking me to appear in court on September 24th, and I received it September 28th.

When I opened the letter, I was taken aback by the line that said,

“Failure to appear in court on the date mentioned will result in a warrant for your arrest.”

Frantic, I phoned the West Hollywood district attorney’s office.

“Am I under arrest?”

I meekly asked the woman over the phone.

She took down my message, and I have not heard from them since. I considered going to their office and turning myself over for them to arrest me, but my father told me this was not necessary.

Part of me is sad that I didn’t receive the subpoena in time, not only because I am all for doing my civic duty, but because I can’t think of a better stage than a courtroom.

I can see it now- me on the stand, wearing all black, sunglasses, and a floppy hat.

“That’s him- take him away officer!”

I’d shout, pointing at the defendant and clutching my pearls.

I’d eventually be jailed for contempt of court for refusing to put out my cigarette.

“You can’t take away a woman’s God-given right to smoke!”

I’d say, as they drag me out of the courtroom.

It all sounds so dramatic.

Another part of me is glad that I didn’t appear, because I wasn’t exactly confident in telling my side of the story. I did, after all, sell him a slice of pizza after 2 am, which legally I am not allowed to do.

“Am I going to have to perjure myself on the stand?” I thought.

What if I put the whole case in jeopardy? Pretty much every scenario I imagined ended with me being jailed for contempt.

Luckily none of it came to pass, because in any event I did not receive the subpoena in time and was unable to appear in court.

C’est la vie.

-Theodore Dandy


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