Alan Dee: Great, now there are five more years for me to get collared for jury service
Well, there’s something else to worry about. One of my recurring nightmares is getting collared for jury service, and now the government says its going to hike the upper age limit so I could still get called when I’m 75. Judges, you may be interested to note, have to hang up their wigs at 70, but that’s another story.
I should point out that I have no objection to playing a full and fair part in our justice system.
I dare say we’ve all got a Twelve Angry Men fantasy at the back of our minds, in which we would be the only ones to spot that the poor sap in the dock was innocent and then painstakingly lead the others to the eventual not guilty verdict.
But Henry Fonda I’m not, if I tried to wear a white suit it would have some unpleasant stain on it within minutes, and more importantly in my earlier working life I spent many a dull and dreary day sitting and paying attention during court proceedings, and I have no wish to repeat the experience – particularly if this time round I might be expected to have a say in whether someone was banged up or not.
I’ve got no issue with making the decision, it’s just the interminable process involved in getting there.
Anyone who has ever spent any time in courts will know that life moves at a much slower pace than anywhere else on earth.
They make a leisurely start, they have measured breaks throughout the day, they knock off early and even when evidence is being given they go over the same ground again and again, at a slow and steady pace completely at odds with the modern world.
That’s how it has to be, I grant you, but the prospect of having to just sit there and listen for days on end, without so much as a crossword to divert me, much less the crucial electronic gizmoes that are now such a part of everyday life, would be too much to bear.
My real fear is drawing the short straw and getting stuck with something long and incredibly contemplated – an intricate fraud trial, for example, or the current phone hacking proceedings which seem to have been going on for months already and which show no signs of drawing to an end any time soon.
And now there will be five more years in which I could pick up a brown envelope from the mat and told to present myself for service.
Still, there could be a positive side.
If I reach that exalted age still in full possession of all my faculties and able to sit through court sessions without nodding off or needing to nip out to the loo every 15 minutes, I should count my blessings and get on with it.
And as a pensioner by then, I will probably be only too glad of somewhere warm and dry to spend a few days, with refreshments thrown in. Bring it on, your honour!