So I got called to jury duty.
In Oregon, you can get out of jury duty if you're over 70. I will shortly turn 72, but I haven't done jury duty in decades, and recently, when I went to watch a lawyer friend do his thing in court, I found it interesting, so I sent in my form saying I'd do it.
Portland is the county seat of the county I live in, Multnomah County, and downtown parking is difficult at best, particularly for all-day parking in the center of downtown, where the county courthouse is. So, for the first time in a very long time, I took the bus.
This should not be something to brag about. I'm an Oregonian, I should consider taking mass transit to be an expression of my innermost soul. But, well, I don't. Until this week. Given the choice of paying $10 or $12 for parking after fighting traffic both ways, and hopping aboard a city bus that stops less than 500 feet from my apartment, I chose the bus.
Tickets on TriMet are $1 for 2.5 hours for an "Honored Citizens" (I do wish they would just say "Old People" and be done with it). Turns out I can order a handful of them on my phone, activate them one at a time with a touch, briefly flash my phone at the bus driver, and voila! I'm a valid bus passenger.
Which I didn't need to be for very long. A 5-minute ride got me to a stop two blocks from the courthouse. Dismounting was a small challenge -- my knees don't bend as well as they used to -- but other than that, riding mass transit was a breeze.
But the pleasures of bus-riding pale in comparison to the pleasures of jury duty. No, really. To be continued.