The college kid was home, opened a piece of mail addressed to her and began jumping up and down with excitement.
"I can't believe it, I can't believe it" she shouted. "I got one! I finally got one!
"What is it?" I asked.
"Guess!" she says, still jumping up and down.
"A check from Publisher's Clearing House?" I ask, preparing to jump up and down myself.
"No," she says, now clutching the envelope to her chest. "I've always wanted to do this. Oh, this is terrific!"
"You've been randomly selected to go on the next space shuttle?"
"No!" she says, smiling from ear to ear. She comes to a standstill and throws a paper down on the table.
It is a summons for jury duty.
It is safe to say nobody in a radius of three time zones has ever been so excited to be called for jury duty.
When you Google "jury duty excuses," more than a million sites are listed including countless variations with titles like "101 Tips for Getting Out of Jury Duty."
In Australia last year, a potential juror made news by asking to be excused on the grounds of being a psychic who was clairvoyant and would know whether a person was guilty or innocent. "I would be concerned that I may not be able to convince my fellow jurors." Poor baby.
A prospective juror for the New York County courts asked to be excused because hemorrhoids made it difficult to sit and sent in a used tube of Anusol.
In December 2005, President Bush was summoned for jury duty in Crawford, Texas. He was excused. Being leader of the free world is a headache, but it does have its perks.
In Canada, a woman recently asked to be excused from jury duty because it might interrupt her naps. She was serious. She was also 103.
No excuses from our prospective juror. She is raring and ready to go.
If jury duty were "Let's Make a Deal," she' be in a big yellow chicken suit, flapping her wings in the aisle yelling, "Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!"
"Can you believe it?" she asks. Well, yes I can as I seem to be called for jury duty about once every other year.
"And look! I'm in GROUP TWO!" She says this with great enthusiasm as though the poor blokes lagging behind in Groups Three, Four and Five are to be greatly pitied.
Meanwhile, for every prospective juror like her (and surely they are few) there are a hundred who opened a juror summons and let out a collective sigh of frustration.
A 2004 poll commissioned by the American Bar Association found that 84 percent view jury duty as a civic responsibility. Yet those numbers don't add up in courts around the country that report serious problems with low response rates to jury summonses.
Besides serving in the military and voting, serving on a jury is one of the ways to exercise civic responsibility. Jury duty is never convenient, but what is?
Our prospective juror was crushed to see her date of service conflicted with being away at college.
"I could skip class," she said.
"You could get seated on a jury and be on a trial that lasts days," I said.
She checked the appropriate box and wrote that she would be away at college. I'm sure they receive many responses like that, but I have an idea hers will stand out in the pile.
She used red ink, listed the date she'd be home from school and wrote, "Please call."