It pays $5 a day, almost guarantees confinement from the world for six months and hounding by the pesky press thereafter -- no wonder many potential jurors begged to be excused from the O.J. Simpson case. Today was the first of what's likely to be at least a month of jury selection, as 1,000 candidates are narrowed down to a dozen to decide the trial of the decade. Of the first batch of 219 people interviewed, 91 people pleaded financial hardship as an excuse. But 65 brave souls said they could handle a trial lasting several months, even if sequestered. Now they face the hard part: making it through the gauntlet of objections from the prosecution and defense.