Why Did the Basketball Cross the Road?
by Rick Chezum
I almost squished a basketball that was crossing the freeway. True story. I was driving on Interstate 5, a major thoroughfare which happens to dissect the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The traffic was heavy, but still moving at an insane pace across all twelve lanes. My knuckles were white, clenched around the steering wheel as I concentrated on not transforming the asphalt jungle into a fused steel, plastic, and petroleum modern-art sculpture.
On the far side, about 10 lanes away, an unusual movement caught my eye. It was round, bouncing, and heading my way … straight into the path of many millions of dollars worth of rabid squishing machines. A basketball.
I’m sure you can imagine my surprise. I’ve seen many things cross the road … people, deer, possums, squirrels, even the occasional chicken. Never a basketball, at least not quite like this. I blinked a few times, thinking maybe it was my imagination or a retinal burn from the glint off the chrome of the fluorescent pink Ferrari which had cut me off moments before. Still there. I stared, as the round Mr. Spalding leapt forward.
Like some cruel real-life Frogger game the ball took the risk of traversing each lane. He bounced, high, up and over a full column of traffic then descended again, hitting right on the white dividing line. A second bounce, over a red Honda, carried him deeper still. A third cut across the windshield of a diesel truck whose bearded driver wore the expression of a perplexed Lhasa apso in a rubber bone factory.
Nobody was more amazed then me when the traveling globe cleared the concrete center barrier as I drove past…
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