I walked my bike up Heartbreak Hill along Broad yesterday, fresh off the 5:46, when I saw the first ball.
It was a bright purple plastic sphere, the sort you see in a ballpit, kids romping about and throwing the flyweight orbs at each other with impunity.
As I headed up Broad, I saw two more — orange and blue — on the side of the road. A few houses further, four — yellow, purple, green, red — more.
Obviously it’s been raining like a mofo in the area, and the gutter serves to direct water down Heartbreak Hill and into a waiting sewer. So the balls could’ve been transported from a higher elevation.
Up to the corner of Brighton, five balls in one cluster like frightened refugees. Another cluster, three, like an Easter egg hunt for exceptionally thick children.
Three more at the base of Bradhurst. All told, maybe 20 of the brightly colored balls.
So, like, what happened? It wasn’t garbage day, so it wasn’t like someone at the top of the hill left them out for trash.
There’s an elementary school a block to the south, and it appears to be the last week of school, when all sorts of frolicky activity takes place. I thought perhaps the balls were escapees from some sort of outdoor school fun — everyone in the giant ballpit! But some balls sat up the hill from the school, and those balls surely didn’t roll up Heartbreak Hill.
Maybe someone had them in a box in the trunk of their car, and their trunk flew open and spilled its contents into the street. When I consider this possiblity, I can’t help but picture a Volkswagen Beetle jammed full of clowns.
Yet another suburban mystery. Flummoxed, I hopped back on the Trek and finished the rest of my journey home.