Well, technically they weren’t my balls…they were the balls I’ve collected from other people.
I live right next to a tennis court, so it’s routine for people to hit balls over the fence which land on my patio. Over the years I’ve amassed quite a large collection of stray balls (naturally, I’m always willing to return other people’s balls if they ask for them, but most of the time they don’t bother) – more than two dozen, at its peak. Occasionally I’ll get neighbors asking if they can borrow one (or two) of my balls, which always struck me as odd…why would any tennis player want to play with someone else’s balls? Especially since my balls have been exposed to the elements for years, so they’ve become darkened and shriveled. But if a tennis player’s too cheap to play with their own fresh balls, whatever, I’m more than happy to let them play with my old crappy balls. At least, until now…
Last week, for the first time, I noticed considerable shrinkage in my ball stack. What used to be a pile of two dozen balls had suddenly become merely five; and today, all of them are gone. No more balls.
Not sure what to do – I could report them stolen, but technically they weren’t my balls to begin with. And it’s possible that it wasn’t a person who stole them – do raccoons play with balls? Today I did a little CSI work outside, but couldn’t find any determinable footprints or obvious signs of disturbance, and nothing else on my patio has been fondled, except my balls. Therefore, my only real choice is to wait for stray balls to start accumulating again – which, sadly, will take years. Lesson learned…protect your balls!