Yesterday afternoon, as I was walking home from class, I found a bouncy ball on the roadside. Nothing too complicated; there was merely a snatch of neon orange that drew my attention and turned out to be a ball. So I picked it up, and continued on my way through the parking lot.

It was a convenient distraction from the routine route at the time. Bouncing it through the parking lot... on smooth terrain was fine. Lob - bounce - catch. However, not all the road is perfectly flat. As I walked up a sloping hill, I bounced it onto some gravel, and it went careening into a ditch on the other side of a roadside fence. I kept walking.

Today, it was still there. I climbed over the low fence and fetched it. The ditch wasn't that bad... heck, got a little gravel in the shoes, but things looked different. Hey, what's on the other side of that other fence, over there? Lob - bounce - catch. Hits a crack in the road, and goes flying... almost rolls down a sewer drain. I run to catch it before it rolls in. A little extra effort, but nothing goes wrong. Catastrophe averted, though perhaps narrowly.

There were a damn lot of cracks in that road. Holes, too. But hey - play it safe and hold onto the ball while passing over the "danger zones," and I never would have ventured down into that ditch on the other side of that fence. Go someplace new. Use those cracks.