One afternoon I was up in my room and got a phone call from Josh. I was still a year away from owning a cell phone, so it was on our dorm land line. He said he needed help with a couple of packages he received today. In college it's a great feeling to open your mailbox and have a package slip inside. It's a feeling of knowing someone cares about you enough to send something big. This happened so infrequently that it was always a big deal when you got one. I didn't think anything of it because his birthday was that coming weekend, but when I got down to the mail room, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.
Ball pit balls, as it turns out, is the official name for them, and we had five full boxes. (This picture is a little inaccurate as his came in groups of 50, but it's the best I could find.) That's two-hundred and fifty little plastic balls of various colors.
When we got to the common area of our suite, we opened all five boxes at once and poured them amidst our living room. Our hopes of a thick sea of plastic balls, a la a McDonalds Play Place were quickly dashed. Our college-issued couch had large wooden sides that went from the arm rest to the ground, leaving a big gap underneath. Many of the balls rolled free and resided below it, making it hard to retrieve them. The dream of being able to hide or sit in amongst the balls was nothing like the reality, a sparsely covered linoleum floor.
The two lounge chairs provided to were one cushion replicas of the couch. By angling two of them agains the wall and having their armrests come to a point, we were able to create an isolated triangle to store the balls. The main problem with this was that it was entirely too small for any college aged male to fit in, except maybe Chris.
For the most part the balls were just in random places in the living room, but playing with them lost its luster very fast. This soon resulted in us throwing the balls as hard as they could at each other, which resulted in us all having welts. Random people from our hallway would come into the room only to turn right around, fleeing from the assault of plastic balls whizzing at them. The balls didn't look like they'd hurt, but we all had marks to prove that they did.
Little by little the total began to diminish. Some were bitten into because they "looked delicious". Others were stabbed with forks or popped in other ways. By the end of the semester nearly all of the balls were gone except for one of each color that I hid away in my room. I actually found one of each color tucked away in my old bedroom at my parents house last time I was home for a visit. They're still fun to have around, even not in mass quantity.