Anyone in the DC area probably knows all about this infernal problem--if not, count yourself lucky, but be forewarned--THEY ARE COMING to a neighborhood near you. And, unlike leaves, which only plague us for a few weeks in the fall, gumballs are there 365 days a year (366 in leap years).
Gumballs have an insidious design--covered with needle-sharp points that are very painful to a dog or barefoot human. They can get stuck between a dog's toe pads, and--because they are round and slippery--can cause a person to fall; I speak from personal experience.
In addition to the needle points they also have a little tail with a hook on the end, so they get tangled in the grass and are hard to remove. And they have an uncanny ability to bury themselves in the earth--but only halfway, so one needle-covered hemisphere is still above ground, waiting for the unwary passerby. This, of course, makes removal even more difficult--blowers don't work on the embedded ones.
Pondering this further, I began to wonder if such an evil thing could be entirely nature's fault. As a retired CIA analyst, I am sensitive to threats to national security, and there is some evidence of an intelligent force behind the gumball menace:
- They don't seem to fall randomly, but rather at the times that are most inconvenient. Planning an outdoor party? Expect a gumball deluge.
- The number of gumballs on the ground is always far greater than the number still on the trees--a lot of them seem to come from some mystery source.
- And just how do the little buggers manage to half-bury themselves? They don't have arms or hands or anything else to dig with; it's very suspicious.
But who or what could be orchestrating this plague on our welfare? In the old days, we would have suspected the Soviet Union, but it's gone and Russia is a fading power. China is a more likely suspect--it already has surpassed the US in terms of total economic output (GDP) and clearly is intent on expanding its global power. But could it really orchestrate a gumball apocalypse?
After further thought and research I have ruled out human or supernatural causes and have concluded that malevolent space aliens are behind the gumball onslaught. Just look at the growing number of UFO sightings and the recent surge of meteors and near-misses by asteroids. This was further confirmed when I spotted the threatening gumball message shown in the accompanying photo. I hope Patch will investigate so that this threat hopefully can be nipped in the (gumball) bud.