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The Eagle Angle

Humans of Allen: Jessi Randolph

“Is this about how I steal tennis balls? Because I do that.”


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“Is this about how I steal tennis balls? Because I do that. I like petty theft—not really, but—stealing things that don’t matter or aren’t important? It’s just kind of funny to me and in my family. We do that! My brother, he stole a Chili’s potholder and he stuck that on the gearshift of his truck, and that’s how he started it all. Then, when he got to high school, he came here and regularly parked out back by the tennis courts. Every day, he’d pick up tennis balls and throw them into his truck, and then when he started working at a golf course he stole stray golf balls and threw them into the truck. My 16th birthday, he gave me the truck, but had a few conditions before I could have it, one of them being that I had to continue stealing tennis balls from the tennis courts, because he did, and so I still do that. Anytime I find a stray ball anywhere near my truck, I just pick it up and throw it in. I’ve only been yelled at once by the tennis coach, but a lot of the tennis kids know. A lot of them are really appreciative because they don’t have to pick all of the balls up themselves. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve become infamous for it, and so people will just bring me tennis balls—people in first period will come up to me, like “Jessi, Jessi! I have something for you!” and they’ll sneak me a tennis ball. Once, someone who I didn’t recognize came up to me while I was walking through the hallway and handed me a tennis ball. I’ve had tennis balls left on my hood before, just by random people, like I guess I’m just known for it? I have over 50 in my new truck now, and an entire garbage bag of them back in my room from that truck my brother gave me. My brother? He sold all his golf balls and tennis balls, and told me I had to start over for myself. I’m probably gonna give them back, like the end of some ”

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