I was walking down the street by myself, like a baller. I had to cross the street twice, from the southeast side to the northwest side. As I looked around, I noticed something cool: there were no cars coming from any direction. 

I said, “Yo homies, I’m ‘bout to cross this street… diagonally.” And I did that. Like a super baller.

But reaching the far corner felt anticlimactic. Had anyone realized what I had just done? Did anyone grasp the significance of that move? Could even I quantify the degree to which I had asserted dominance over my ambulatory peers?

Picture it: me, flouting crosswalks, engaging in extreme jaywalking, crossing the literal center of a New York City intersection where perhaps no man had gone on foot before. I was a legend among pedestrians. But how much so? The question nagged me.

And then it hit me. I had just traversed the hypotenuse of a right triangle. For the first time in my adult life, I could finally invoke… the Pythagorean Theorem, A2+B2=C2. Mental calculus swirled in my head.

If I assume the crosswalks are legs A & B of a single unit each in length, then the square of my diagonal path, C, must equal 12 + 12! So, if C is the square root two, and I would have otherwise walked 2 full law-abiding units, I divide the former by the latter, getting 0.7071, the ratio of my steps to everyone else’s! 

If I subtract that from one, I get 29.29%, the proportion of steps I saved! “Please note!” I exclaimed to the world, making only a minor mathematical leap of faith. “I am nearly 30% extra baller!”

And that, kids, is when you’ll use geometry when you’re older.