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Friday, April 19, 2024

Humor: Surviving the off campus wasteland



A view into the insanity that surrounds sweet, innocent UC Davis

Patchy lighting. Dead silence. A wave of crime and uncertainty on the brink of collapsing down on an unsuspecting populace. To you, this must sound like the plot of a noir film from the 1950s. If this was your first thought, good effort, but please never assume that you know what I’m talking about again. You have no idea what I’m going to say next, especially because this is no film noir. It’s the real-life story of Davis’ off campus wasteland.

Surprising, isn’t it? Most people see Davis as a peaceful college town connected to an uncomfortably flat campus. But there’s a threatening side to the town that goes beyond its similarly-uncomfortable flatness and, in my opinion, knowing what’s out there is the best way to help you improvise, adapt and overcome these trying times.

Downtown Davis is a hub for the plausibly horrific events plaguing our city. Laptop thieves pace around the corner of every dark alley connected to a coffee shop, waiting for their chance to steal the Macbook Pro your parents bought you after you “outgrew” your Macbook Pro from freshman year. Construction on Third Street seems endless. Different parts of the street close down seemingly without warning. Some students even report going into a store and coming out to a completely different street, causing mass panic and, in severe cases, the obligation to take a different path than usual.

It doesn’t stop there. Travel deeper into the wasteland to find sights unfathomable. Huge groups of raccoons roam Davis streets at night. We’re talking, like, between two and 10,000 raccoons picking trash, recyclables and, with confirmed accounts, vehicles clean with those adorable, furry paws. Take a wrong turn and you might be their next victim.

Travel deeper and you’ll spy burglars walk into houses while people are out, while people are home, while people are literally on their front porch watching them steal their television. Frisbee golfers ruin any respite at public parks as they passive aggressively wait for you to move out of their wind or from in front of their final chain basket on the best damn streak of their entire career. Students who have never driven a car before attempt to do so, stopping in the middle of lanes with their hazard lights on, as if that means something. Meanwhile, amateur bus drivers, bikers with no sense of the law and pedestrians with literal death wishes form a traffic hellscape. And rogue, solitary turkeys. That’s all I need to say.

The worst, however, has not been revealed. There is another threat to your safety, one that only appears in the most dire of off-campus late nights: the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse. The Beach Cruiser, The Side-by-Side Couple, The Silent Passer and The “I SAID I WAS ON YOUR LEFT” weave through the chaos to ruin any patience or sanity you might have left.

This is part one of a two-part report. Stay tuned.


Written by: Conner Shaw — cjshaw@ucdavis.edu

(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


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