As the rain poured down upon Davis last week, it became obvious that there is quite a difference between the levels of rain that members of the student population are able to tolerate, especially compared to the rest of the world.
Around 10:00 on Tuesday morning, freshman Frida D’Rayne arrived at the Coho to park her bike after taking over 30 minutes to bike there from her dorm, just to be safe. D’Rayne grew up in a small California desert town and somehow had never experienced precipitation before. After locking her bike right in the middle of the large bank of bike locks to the east of the Coho, D’Rayne soon realized that there was nowhere for her to walk; in the minute it took her to lock up her bike, enough additional rain had fallen to turn the spot where she stood into an island in the middle of a sea of parked bikes!
“I totally panicked,” D’Rayne said after the ordeal. “At first I thought I could stretch my legs across the puddle or maybe jump, but the puddle kept getting larger and deeper. When I accidentally got part of my shoe wet I realized how dire my situation was.”
D’Rayne reportedly called and texted several friends for help, but they all thought it was a prank. Surely nobody could actually be afraid of a puddle, could they? After several hours, witnesses described seeing D’Rayne calling for help to a passersby.
“I felt really bad for her,” said junior T’Mitch Everdt. “And I would have helped her out, but I was wearing Birkenstocks with socks, and if I had gotten my feet wet that really would have ruined the rest of my day.”
In the early evening, a group of good Samaritans organized by graduate student Abe Ovenbyont attempted to form a human chain to reach D’Rayne, who was all of six feet away from the “mainland.” As this effort began, a large group of people gathered around to watch, with dozens of people huddled under an ocean of umbrellas, despite the fact it was no longer actually raining. Apparently some Californians really just can’t handle the rain.
Unfortunately, this effort failed when one member of the chain slipped and fell into the 3-inch deep puddle, dragging the others with him. Four people were hospitalized with chronic cases of cold feet.
“It was at this point that we decided it was far too dangerous to proceed,” Ovenbyont said. “We decided to instead call the Davis fire department to get proper help.”
By this point, D’Rayne had been sitting on her bike seat for over eight hours trying to prevent herself from falling into the puddle. It was then she started hallucinating.
“I imagined that Babe the Blue Ox appeared in front of me and starting drinking all of the water in the puddle,” D’Rayne said. “After seeing this, I thought that I could walk to safety.”
However, this was not the case. Luckily, the fire department arrived just in the nick of time to save D’Rayne, who was in water up to her ankles.
D’Rayne will reportedly seek psychiatric treatment to deal with lasting trauma from the incident and to hopefully address her extreme precipitaphobia, which is now being called “Frida D’Rayne Disease” and “California Syndrome.”
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