The Great Race to Fill the Reflecting Pool has escalated to an unfortunate level. Alas, skulduggery has crept onto the field.

The university is no longer content to suckle hind teat to mother nature in a fair contest of water skills. It is painful to say, but UCSB is cheating.

Last Tuesday, after nature’s brief but compelling Monday rain, the university vacuumed the reflecting pool. With a Shop-Vac and a sound like a hippo farting through crumpled aluminum, UCSB sucked nature’s fairly gotten quarter inch out of the pool.

The university having cheated at this game, we can only hope it restores some sport to Storke Plaza by turning the non-pool into a giant, sunken air hockey table.

Thursday’s forecast: Sunny and dry, apparently.