Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 02/19/2023

An islander asks, “How can I keep my dog from digging up the garden?” She then posts this picture for context

One answer is: “Cayenne pepper, worked with my Rottweiler.” So, do you pour cayenne pepper on the lawn, or on the dog? Or in the excavator? 

My husky doesn’t need an excavator, as he can dig a foot-deep trench in the yard in under a minute, then stick his nose in. I assume he’s hunting for voles, or possibly trying to lure demons out of hell. 

This weekend my dog has dug especially deep holes, and I assume it’s an emotional coping mechanism since we got another puppy, and Woofy’s feelings about Waffles are deep, complex, and conflicted. 

Woofy explaining to him how to steal butter from the kitchen and bury it in the couch cushions. 

I think I’ll cheer him up by getting him a burger. But which burger is the best? We have a poll.

My favorite thing is having an excuse to make a chart in Python, so here you have the results of the Best Burger Poll in the form of a graph. 

There are a number of people who long for burgers from places that no longer exist, like the Red Bike, the Malt Shop, and Dairy Queen, specifically as it existed in the 1980s, which garnered a solid 1% of the 433 votes. 

I’m impressed that the Dump has four votes, only two of which are mine. Who else goes to the dump to get burgers? We should hang out. I’m also surprised to see Subway on the list, as I didn’t know they made burgers. Also, I feel sympathy for whoever put their homemade burgers on the list and got half the votes that the dump got.

I’ve never tried Sporty’s burgers, but I get breakfast there, and half my diet is leftover Sporty’s plate sized pancakes. If I cut up leftover Sporty’s pancakes, do you suppose I could make dessert stuffing?

As much as we love burgers, we hate abandoned boats. We have this post: “Hey there! Want to dump a derelict boat or do some drugs in a parking lot? Why not go to Dockton? Everyone’s doing it! (“Vitamin Sea” wrecked out in front of King County Parks property rotting away, spilling its nasty juice. Just down the beach from the shore restoration.”

I have no idea how to dispose of an unwanted boat, but I’m pretty sure sinking it would be less conspicuous than leaving it on the shore. Every so often, the tide goes really low, and you see the tip of a mast poking out of Quartermaster Harbor. But I guess if you come up with a cool boat name like Vitamin Sea, you’ve got to show it off. 

Some people can find the good in any situation. As one islander says of this picture, “What a beautiful chemtrail”

Beyond burgers and boats, all we talked about this week was driving. You guys, we complained about people who drive too fast, people who drive too slow, teenagers who drive, and people who drive behind teenagers. We flipped each other off and told each other not to be mad about getting flipped off because we deserved it. 

We have suggestions about how to  manage speeding, and the only one I can get behind is this: “the obvious answer is mandatory spanking stations every mile.”

Even if we drive between spanking stations at 80 miles an hour, we’ll still be late for the boat because of all the stops. 

One person responds to this by saying, “ Yeah, Vashon is now a Moped or crazy bicycling Island.  We should just have a rail system ferry to ferry, electric cars, Mopeds, bicycles, walking paths, ” as well as, “Line the streets with rainbows and flowers.”  I’m entirely on board with this. What a beautiful world it would be. But wait, then I keep reading, and realize that perhaps those words were sarcasm?

Because it continues, “ Everyone can just skip along and take away what this Island once was.  Leave it alone. If you want to drive 25, then drive  25.  Don’t try to force all others to abide by you and your thoughts.”

Yes, us newcomers have changed the nature of this once great island. This should be a place where people drive fast, don’t take public transit or bike, and definitely don’t take time to smell the flowers. We should speed to the Dairy Queen to eat a burger, then speed home. But not tailgate, or turn left on the highway, or turn right. 

I hope you enjoyed the column this week. As you can see from the image below, it was written by my new puppy Waffles. 

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

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