Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 05/28/2023

We start with a question: “Anybody know what the rust colored band of crud is floating around tramp harbor?”

We have some guesses. One person says, “Tomato Soup.” Another suggests factory runoff. Some say it’s red tide. 

One person says, “Ask the Army corp of engineers that put in the land bridge to maury island…dumbies.” 

Wait, if  they’re dummies, why would I ask them anything?

A knowledgeable islander informs us, “Turns out it’s Noctiluca scintillans … a non-toxic algal bloom. The only time it can become toxic is if ammonia levels build up which can cause harm and/or death to marine life due to lack of oxygen in the water. “

Now that we’ve ascertained that the water isn’t trying to kill us, we can get back to complaining about the world’s true dangers. We have this anonymous  rant, “Don’t blast music at max volume with ur windows down on the ferry PLEASE ‼️‼️🌝

First  we have to disagree about the meanings of ‘blasting music’ and ‘with the windows down.’ It turns out the person is not complaining about someone quietly playing a lone flute while secluded in an enclosed, soundproof car. They are in fact playing the radio loudly with no barrier between them and the world beyond their car, causing perturbations in the surrounding air which, when they encounter a person’s eardrums, cause discomfort and irritation. 

Then we spend countless words discussing whether listening to loud music on the ferry boat is a problem, or if being annoyed at loud ferry music is the real problem. 

One typical response: “Others can also just get headphones that cancel sound, sleep, read a book.If it bothers someone that much, go upstairs and wait for the ferry to dock. The driver should be able to chill out however they want and so should the annoyed rider but choosing to make it the fault of the person playing music is just another way of choosing to not fix the problem yourself.”

The original poster says, “you make this sound like this was you 🌝 lmaooooooooo”

The person responds, “lol no. I listen to NPR on the road and my car has decals on it. So if you hear Marketplace and see a car with D&D stuff on it, that’s me.”

Wait, you’re all 29 people in the Thriftway parking lot on any given day? Are you also this guy? 

This brings up a point we’ve discussed in a hundred different manifestations. Where’s the line between expecting others to tolerate annoyance and moderating your behavior to not annoy others? Where does your right to act as you wish end and other’s right to exist in peace begin? 

When it comes to playing loud music in a car, I don’t have an answer, or even an opinion for that matter. But when you change the behavior from playing loud music to something more impactful, such as refusing to wear a mask during a pandemic or carrying around guns, then the calculus changes. 

The original poster has to clarify that they’re not annoyed at someone having quiet, tinny beats that occasionally flitter out from their car window like distant birdsong. “This was LOUD maximum volume and it was ROCK music for the record. 90s-00s rock. Trust me, no one wanted to hear that.”

Ah, I see. It had become …cumbersome. 

As a side note, which I may have brought up in one of my 124 previous columns (I’ve lost track of which of the three interesting things that have ever happened to me I’ve shared with you all), one time we were listening to 90s grunge rock in the car and my daughter said, “It’s all just a bunch of men whining,” and it made me reevaluate my entire adolescence. So I get why someone would not want to hear blaring 90s rock during the ferry ride.

An islander has to step in and tell the poster that they are being privileged, because no rant can go unscolded. “I just can’t imagine having a life so simple that I even had space to worry about someone being loud or playing music. What a beautiful life that must be to even have room or space for such anger. I personally have bigger fish to fry.”

Apparently Facebook posters in need of scolding are bigger fish than loud drivers. 

Others agree with the anonymous poster. One thinks you could even sing along. “Douche is the appropriate word to describe this human. Become the bass for the speaker: say it over and over again.🎶 douche 🎶 douche 🎶 douche 🎶 douche 🎶

Try singing it to the tune of Smoke on the Water. 

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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