Only On Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 02/26/2023

We have a cool looking silver quarter and a question about how much it’s worth. 

One islander asks, “This makes me wonder if anyone knows of an honest/ethical numismatist in the area.” I like the implication that Seattle is rife with shady numismatists working together to lowball you for prices, like the bad guys in Steinbeck’s The Pearl. 

I’m impressed by the number of islanders who are knowledgeable about coins. The consensus is that, due to the wear in the coin, it’s worth only the silver it’s made of, so a couple of dollars. As one commenter says, “It’s worth in weight of silver about $4.37 full spot minus fees.” 

I love how they say ‘about’ and give a very unround number. Anyway, for four dollars, it’d save you money just to keep it and not go to the one reputable numismatist in Bellevue. One crafty islander recommends turning it into a pair of earrings. 

There’s been a run on peppers at Thriftway, and we have this story and question: 

“Went to Thriftway yesterday and there were only 3 little sad organic green peppers. 🫑🫑🫑When I left there were 2. 🫑🫑The cashier told me a whole shipment had come in that morning. Sold out. So my question dear Vashonites,  is what are you all making with the peppers? 🤣🤣🤣I’ll go first… Using it to scoop

babaganoush. I imagine an island full of chili this weekend! 🤣🤣🥳🌶️🫑🫑🫑

We have some recipes. My favorite thing is when we share recipes. Wait, no, my favorite thing is when we argue about language, my second favorite is when we share recipes for things I’ll never cook, but I imagine I’m going to cook them while reading about them online. When it comes time to actually make dinner, I open the bag of chicken strips and the frozen peas and pop them in the oven. (Note: I remove them from the bag first. There’s your handy culinary tip of the day.) 

Here’s a plan from one islander: “I made a hurry up and get here spring wunderegg salad with lightlife tenders and spicy smashed potatoes 🥔 I got the 7th to last green pepper and thought they were just low on stock.”

This sounds amazing. I have no idea what a hurry up and get here wondering salad is, but I want one. Maybe a raspberry vinaigrette is involved. 

Others are eating the peppers raw, and some are making quiches. 

One person must have bought up a bunch of the shipment because they say, “Need a steady supply for winter chowder and chili and raw salads and dipping.”

Those all sound amazing. I’d go to Thriftway to pick up peppers and make homemade baba ganoush. But rumor has it they’re out of peppers, so it looks like cereal for dinner is in my future.

For years the galley on the ferry was closed, and now that it’s finally reopened, we have complaints about the food. Specifically, the price-to-volume ratio of popcorn. 

ppon ocr

This pint-sized bag of popcorn costs $3.85 on the ferry. 

Some people think we should boycott ferry food until the price drops below $2.97 or however much a six-inch bag of popcorn is worth. Others say boycotts harm the poor because the rich will always be able to afford 4-dollar popcorn, and the poor will suffer. Others point out that stocking a ferry with food and staffing the galley is pricey so the food will be more expensive. 

I’m mostly impressed that the poster had a measuring tape on them and took the time to document the size of the bag.

And speaking of pettiness, we have that in abundance this week. The first example is punishing mail thieves. 

Someone posts a solution to mail theft that’s come up before: “Have an idea— (I don’t have a cat…) So if everyone on the island that has a cat gets an Amazon box and empties their cat litter into it and puts it next to their mailbox… Maybe just maybe, we could teach these thieves a lesson… Just saying…????”

One islander worries that mail thieves would come to their house and exact revenge even if they remove their address before putting out the box. I like this idea of an escalating war between people who order packages and mail thieves. After they steal your kitty litter, they’ll create a fake package that looks like it should belong to you and fill it with dog poop. Then you create a spring-operated glitter bomb and put it in a box on your porch so that they get doused in glitter when they steal your package. Then the next time they intercept someone’s Costco order, they tp your house with the 36 double rolls of two-ply paper. It’s basically a Bugs Bunny cartoon brought to life. 

We’re also being petty about dealing with bad parkers. We have a picture of a poorly parked truck straddling the white line and taking up two spaces, all while the load in the bed is strapped only to itself, but not strapped to the truck, and precariously hanging out the back end. 

A kind islander reminds us not to judge: “I’m not judging, could have had diarrhea and wasn’t prioritizing parking accuracy…Or maybe it’s a campaign to get others to park further away and increase their cardio… there could be legit positive intent here! 😂

Now whenever I see a poorly parked car, I’ll shake my head and say, “diahrhea.Poor soul.”

Other islanders have ideas on how to teach the driver a lesson. “I would squeeze into the space on the left and await his return. When he crawls through the passenger side to glare out his window at me, that is how I know I have made a new friend.”

An islander responds: “I have done this. I parked next to two people who were over the line, then climbed out the back of my Honda CRV since I couldn’t get out either of my doors.”

I love that we’re all sharing ideas about how to be petty. Kitty litter for thieves. Acrobatically disembarking our cars teaches truck drivers a lesson. Let’s continue being as absurd as possible, greatly inconveniencing ourselves in our mission to teach others how to behave. 

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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