Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 03/03/2024

We start with this post about how the boats are loaded: 

One person calls that side lane on the Chetzemoka “the tunnel of shame.” I’ve never thought of it as shameful, but rather just one of the weird quirks of the most MC Escher boat in the fleet, where I routinely get lost walking around the various sub-decks and alleyways. 

You know how a lot of the ferry boats were built in the 1970s, a time before SUVs and pickup trucks were common family cars, and the lanes are skinny and the turns tight? And now when you get out of your vehicle on the boat, you have to carefully crack your door open and slide out sideways while sucking in your gut to make sure you don’t scratch the car next to you with your door? Maybe they just haven’t updated the loading procedures to keep up with the changing times. Maybe if we ever get those new-fangled electric boats, they’ll have wider lanes to accommodate the ballooning size of American vehicles. 

Or maybe they really are punishing you for being uncool. Since my family has gotten a pickup truck, the crew often puts us in the middle, and I feel like a rock star being given special loading and offloading privileges. But since others with large vehicles aren’t getting the same treatment, I can only assume that I am a rockstar and I deserve the special treatment. 

Group members blame the poor loading process on a lack of training for new crew members. One person has this novel suggestion:  “I’ve always thought that they needed some standards of operations procedures, like getting past level 15 in a game of Tetris.” I guess if you know to save space for the straight line in tetris, then you can also know to leave room for big rigs in the middle of the boat. However, in Tetris level 15, the pieces are falling so fast that they blur, and I just don’t think vehicles will ever load into the boat that fast, despite what some drivers on our island would like. 

Another person describes a friend who took matters into her own hands, “She lost her side mirror twice. Finally, she got on board and when they tried to put her down the skinny outside lane (the old boat) she stopped and turned off her car. She wouldn’t move until they agreed to put her in a wider lane. They even called the captain down and he finally acceded to her demand. 🤣 Of course, the crew teased her about this every time she boarded.”

One person gives this explanation for why they have to load theChetzemoka weird: “It had something to do with getting a piece of machinery installed on the wrong side of the ship. I thought it was the Elevator but it may have been a tank as well. That is why it leans to one side.”

And speaking of new-fangled vehicles, we have this post: 

Thanks to this post, the white Tesla driver may have exposed themself. Someone responds, in all seriousness, with no realization that we are going to come after them with pitchforks: “😂 ohhh you must have been the one doing 39 in the 50. I was an unfortunate bystander that suffered behind you. How I wish I had the HP to have passed you too. I know that grey Audi Q5 can do the speed limit…”

I’m no detective, but I think this commenter was behind a different car. The original poster is well known for driving a pink hearse, and their username even includes the word “Hearse.” Maybe the commenter doesn’t only drive fast, they also read so fast that they pass up important information, like the name of the poster, or the fact that the post is obviously light-hearted and not an invitation to fight. 

So either this Tesla punk was driving so fast that they confused a hearse for an Audi, or they just took the one time they may have been justified in passing a car and extended that out to represent all the times that weren’t justified. 

And speaking of inconsiderate behavior, we have this post: 

Maybe we shouldn’t blame other customers for the smell. One person says, “I think it’s the tomatoes lol sometimes they smell like that.”

And another says, “Maybe it was the Brussels sprouts smell leaving the area?”

A pure, innocent being asks “? … you mean the water they spray to keep the veggies from wilting and drying out?”

Oh, you poor sweet soul. I’m sorry that this was the week you learned the cold hard truth. Someone answers, “nah bro means farting and walking away at lightning speed.”

We also have the lovely story about sniffing oranges in the produce section:  “OK – so Christmas for me, growing up in the 50s, always involved getting a tangerine (post WWII we called them something else) and that’s the smell of Christmas to me. Then there was a boycott, the details of which pass me by. But it felt like a significant loss. To this day I can remember when they came back. I was in Thriftway and just buried my nose in the glorious stack. 🍊

This is what I’ll be like when Quaker Oats fixes their salmonella problem and they bring back granola bars. I will shove my face in the rack so hard that all the boxes topple to the ground. 

Finally, we have a post about this money-saving endeavor: 

Oh my god, this is the greatest premise for a romantic comedy. Someone please take them up on this offer. I’m already part of a couple’s membership at the gym, but I’m willing to ask the staff there about their deals for polyamorous throuples if it would save me 50 bucks a month. Considering how many times my kids have puked in the locker room after swallowing too much pool water and the staff had to come clean it up while I was naked (2 times), I couldn’t possibly debase myself any more in front of them than I already have. 

I realize that saying that might make someone not want to have their gym membership tied to mine. I may be the worst gym patron ever, but I don’t drive a Tesla and I don’t crop dust in the grocery store (I own my farts like a boss/sociopath), so keep that in mind while vetting potential gym-mates. 

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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