Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 03/10/2024

An islander created this sticker for us.

We get mad at people who don’t like jet noise, even though none of them tagged up to the thread. And since these people aren’t here to defend themselves, we can assume the absolute worst about them.  One person says, “It’s like we all want to have instant access to Seattle and want Seattle to go out of its way to avoid getting its “big city” on us.”

And since we hate abstractions, someone says, “If jet noise keeps yuppies away, please bring more!”

We should get a recording of jet noise and play it whenever Sotheby’s is doing an open house.

Another person has a solution- make jet engines quieter. They say, “The GE-90 Is quite possibly one of the most magical things ever created tbh” They then add, “Fu k it. This thread is now a GE-90 appreciation thread…”

Here’s a compilation of some of the pictures they posted. 

I can’t wait to die when one of these falls onto my head because Boeing decided to cut corners and install this bad boy with Elmers glue. 

Hardly a day goes by that we don’t argue about speed limits. This week, we have a poll, and I find the results about as disturbing as the political polls: 51% of Americans would rather live in an underground bunker eating rats than raise the corporate tax rate. 

The first choice has notably been endorsed by Lightning McQueen, who, in Cars 3, crashes in a race due to his own overconfidence.

In the comments, people have specific suggestions, such as this one, with whom I wholeheartedly agree: ” Lower it to 5 mph everywhere except town, where it should be 1 mph.”

We agree that people need to slow down in town. One person says, “I think just have everyone stop totally, that would make things even safer. Maybe even 2MPH in reverse?”

Other suggestions include, “I think Vashon needs a stock car track and a drag strip that hosts demolition derbys and caravan racing.”

And: “export 5000 yuppies back to Bellevue.”

And “Ask the county to add a traffic cop”

That last suggestion isn’t met well. People point out how ineffectual it would be. One person says, “They would probably (thankfully) just hide on the backroads and not do anything like the current law enforcement.” Another adds, “you mean as opposed to hiding in their office playing video games like they do now?”

Wait, can you draw in a six-figure salary to sit around playing video games? I know e-sports exist, but you must be good at video games. I want to get paid to hang out and repeatedly lose rounds of Tetris 99. 

Another person has a novel solution: “Raise it to 60mph except for outside my house because I’m tired of hearing trucks rev their engines to get up the dang hill 🙃

Maybe we could all dictate the speed limit on the road that passes by our properties. I would require people to leave their cars and push them up the hill. 

And since we’re perpetually mad at speed limits, we have this post: 

We tell people to leave earlier, but they claim that no matter how early they leave, they are stuck behind someone who not only takes 2 hours to cross the island, but also magically makes the boats leave on time. 

Someone asks: “When somebody is not behaving in the way we think they should, or “normally”, maybe we could stop and ask ourselves why, instead of assuming we automatically know they are being passive/aggressive?”

No, no, no. If someone inconveniences me, it is because they hate me and are purposely trying to irritate me. Everything is all about me. 

One person says, “Gosh – I cannot even imagine a day where I’ve had so little to do that I’d have the luxury to CHOOSE to drive under the speed limit on purpose. I aspire to someday be a human with so much spare time that I’ll have forgotten what it feels like to have a workday scheduled down into 15 and 30 minute intervals. “

They apparently have the time to CHOOSE to write 2  long-winded paragraphs. But seriously, my friend, if work is so stressful that you have to speed to get there and don’t have a spare moment free to enjoy the scenery, then you really need to unionize your workplace.  

One person responds, “I’m a senior citizen … I’ve worked hard all my life. Now, I’m finally retired, and when I’m driving around Vashon, I don’t want to Step On It and SPEED everywhere. CHILL OUT !!”

The person who posted about their work stress says, “ I just get all envious of the really nice people who aren’t in a hurry to get their coffee and go.”  Don’t take that envy out on others. Don’t say that because you suffer, others should, too. Say that you shouldn’t suffer.  Here’s an application to join the AFL-CIO:

Not all of us take the speed limit debate so seriously. We have this parody post: 

This leads commenters to create novel solutions to the problem, such as this one: “next up: radio collars on the deer to let WSF know when they can sail even later, or even skip more sailings!”

Someone recommends a deer whistle that attaches to your car and scares not only deer, but also locals who hate jet noise.

Another islander suggests, “You just need to move the deer crossing signs to less busy roads so they can cross there ”

But one person thinks that nothing will stop the deer, because they are doing it on purpose. They say, “Deer revenge. They are laughing in the woods.”

And speaking of wildlife, we have a 13-paragraph novella about what to do when coyotes enter your yard.  It starts like this: “The reason I’m posting this message isn’t just to raise awareness in the local area, but the coyotes behavior demonstrated for me very clearly how the humans on the island are behaving. “ 

 It’s  a pretty good story, where this woman sees a coyote with a chicken tail feather in its mouth, and runs out and chases the coyote, but then when the coyote stops beyond the tree line and watches her, she has this epiphany. She figures people never chase the coyote farther than this, so he’s just waiting for her to leave so he can go back for the rest of the chicken.  So she continues to chase him. She climbs over a fence. She enters the forest. The coyote keeps looking back at her in bewilderment, wondering when she’ll give up. But she doesn’t give up.

Toward the end she says, “The behavior of this coyote tells me that I am a very unusual human.” I imagine that your friends have been telling you this for years, but it’s only when you see the baffled look on the face of a coyote that it finally sinks in. 

She sums up by letting us know that the problem would be solved if we, too, were all a little weirder. She says,  “Spend 10 minutes harassing and following and threatening a coyote if it comes on your property and tries to kill your animals. Teach them to fear humans!”

Dear readers, have you spent ten minutes harassing a coyote today? If not, then you aren’t doing your part to keep livestock safe. 

Others in the comments have different, less time-consuming approaches. One says, “Shotgun double ott buckshot is the only answer.”

Others recommend livestock dogs and airhorns.  Maybe we could play recordings of jet noise to scare them off. 

Another person says that it doesn’t matter how weird you are, the coyotes will come back. “Free range chickens on an unfenced property is like a fast food buffet for coyotes, particularly when they are feeling pressure to feed pups. In this situation they will keep coming back no matter what you do or how you behave–they’ll just be more cautious about it.”

That sounds like a challenge to me. We’ll have an arms race. The coyotes will get sneakier, and we’ll get weirder. We’ll be running outside brandishing air horns, chasing the beasts deep into the woods, making them so very unsettled that they don’t come anywhere near humans.  And they will slink into our yards under the cover of darkness, hiding their growls below the noise of passing jet planes to steal our livestock in the dead of night. 

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.