Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 04/28/2024

We have an infestation of a mystery bug, described in this post: 

The poster is not alone. One person says, “OMG I just had a battle with one in my office in between work calls – he kept bouncing against my window and it was disgusting! 🪰

Someone asks, “Did you win the battle?!”

Yes they won, but at great cost. There was much collateral damage.  They describe the action here in this glorious battle hymn: “I did! But I probably looked like a maniac trying to trap it on my office window, it kept falling into my knick knacks on my desk and I was just yelling “GROSSS!” My husband was like WTH is going on in there?!”

Some people chime in with what type of bug it might be. Is it a horsefly, a farm fly, a mason bee, Jeff Goldblum? Here are some pictures people posted for reference. 

One group member killed a fly and shared its carcass online as a warning to others. 

Wait, it turns out the story is even more grim. They say, “Actually, I killed it last night and I just noticed that it’s cute little paws were still wiggling. I killed it again.”

But some people aren’t bothered by the brutality and slow death. One says, “The cutest little killing I ever did see! 🖤🪰🖤🪰🖤🪰🖤🪰🖤

Someone reminds us that we’re getting our just desserts from enjoying the spring weather. They say, “This is what the awful warmth and sunshine brings. Remember that when it’s gray, rainy, and beautiful.”

Some people have creative ideas for ridding your house of flies. One says, “Solution: vacuum hose!!! They are so slow, they never see it coming until they are helplessly sucked in! Very satisfying”

Another suggests, “Shoot them with a bug a ‘salt’ gun, they’re fantastic.”

I’m picturing a tiny gun, but instead of bullets, you load it with one grain of Kosher salt. And then you must have very precise aim. 

Another person suspects foul play. They say, “Zuckerberg spies.”  Why would he need spies when we willingly post our deepest secrets into the wiretap app? 

Flies aren’t the only thing annoying us. There’s another small,  buzzing creature infesting our island. We have this post: 

Sometimes people go to see children’s movies in the theater and then get annoyed that the children in the audience are acting like children. 

Many commenters say that they were raised to be quiet in movie theaters, and what is wrong with the parents of these children for not imbuing them with the sacred cultural knowledge of how to behave in the place where Americans commune with our Hollywood gods? 

After a number of people complain that a movie theater is a place where one can expect quiet meditation and solitude, a commenter says, “That’s certainly what my parents and grandparents thought! And how I act in movie theaters. But it turns out that expecting strangers in public to behave how you were taught to, only stresses one out.”

And I agree. You can’t control how others behave. You can only control yourself. So a good idea is to change seats. 

But some people think they shouldn’t have to move. It’s a matter of principle. One says, “if someone’s enjoyment of a movie is talking to your friend through the whole thing then you should wait to see it with them when it comes to your TV. Parents need to explain this to their kids.”

Another responds,  “One could just as easily argue that if you want to enjoy a film in perfect silence, you should wait to see it in your own controlled setting.”

Some people point out that even if you tell your kids how to behave, they might not fully absorb that lesson, and they might not act perfectly. As one commenter says,  “Prefrontal cortex development bites.”

Another looks at it from a different point of view. It could be way worse. “I mean being a teen is not fun, but I gotta say if this is their rebellion I’m all for it as opposed to stealing or drugs. I’ll take annoying poor movie theater etiquette any day of the week. lol. Alas, still sucks.”

And some point out that expecting quiet in a theater is a culturally specific thing. One person says, “Try seeing a movie in NYC. When I lived there and rarely went to movies cause too expensive…. People would scream and yell and laugh and it was ok everyone was paying attention to the movie. People on Vashon are spoiled and don’t seem to understand how the world works (and I grew up on Vashon so I can say this with certainty).”

It reminds me of when I went to see An Inconvenient Truth in the theater with my mom in Connecticut. The whole theater was quiet except for my mother, who spent the whole hour and 58 minutes yelling at the screen, sighing loudly, yelling, ‘Can you believe these turkeys?!’, and otherwise mortifying me. 

A week later, I went to see the same movie in New York with my sister. But there everyone was yelling at the screen except for us. Going out to the movies was a community event, and the point was to see the movie with other people and all experience and react to it together. 

So instead of saying these kids are bad people with bad parents who don’t know how to function in polite society, maybe we can just assume they were visiting from New York. 

And although we hate noise in the movie theater, we have some noise we do like: grocery store music. We have this post:

“Fight for Your Right to pay $6 for an avocado?” asks one islander. 

Another says, “It must be random because I have heard Ed Sheeran at Theftway and promptly fucked off to IGA. The thing that makes me stabby about music in markets and airplanes is that it’s always SHIT! Humanity don’t need music everywhere.” I agree with this person. The world is too full of stimuli, and I just want to immerse myself in one of those sensory deprivation tanks. But they don’t offer those tanks with shopping carts attached, so I have to experience the reality of the grocery store with my fragile, raw nerves. 

One person has this suggestion: “The only acceptable music is the sort I can dance to, to embarrass my children.”

When I was younger, I stayed out all night at parties and clubs with music so loud it drowned out whatever dumb thing I was trying to say. Now I feel wild if I go to the grocery store after 6pm. But if they play my old dance music in the grocery store, I can feel like I haven’t aged, and I’m still young, listening to angry men rhyming badly while I do the same thing I’ve always done when I leave my house- think about how I can’t wait to go home and eat. 

Now that I’m an adult, instead of going home and eating a chaotic meal of spaghetti and cereal at two in the morning then crashing,  I go home early and spend my time reading about weird bugs on the internet while my children talk over the movie that’s playing in the background.  

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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