Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 05/26/2024

I missed last week due to my daughter’s birthday, and am now catching up on two weeks’ worth of rants. We start with a scathing rebuke of the current state of the economy. We have this post: 

Bagels are a human right and should be free. 

We’re divided into two camps: One says they’re homemade and it’s expensive to make quality bagels. It’s not like donuts, which are just a mix of sugar and garbage thrown into a fryer and coated with sprinkles. The other camp says we should burn down the world and start anew, creating a utopia where you can get a bagel with Smear for under $5.00. 

The debate got so heated that I learned that there’s a middle finger emoji. 

In all this, no one defines Smear, or tells me where to get these devine bagels. But I ventured out of my house and saw this sign, so I’m guessing it’s here. 

And while we’re in town, let’s see how we could improve it. We have this post: 

Some of us are afraid of change. The very first question is: “So you just want to get rid of all the parking?”

As for where else people could park, Anonymous posts this helpful image of where you could park if those 30 spaces disappeared. 

Another person says, “It’s pretty, it’s polished, it’s giving hard gentrification, though. Take an observant stroll through Point Ruston. It’s tacky, it’s Santa Barbara; it’s not our PNW aesthetic or vibe. It’s contrived and will be dated before you know it.”

Flowers and sidewalks quickly go out of style, but nothing is as timeless as an expanse of concrete. 

Apparently lots of people associate beauty with gentrification. One says, “Blech. Can we please not follow the rich,white, urban gentrification handbook…How about something better?”

I’m trying to think what would be better than sidewalks and plants. Maybe a waterslide? 

Anonymous responds, “Ugh yeah, god forbid we have plants instead of pavement. Plants are so for rich people. Vashon is only allowed things for poor people, like cement.”

Another says, “Let’s not do to our village what Bainbridge did to theirs. Let’s celebrate authenticity.”

I just don’t get why concrete is more authentic than plants. Uptown feels kind of slapdash to me. Especially that one telephone pole that’s sticking out of the road in front of Gravy. Would it hurt to make town slightly less gloomy?

Now that’s authentic!

Anonymous says more pedestrian traffic will lure more shoppers and be good for local businesses. Others reply, “member Who in the f*** says we want more shoppers?!” 

There are skeptics. One person says, “And who is going to maintain all those flowers? You?” I vote we plant native plants that are easier to maintain and look good all year round. Maybe some evergreen shrubs. 

Some people want to take it a step further and make the main drag pedestrian only and route the cars around. 

But people beg and plead not to do it, for where, oh where, will they park their cars? 

Someone says, “The county should have bought the Kimco building and turned it fully into parking, 🅿️”  See, now people are thinking big. 

Another adds, “Just a thought..more shuttle buses less cars?”

An astute reader notes, “Where did the power lines go? Is town 100% solar?” Now we’re dreaming big!

But we need those on street parking spots in particular. One person says, “I need that shoulder to idle my F350 diesel for 15 minutes while I order a burger and catch up.”

Someone speaking as surrogate for the local wildlife says, “The island deer like this post👍” That’s all the endorsement I need. I’m sold!

And speaking of improving Vashon, it’s not just uptown that needs a makeover. It is the rot within our own souls. We have lost the ability to feel joy at the laughter of children. We have this post: 

It goes on, but you get the gist. 

I hate it when strangers tell me how to raise my kids. I can screw up my kids on my own without outside help, thank you very much. 

The first two comments set the tone of the debate. One person says, “Well said, and thanks for ‘owning’ it.” The next says, “Bullshit.” This person admits to yelling at kids “when they are acting like assholes.”  

Another agrees with them. They start with this laughing bear emoji, which makes me assume they’re a furry.  “😹 Yes kids are kids. They are great. But also there are standards of behavior and respect for everyone. Kids learn these. I have left many businesses often without buying anything because I was there when one or more children were being so loud and their parents were just letting them even a suggestion that other people exist.”

The trick to getting your kids to be quiet in public is to guilt them. Be like, ‘other people will perceive you and judge you. If you make a sound or any quick movements, the Beast of Opinions will shine its many hungry eyes on you.’  

Someone puts it in these…interesting terms. 

The trick is to whap your kid in the the nose with a rolled up newspaper if they behave badly. Or just blow a whistle that only children can hear. 

One person has this read of the situation, they say that when the original poster said: “I want to raise my kiddo in a place that surrounds with love and allows growth and curiosity and noise and happiness”, they interpret it to mean: “I’m raising a child who will be totally unprepared for living in the real world around them”

Hear me out, what if we give children the ability to create a world where people care for each other, rather than telling them they have no choice but to be a wolf in an uncaring world they have no control over? 

We of course get into a debate about how the children in question were behaving. Despite the novel-length post, we can’t decide if they were normal child play shrieks or the screaming of an entitled demon child who cowtows their parents into getting what they want by creating a scene. 

We interpret it whichever way serves our biases better. I’ll admit, I got tired of reading all the comments and just kinda skimmed them. But people kept talking about something called ‘free range parenting’ which I assume means letting your kids out in the yard every morning to eat slugs from the garden. I’m not sure how this relates to screaming, unless the kids crow at dawn and wake the neighbors. 

Anyway, I’m tired of all the bickering. I’m now only reading posts that have pictures of cute animals. On that note, here’s a cat rescued from the Tahlequah ferry terminal. 

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.