Only on Vashon- The Weekly Rundown 06/16/2022

Vashon is taking part in a worldwide event where people hide porcelain mushrooms and other people find them.

One islander asks, “am I going to be looking behind the dumpster at the bar, or am I going to have to go hiking”. I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Why not both?” 

If you’re in the forest searching for porcelain mushrooms, be on the lookout for coyotes. 

Coyotes have been a problem on Island recently, but many people say that humans are the invasive species, and coyotes were here first. We have a rant addressing this very pertinent issue of what came first, the human settlement or the coyote bloom? 

Islanders in the comments inform us that coyotes were first introduced to King County in the 1930s, and the first mention of one in the Beachcomber is from 1960, when an islander made headlines for killing one. 

Another islander points out that potatoes, apple trees and cars also came here after people.  I like the idea of cars as an invasive species, but I also like the idea of cars as like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, alive and stuck on an island with no sense of how their very existence is a feat of horrible, horrible science. 

Clever girl

Rumor has it that WDFW introduced two mating pairs of coyotes to the island to take care of the deer population, but they won’t admit it. I live this conspiracy because it involves: (1) a government agency I had to google because I’m bad with acronyms and  (2) the idea that government conspiracies are so omnipresent that even the fish and wildlife feds are shredding documents.

One islander tells us, “at the airport, you can still see the vessel that brought those mating pairs to the island!”

This is because the coyotes parachuted onto Vashon. 

In 1963  there was a rabbit overpopulation that was so bad that a wave of them would crest into the center intersection. This is clearly proof that there were no coyotes back then. 

Another islander says, “There have been anecdotal reports of tech bros being spotted on the north end as early as the mid 90’s.” Some even say that “a mating pair of tech-bros was introduced in 2002 to mitigate the problem of the working class.”

We plan on selling the tech bros NFTs, which, if you are not familiar with the acronym, stands for Nobody-Fucking-Tknows. They are something like hyperlinks to websites containing images of garbage art? I don’t really understand. We will also try to sell NFTs to the coyotes, but they have outsmarted us by living in a complex social pack without money or credit scores or phone scams. 

We get a long history- the island was created 15,000 years ago from a receding glacier, while the oldest North American coyote fossils are 400,000 years old. So, not only do coyotes predate humans on Vashon, they predate Vashon on Vashon. 

When we’re done being mad that people think coyotes were here before us, we pivot to being mad at drivers again. It’s our favorite pastime!  We have this rant: “To the jackass going 80 down the main highway at 1 am for the last two nights: Stop it. Stop.” 

One islander asks, “You have a radar gun?” 

The poster doesn’t need a radar gun. They triangulated the distance using a sophisticated method- counting the time it took between running over the dead raccoon and the discarded beer can, then measuring the distance, finding the ratio in feet per second, then converting it to miles per hour. 

The poster’s seventh grade math teacher must be beaming with pride at this innovative approach. 

We have a suggestion that’s come up before. Calling it “Vashon Highway” gives people the sense that they should be going 60mph. We should rename the road “Vashon Lane” so that everyone goes at a leisurely pace. Except for the postal service, that is. They need to haul ass to bring our many packages straight to us.

As much as we don’t like when packages are left in the rain, we dislike it even more when packages are jammed into the mailbox so tightly that they become irretrievable. 

I have sympathy for the postal workers- they have so many packages to deliver, and they wouldn’t be able to walk up every potholed gravel driveway to deliver them by hand to people’s porches and still finish their rounds. 

One islander says, “Wait till they start delivering by drone. We will probably need another ladder truck for the fire department.”

I can’t wait for drone deliveries. I’ll spend my days honing my slingshot skills, and all your impulse buys and Christmas gifts and recurring toilet paper orders will rain down on me. Then I’ll bring them to Granny’s because I already have too much stuff. 

Ok, back to drivers. Someone parked next to the monument on Monument Road. Why would they do that? Vashon roads are meant for going 10  mph above the speed limit, nothing more, nothing less. 

And beyond not knowing where to park, how come we don’t know how to handle 4-way intersections? 

We’ve divided humanity into two camps: those who go through the intersection regardless of their turn, and those who wait. I believe in abolishing binaries, so I propose adding an additional category: people who wait for one car to go, then they go, even if they should have waited for the other 2 cars. 

Our proposal to fix this? A traffic light. But not just any traffic light. It would be red for five minutes, then all the lights would turn green at once, everyone would crash, and somehow that would solve the problem. 

Either that or a bridge. Or maybe a tunnel? I’m thinking a clover-shaped onramp offramp situation as they have in Dallas. 

This would solve all our problems: 

Photo: John Lund via Pinterest

It turns out you can take courses that teach you how to drive, and experienced drivers can even take courses in defensive driving, which sounds like martial arts, but with cars. Maybe you drive cars into cinder blocks to practice?

One islander says, “oh cool! I want to take one of those courses that train you how to peel out in reverse whilst shooting your pistol out the window at bad guys”

And speaking of bad drivers, we’ve got a spate of them. Besides an ominous white van that’s been terrorizing neighborhoods by driving too fast, some teens ran over an electrical box and nearly took out a propane tank, missing it by a mere twenty feet. 

And finally, we give thanks to King County roads for not cutting the ferns when they mowed beside the roads. Now we have something beautiful and lush to crash into when we speed our van down the highway at midnight. 

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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