Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown -07/02/2023

On rough and tumble Vashon, you never know when you might encounter a car parked maliciously. How do we, as a community, solve this problem? What is the best way to shame a person out of parking badly?  We have some suggestions. 

One islander is always prepared for such a situation. “This is why I always have a pen and paper in the car. A chance to write “love notes”.”

I’m fascinated by bringing pen and paper with you so you can troll people in real life. Start actual beef. Get in a fistfight. I just hope you sign your name to the notes so it’s not anonymous. 

Other ideas: “Keep chalk! That way you can circle the ground around them to point out how special they are to those that don’t know.”

Apparently commenting on other people’s parking is so common you can buy premade notes to leave on cars. One poster shares this link:

Family-friendly revenge is an interesting selling point.

The ad is for this product: 

Who has two thumbs and had to buy insults off Amazon because they weren’t creative enough to come up with their own? 

Now I want to park badly to see which of the 50 cards I get. What from-the-box insult best suits me? Am I an all caps IDIOT? Am I someone who scoffs at the social contract implied by parking lot lines? Am I someone with two thumbs and another, slightly less common descriptor? 

You could take a more direct approach to bad parkers: “Shopping cart and a zip tie wrapped around the driver’s door handle.” I wonder where pranking ends and destruction of property begins. 

One islander has sympathy for the bad parker. They say. “I assume they had diarrhea and had to park fast! Also, maybe they know themselves to be door badgers and this is a safer way to park. So many possible positive intents!” 

I like the door badgers idea. Imagine being like, ‘everyone stay ten feet away from me. I open doors in a volatile manner that cannot be stopped. Hold on to your children and pets.” 

And speaking of parking in the lines, the roads were restriped and we’ve unlocked a secret, heretofore unknown road striping pattern that likely has a mystic meaning, which we spend over 100 comments trying to decipher. 

The three lines must have a divine significance. Pythagoras considered three the number of harmony and perfection. Three is the number of beings in the Christina trinity. In Jewish numerology, it is the unity of two extremes. Taoissts also considered the number three a symbol of harmony. 

I think this makes clear that three lines in the middle of the road suggest a harmony, a coming together of opposites, and thus, that both lanes of traffic should drive at each other down the middle of the road. 

Others have a different take. One person says,  “It’s a double negative, you have to pass. ”

Another idea: “It’s a small turn lane.“ 

It is just the right size for a Hot Wheels car. Maybe Richard Scary mouse cars drive up and down the two tiny lanes in the middle, and the big Elephant and Warthog cars drive on the outside lanes. 

Like so: 

Or maybe the three yellow lines mean, “Watch for bananas.” 

It turns out it might not be a mistake. An islander informs us:  “This is a new indicator for narrow roads.”

The problem with putting more paint on a narrow road is it leaves less room for driving. As one islander so succinctly put it: “I find it super funny humans have decided to indicate a narrow road by making it more narrow.”

All these weird stripes get us  reminiscing about when Burton had its miles per hour painted in the wrong order. 

I honestly had to stare at this for over a minute to figure out what the issue was. 

I guess they are warning us that there are 25 My Hlittle Ponies living in the area, so we should slow down. 

Either that or the Missouri Highway Patrol got blown a little off course.  Or the Milliyetci Hareket Partisi (Turkish people’s party) got blown way off course. 

Beyond reminiscing, we also  appreciate road stipers’ commitment to not disrupting nature. 

Our island hasn’t only gotten painted. It’s also been be-stickered. We have this post: “What is the deal with all these eggshell graffiti stickers showing up everywhere. They are on park information stands, garbage cans, porta potty’s, park gates, even found one on a guard rail along westside hwy. they’re harder to peel off than a hard boiled egg. The only sure method of removal is with a scraper or using a knife as a scraper.”

Yet again people are defiling our scenic toilets. 

The first question is, what does the sticker mean?  I thought it was Mofo, referring to an individual of Oedepidian predilections. But an islander tells  us: “The tag is MDFO or as spelled out on the brand new skatepark ramps. ‘My d**k fell off.’” 

So maybe it’s less Oedypus and more Uranus, whose dick was cut off by Chronos, which sounds awful, but Aphrodite was born from the severed dick falling into the sea, so all’s well that ends well.  (Yes, I googled ‘Greek god dick fell off’ so I could tie this in with my  Oedipus joke. )

My search history ten minutes into writing this column: 

Others have seen this sticker all over the place, including every few feet along the guardrails of Westside Highway. One islander even found it in an unlikely spot. They say, “What blew me away recently was that someone crawled out onto the rotting barge under Judd Creek Bridge and tagged it. A few months later, the barge collapsed.”

The barge finally fell under the weight of the sticker. 

This isn’t the only sticker the island’s been decorated with. One person says, “Not much different from the MCC crap plastered around island everywhere the past 20 years.”

Speaking of historical graffiti, I still want to know the story behind the Spring Break graffiti on the dumpster across from the art center. 

Some people have constructive criticism for our local guerilla artists. One person says, “I’m going to rate this sticker: 5/10 for font, 1/10 for artistic creativity, 9/10 for being an eyesore. It certainly is no banksy.”

Others point out the rubric doesn’t take into account every facet of the sticker. “You ever see one try and peel it off. It breaks off like an egg shell. It must be made of similar material as a scratch off ticket but more durable”

Out critic adjusts their assessment: “okay, it gets props for being made of a non standard material… but I personally think making something more visually appealing would be a better use of the artists’ time”

I think they should use a more muted color palette to better blend in with the scenery. Also, the message should be clear. The problem with bubble font is how easy it is to misread. Maybe they could buy a 50 pack of MDFO stickers off Amazon. 

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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