Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 07/08/2022

I was away last week, and you all kept quite busy on the rants page hashing out issues facing us, from fireworks to guns, to defecation on people’s lawns, to the racist origins or private property, to abortion. Good job everyone! 

I guess we’ll start with abortion, and just go from there. 

We have some men trying to make sense of abortion by relating it to their own experiences, and not quite grasping the enormity of the issue. 

An islander equates how when Obamacare passed, he had to switch doctors. He says he didn’t like switching doctors, but he did it anyway because that was following the law. Others note that having to switch doctors is on a different scale than being forced to carry a pregnancy, give birth, then raise a child for the rest of your life.

Then we compare abortion to vaccinations. Again, forcing someone to carry a pregnancy is not the same as turning someone away from a restaurant because they haven’t been vaccinated. One affects people for life, one inconveniences them for five minutes. 

We often say when it comes to the issue of abortion, the best idea is to listen to people who have had abortions, or who have been denied them, to better understand the ramifications of illegalizing them. 

Hey, have I ever told you the story about the time I got an abortion? It’s pretty funny. I guess it wasn’t really an abortion, because it was just the morning-after pill, which prevents implantation, so technically different, but anyway. I was 20 and living in Germany. I was dating some guy who was 28 and getting his Ph.D. in I think Buddhism Studies? He was really into Zen and spent a lot of time smoking cigarettes and being Germanly stressed about things. 

Anyway, one morning I woke up to see the condom on the floor and I was like, “Why is that there?” And he was like, “I took it off.” 

And of course, it was a Sunday, so all the pharmacies were closed. So first thing Monday morning, I went to the pharmacy, and I tried to explain the situation in my beginner German. 

Me: “I have a boyfriend. He takes off condom. I want the pill. For no babies.” 

Pharmacist: “The anti-baby pill?” (Birthcontrol is called the anti-baby pill in German. Truly a remarkable language.) 

ME: “No. The oops no condom yesterday pill.” 

Pharmacist: “Ach! The pill-thereafter.”  

Me, mumbling in English: “Of course that’s what it would be called.” 

Pharmacist: “You need a prescription from a doctor.” 

So I ran around town and went to every gynecologist’s office (There were, like, 5 in one city block), but every one said I needed an appointment, and the soonest appointment was months away. So it was getting late, and you need to take the pill within 48 hours. The clock was ticking, and I was freaking out, so around 4 pm, at the last gynecologists’ office in town, when they told me to leave, I broke down and cried. All these pregnant women were sitting there staring Germanly at me as I said, “I won’t leave. I need the pill there-after. Please.” The receptionist was so embarrassed that she let me see the doctor, who prescribed me the pill, and I ran to the pharmacy and banged on the window and the pharmacist let me in even though they were closing and gave me the pill. 

In conclusion, the pill-thereafter should be available without a prescription, and every language 101 class should teach you the name for it. 

Let’s take a reprieve from heavy topics and discuss the Sticker Challenge. 

We ask how the stickers got on the dolphins. 

When the tide is high, the ferry boat scoots right up against these buggers, and from the car deck, you can reach out and slap a sticker on there. Then everyone knows you want them to vote for Walter Mondale or listen to the Grateful Dead, or Just Say No To Pebble Mines. 

Some want to know why a person would put a sticker on the dolphin? As one islander explains: “‘because it’s there..’? See also: Bubblegum wall, locks on bridges, Everest, etc.”

Or as another points out, “It’s just human nature to be a little rascal now and then 😉

And we all agree that they need giant googly eyes. 

A post with a background of falling poop emojis states, “Go away accordion guy.” 

First off, is he even playing the instrument, or is he pretending to play while a recording of the Titanic Soundtrack plays on a loop in the background? This has been a topic of heated debate for a number of weeks now. 

It’s not so bad if you’re shopping and catch a minute of a song on the way to the store, but it sucks for people who live in the neighborhood and hear the same songs over and over, day after day. And although people have advised them to “wear earplugs or move out,” it seems more reasonable to request that the buskers move on to a different corner for a time.

At first, the accordion player held up a sign saying he had kids, and I wondered where they were and how a street-accordion player managed to afford child care for four children. Then he started bringing the kids along, and now we feel bad for them, since they sit around the Thriftway parking lot all day, looking bored and suffering through yet another rendition of My Heart Will Go On. 

Then we get into conspiracy territory. Apparently, there are loads of buskers around Puget Sound with similar signs in the same handwriting. Is there some kind of uber-pimp sending out buskers to high-end grocery stores and then taking a chunk of their earnings? This issue remains unresolved. Maybe the Beachcomber can investigate. 

Our next suggestion- give him some competition. A true musician can approach him and play the first line of Dueling Banjos. We even offer to loan the local musician some kids while they play. 

And lastly, we’re all sick of the same songs. When will he play some Snoop Dogg? 

We have one post that is a true gem this week:

“Well, this is a new one for me: PLEASE STOP POOPING IN MY ORCHARD! No, it’s not an animal. Animals don’t use receipts from Island Lumber to wipe their butts!”

We recommend using game cameras to find out who the perpetrator is. I’ve gotta say, I would not want to watch that video. 

This post raises so many questions. First off, what did they buy at Island Lumber? And was their name or credit card number on the receipt? Whoever is brave enough to check, let us know. 

Also, why would they poop on someone’s lawn? Did they just really have to go and were passing by that particular house?  Or were they far from town, and someone sought out the property because they are embroiled in a multi-generational feud? 

If you have any information on the rogue pooper, please post it. 

Back to heavy topics. We get into the fireworks ban. One  islander says, “Thank God King County banned fireworks because of fire danger… Idiots…”

I guess they assume that if this spring was damp, then every future spring will be damp. Our electeds should have foreseen the weather and put off the ban for a year. 

Turns out that despite the ban, fireworks are easy to come by. You just need to leave King County. There’s a shop in Tacoma called Ill Eagle Fireworks.

I missed all the fireworks drama this year because I was in New York, where people complain about having to drive to New Jersey to get fireworks. Consider yourselves lucky that you could break the law without passing the Vince Lombardi Service Plaza on the Jersey Turnpike. 

A real place I visited. They had a Shake Shack. 

And we also want to know what’s up with the guy on the side of the road selling guns and ammo out of the back of a truck? As an astute islander points out, at least he’s not selling fireworks. 

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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