Only On Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 08-20-2023

I went camping last weekend, so now I get to catch up on two weeks’ worth of drama. What calamities have moved us to post this August in a world of fire, flood, and strife? The answer:  waiting in line at Granny’s.

Someone is mad at Granny’s because they had a carload of treasures to donate, and due to the 4-bag-limit, the volunteers had them circle through the donation line multiple times, which they felt was a pointless waste of time, since they ended up donating all their stuff in the end. 

A few other people chimed in with their disdain for the four-bag-limit, describing tales of woe at having their donations rejected. 

I recognize that organizations are made of people, and people sometimes make mistakes or bad decisions, and that can end up reflecting poorly on the organization as a whole, but Granny’s is sacrosanct, and I refuse to believe they did anything wrong. 

I learned from the thread that the reason for the rule is that Granny’s has a small space and limited staff, so this rule paces out donations and allows more households to donate. Also, one islander informs us, “Goodwill used to send a truck to the island to pick up Granny’s cast offs. They no longer do that, so much of what Granny’s can’t sell goes to the dump.” Another islander who worked there some years ago says that people used to show up with moving vans full of stuff, much of which went into the trash. The rules help avoid that scenario.

As one thoughtful islander put it, “How is it Granny’s fault that *OUR* waste stream is unmanageable?”

So true. My method of waste-stream management is to take a grocery bag and write “Granny’s” on it, fill it with my kids’ outgrown clothes, and leave it by the door of my house for four months, only remembering I should take it with me into town on days when the donation center is closed. 

Also, I’m testing a new theory of complex three-dimensional geometry in which I find out how many oddly-shaped objects can be placed on my kitchen table in an interlocking grid of chaotic clutter. Every so often, I will unearth a child’s toy from the miasma and add it to the Granny’s bag. Then the dog will find it, pull it out, chew it up, and leave it in the couch cushions. 

Using these methods, I have never had to suffer the indignity of looping through the donation line multiple times. 

We have another post related to Granny’s. Someone didn’t want to wait in line for donations, so they got out of their car and walked their stuff up while the person before them was donating. Then the line-cutter decided it was time to drive away and squeezed out the one-car-width exit, nicking the car in front of them. 

Everyone is mad at the line-cutter, so maybe we’ve all come to accept the one-at-a-time / four-bag-limit rule, so long as we can be mad at people for breaking it. 

As one islander says, “Seems that many folks on Island these days don’t understand “Island Time”. I feel sorry for them…..for two seconds. Rushing each other is not how we live here. Chill….”

Island time is my favorite temporal anomaly, even better than the Star Trek temporal anomaly where there are bubbles of fast spacetime that make fruit rot quickly. 

A scene from either Star Trek: Memory Alpha or my kitchen counter. Hard to tell. 

Finally,  for our third act in this emotional drama, we get yet another post about Granny’s, this one showing our love and appreciation. 

I love Granny’s so much that I’m in a Facebook group dedicated to Granny’s finds, and they have such treasures as these grass flip flops and rooster lamp. 

Now that we’ve completed the emotional journey that started with hating a rule, to hating line cutters who break the rule, to unabashed love, we can embark on a new journey. Let’s hate drivers. 

It’s not just  drivers who cut in line that suck. Some people suck no matter where they drive, because their cars are loud. We have this post that I’ve been meaning to write about for like, a month. 

“Is there a DoucheMobile rally today? I have seen a few of these tearing around the rock, sounding like over-revved two-stroke motor about to blow up.” The post comes with this helpful illustration. 

How is this a Douchemoblie? One could not douche with this. 

The original poster clarifies their stance by saying, “as the sociopathic indigo spawn of invasive lawyers and rich geeks, as these kids’ balls drop and they are ready to flex their privilege…aye we are seeing more DoucheMobiles!”

 Someone responds to these histrionics by saying, “Let me call you a waaambulance”

To which the poster responds, “I’m gonna need an airlift.”

I just have to say, this poster is the greatest American writer of the century, and he has no idea. He writes hilarious, insightful stuff on Facebook, possibly not at all aware of the energy, imagery, and inventiveness of his words. 

But back to loud cars. One person says, “I have sensitive ears: I CANNOT stand loud cars like this. Almost all of the people who these drivers think they’re impressing are actually turned off (at best) by this behavior.”

In defense of the loud car drivers, if I had a cool car, I would ask myself how I could make sure everyone knew I had a cool car. I mean, they can see the car, but what about when they blink, or turn their head to the side? They need to hear it, too. They need to feel the vibrations as it makes seismic waves through the pavement, rattles their skulls, and spills their coffee. 

I must assert my existence so everyone in a thousand-foot radius knows my presence. Life is so finite, so small, and alienating in this wide, unknowable universe. By interrupting people’s conversations and jostling their organs, I am making my mark on this world, connecting with my fellow humans on a visceral plane. Together, we will all suffer acute hearing loss because the experience of my loud car has brought us together momentarily, and I think that’s beautiful. 

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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