only on vashon – the weekly rundown 08/27/21

We want bumper stickers. The “Keep Vashon Weird“ sticker is popular, and people want to know where to get it. Thankfully, the link showing where to buy it is on the sticker itself, so you just need to cautiously approach a car with one of the stickers and jot the website down. 

An islander first made the sticker 20 years ago, and later, a different islander turned the sentiment into a t-shirt. We have been encouraged to “fact-check at the Burton coffee stand” as to the authenticity of the original author. 

Other popular bumper stickers say, “Tipping trash cans- Vashon raccoons against gentrification” and “We’re all here because we’re not all there.” 

My favorite is seeing the sticker that says, “No, you go,” on the bumpers of cars passing me up across a double yellow line as they speed toward the ferry.

The message we need in these trying times

And speaking of cars, we worry that pedestrians may get hit by distracted drivers at the four-way in town. A novel idea was suggested this week- what if we replaced the stop sign with a roundabout? That would solve the problem of cars nearly running down pedestrians for sure. And we’d only need to take down a building or two to make it happen.

And speaking of transportation (I’m just rocking the segues today), an islander went to a town in Panama where they have literal water taxis. Like, you hold out a yellow flag and a boat pulls up and takes you to another beach, or to a bar, or just for a joyride. What if we had that? What if we could hold out a flag at Point Robinson, hop into a little speedboat, and get dropped off in Burien? It sounds so idyllic, but some people pointed out that with insurance and the culture of litigation in the US, it would be a logistical challenge. 

We have more ideas for how to improve our island. (Another great segue!) We could put lavender in all the port-a-potties so they stink less, or at least stink in a more complex way.

Here is the image that comes up when you google “lavender in a port-a-potty.” Did you know Google estimates that 20% of all searches are unique combinations of words? Did you know that this blog is responsible for at least 80% of those?

Finally, we have something totally different. (Not my best segue.) Normally we wouldn’t name names on this blog, but the fire chief has chosen not to get vaccinated. This was reported in both The Beachcomber and the Seattle Times.

I won’t discuss my personal feelings on the issue (Just kidding! You can’t escape my opinions! Get the vaccine!) I will instead talk about the meta-discussion this post caused. 

When an islander posted a link to the Seattle Times article in the rants group, they were accused of trying to start drama. My friends, the whole point of the rants group is to start drama. We then argued about whether we should do drama in the group that was literally started so that our drama wouldn’t spill into the group where we sell our old mattresses.

So then someone asked, by posting it, are we shedding light on an issue or making the fire chief’s life more difficult? (Yes to both. That’s the point. If your job is to give people mouth-to-mouth resuscitation we will absolutely drag you for not getting vaccinated.)

Then we had to ask if it was disrespectful to the fire chief’s family to post this article from a newspaper with a circulation in the hundreds of thousands. This led to a beautiful comment, which I think sums up the state of social media discourse. I present to you this gem: “but see I wasn’t commenting on the post I was commenting on the comment on the post.” 

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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