Only on Vashon- The Weekly Rundown 09/09/2022

An islander found a message in a bottle written in Arabic at Point Robinson. An Arabic speaker tells us it is prayers from someone going through a hard time, dated 2021.

Also, the absolute greatest love story in the history of humankind was buried in the comments, so I will share it with you here in case you missed it: 

“A teacher of mine from grade school built himself a sailboat and sent out a message in a bottle to find a women partner who might want to sail around the world with him. He sent it off the shores of Cape Cod, Ma. – 25 years later I saw him and he said a women in China found it there and responded and they sailed!”

Then someone brings in obtrusive facts to ruin the whole vibe by saying that’s not how ocean currents work, and the bottle would likely have washed up back on the East Coast or maybe in Europe. I guess this is on account that the bottle was dropped in the Atlantic, and China is in the Pacific, which is an entirely different ocean, now that I think about it. 

Also, an islander informs us, “Frequently bottles with messages wash up in the Pt. Robinson area. They are likely thrown from the cargo ships, so don’t go all that far.”

The last time I went to Point Robinson, this is the message I found in a bottle: 

Someone anonymously  asks, “While I agree with many of the rants, why are they continued for 5-8 days or more on my FB homepage?”

a group member answers, “If you like or comment on one, then as other people comment, they will reappear, so you keep up to date. You get to feel special.”

Yes, if you comment on a post when other people comment, you get a notification in the form of a Pavlovian bell, telling you that the things you’ve said have garnered attention. You log on to bask in praise, only to find someone has taken your perfectly reasonable opinion and turned it into an absurd, hyperbolic version that you would never endorse. They’ve also mocked you for opinions you don’t hold and insulted your grammatical prowess. So you have to respond to maintain your honor, which then notifies your new-found nemesis, who puts down everything they’re doing to respond to you, and now you’ve succeeded in making each other’s lives worse. 

Also, we hold grudges. 

And speaking of making each other’s lives worse, we still have some inconsiderate people on the ferry. One islander notes, “Well this is a first for me, someone thinks the entire ferry wants to listen to their music. Can we place bets on whether their car will start?!”

We have this suggestion of how to deal with it: “A potato up the tailpipe gets the message across. You could also block the vehicle’s exhaust.”

Another islander responds, “I don’t know you, but I picture your glove box with a 5 pound bag of taters in it.”

I just assume everyone I don’t know has a 5-pound bag of potatoes in their glove box and a glove box big enough to fit that many potatoes. 

At least now that the Chetzemoka is back, you can rest easy knowing you’ll miss the boat and thus won’t be subjected to other people’s taste in music. 

Finally, an anonymous group member says, “hi. I’d just like to introduce myself to the group.”

Welcome to the group, anonymous stranger. We will turn you into a sack of rage if you let us. You will learn that the devil has a name, and that name is WSF Management. You will see perfectly clear arguments get distorted through a kaleidoscope of bad intentions. You will also see how many people are selling their old mattresses online. Welcome. Welcome. 

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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