Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 1/14/2022

Someone has a beautifully crafted gingerbread village, and they don’t want to just throw it away, so they’re looking for a farmer who would be willing to feed junk food to their goats. 

We have done that thing where we don’t answer the question but instead assign the original poster a new, daunting quest. We’ve requested they bring the gingerbread houses out back on their property and photograph them every day to see how they deteriorate. 

An artist’s rendition of what will happen to those gingerbread houses in the backyard

So my Kids watched this movie called “Encanto,” and there’s this whole musical number called “We don’t talk about Bruno” in which they talk at length and in great detail about Bruno. I’m reminded of this by a thread in the rants group about That One Truck. I’ve been avoiding writing about it because it feels invasive. 

But the comments veer away from the person it’s about and into the sort of territory we like to get dirty with here- people making grandiose claims, getting needlessly mad at each other, and things generally falling off the rails. 

So a million comments into the thread, an islander added a link to a post that described how Reagan’s policies led to an increase in homelessness. A local business entrepreneur got quite upset, and made this request: “To be fair, can you offer a citation to a piece on the other side, or better yet one that rebuts some, if not many, and ideally all, of the claims made in the one you provided a link to?” 

Asking someone to search out and post a link that is the complete opposite of what they shared and that capitulates to another viewpoint – classic online move. Unfortunately, no one added a link about how trickle-down economics was great for homelessness. In fact, no one posted any links at all about how people love getting trickled on by the rich. 

Instead, we all doubled down!  We kicked Reagan in his grave! We talked about how his cutting rent control and subsidies led to poverty and homelessness. We pointed out that one entrepreneur succeeding does not mean that all of society has felt that same success. 

Weird how different people within the society can have different lives and experiences, and the same systems that benefit one can harm another. How is that possible? Aren’t we all equal? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you create elaborate loopholes in the tax code, do we not all feel incentivized to open offshore bank accounts? 

The entrepreneur is then annoyed that the article about Reagan was from 2004. Why would someone bring up old stuff? The world is born anew every day. History is erased, and we start fresh. 

The entrepreneur does bring up a good point- if Reagan’s policies were so bad, how come no Democratic president has undone them? The answer: Because they also sucked. 

In a different post, an islander asked where to get a great steak off island. Our answers? You guessed it. Totally unrelated. 

One poster said, “Why not go directly to the emergency room for your incipient heart disease, cancers, etc. from eating corpses of murdered cows?”

Um, because the food at hospitals is notoriously bad? Last time I ate at a hospital, it was after I gave birth, and the only food available in the middle of the night was jello from a vending machine. Not exactly a place to take a hot date. But definitely a good place to take a weird date. 

There was a public WSDOT meeting about ferry issues. In our discussion of the meeting, someone joked that a bridge would solve the problem. We all, once again, fell on the rake of taking that joke seriously. 

I love the idea that, since local, state, and federal governments can’t keep infrastructure up to date enough to run a ferry system, they’d be able to plan, build, and maintain a bridge. 

Maybe we could just take pieces of the West Seattle bridge as it falls apart and rebuild it between Vashon and Southworth, a la the London Bridge in Arizona!

And then of course  we get mad at the guy for bringing up the bridge. Discussing it is a waste of time, it’ll never happen, yadda yadda. I love that reading a ten-word sentence can cause someone to feel a deep sense of loss, that those 4 seconds have gone from their life and will never be brought back. 

And the madder people got, the funnier it was to me that he kept saying, “It would fix the problem.” You guys! It’s a joke! There will never be a bridge! We joke about it because if you don’t take time to laugh as the world crumbles around us, you will be overcome by despair. 

Someone suggests alternate plans. Maybe row boats? 

I am all for a fleet of rowboats. They could be like those gondolas in Venice, but sturdier, because they’d have to deal with major shipping traffic and the occasional humpback whale. 

Then we argued about vaccines for 3000 pages worth of comments. At some point, I think, if you’re going to write 4000 word comments on a facebook post, just write a book. Seriously. Twenty 4000 word comments = 1 book. 

Somewhere within the dissertation someone left in the comments, we get this gem, “Grown men, big burly ones crying like babies because they were being forced to choose between supporting their families or violate their bodies and their conscience.” (sic)

And I get why this is a sticking point. If we had more remediation strategies, we’d be in better shape. 

Unfortunately, all we have in the US is vaccination. We don’t have any other form of social support to get through the pandemic. I think we should stop arguing in an endless loop online and instead point our (metaphorical) pitchforks at the government, who, based on the below tweet, owe us (calculating- calculating – beep boop beep) $40,000 and counting. 

Lastly, A strange sound was heard near Ellisport early in the morning. Locals described it as a loud pounding. It woke up our dogs, who in turn woke us up. It may be the new bulkhead going in at Des Moines. But some say it’s the sound of the bridge getting built. 

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.

1 thought on “Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 1/14/2022”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.