Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 1/14/2023

A ticket booth worker at Fauntleroy told a woman to ”take care of your blank kid. And don’t move till that kids in their seat.” It took me a while to figure out someone would call a child blank. Like, what a strange insult. I assumed it meant the child was dull and unremarkable. Then I realized “blank” was a stand-in for f*****g.

We’ve all been in the ferry line with kids unbuckled, either suckling or just climbing over the seats. Some people have creative ways of managing this. One islander says of her son, “Sometimes I hide him under a coat if I can.” Note: her son is 25. 

Remember when we were kids and cars didn’t have proper backseat seat belts, just metal lap belts that burned us in the summer? And how our parents would cram us in the rear of a station wagon and we’d watch the world fall backwards away from us? Or how parents would just smoke in the car with kids around? Times sure have changed. Now you can’t even drive with a child unbuckled. 

Anyway, we aren’t mad that he told her what the law says, because he has every right to tell her to buckle up her kid. His job is on the line if a kid gets hurt while he’s on shift. It’s just the manner in which he did it. He was rude. And we can handle criticism, we just like it to be gentle, you know? 

Because someone had sympathy for the worker, we had a perennial discussion that happens on every rants page. Here’s how it goes: 

  1. A person posts a rant. 
  2. A person looks at the issue from a different perspective. 
  3. The original poster says, “oh, I thought this was a rants page?” 
  4. The commenter says, “Oh, I thought I could comment?” 
  5. The original poster rebuts this with something like, I just wanted to commiserate with others, why did you have to harsh my groove? You’re being condescending. Now I’m ranting about you. 
  6. The response then goes, “ I wasn’t trying to be superior. I was trying to inform.”
  7. Then someone posts a picture of a naked man photoshopped climbing a telephone pole on Vashon HWY, and we all move on. 

Someone posted the following  image, and I was like, wow, you can just buy a ferry? Wish I’d thought of that. Good luck getting it delivered, though.

$90 OBO

 Turns out what was in their shopping cart was a ferry pass, which expires after 90 days, which is bullshit. Why expire at all? If I buy ten rides, I should be able to use them anytime over the course of my lifetime. If I find an old ferry pass from the 1960s in the attic, I should be able to use it. If, hundreds of millions of years from now, when only the tip of Mount Everest pokes out above the carbonated waters of the earth, whatever beings are descended from me should be able to use that pass to drift over the endless waters. Maybe by then the Cathlamet will be back in service.

We have the following rant, complete with a lovely background image of donuts. Tl;dr, their dog found a chicken bone on the side of the road and they had to use psychological warfare tactics to get the dog to drop it.


When my dog grabs something when we’re on a walk, such as a dead rat, I just let him have it. I’m not touching it, and I’m not getting into a power struggle with my dog because I’m a total pushover and he’d win. 

Of course, our first course of action when we see a rant is to say, are you sure you are perceiving the situation correctly? What if the bones were dropped by a predator? Did you look around for osprey nests? In response, we get a vivid description of the grizzle,  sauce, and breading left on the ends of the gnawed-on fried chicken bones. 

Okay, maybe it was raccoons? They could have gotten into someone’s garbage can. This leads us to share stories about animal visitors. Here’s my favorite: “I found one [chicken bone] in my koi pond once. The raccoons get into our neighbors garbage and use the pond to wash their food before they eat. It’s tough on the filter and the fish.”

Awww, the raccoons come by and wash trash in the pond. Did you know in German, the word for raccoon is Waschbär, which, if you couldn’t tell, means wash-bear. 

We go on a tangent about koi ponds. How can you protect koi from herons? Is restocking the pond just feeding pets to wild herons? We get advice about materials to use, the side’s gradient, the pond’s depth, and how to manage water lilies. I love that we turned that rant around into something productive. 

In another rant, and islander says, “I don’t care how many people say they got great products from these organic stands, but I will never buy anything from Sam and Ella’s fresh egg stand or Peroni’s Organic Carrots.”

They are thoroughly dragged for saying this publicly rather than taking up their issue privately with the local business owners, which would be hard to do since said business owners exist only in a cartoon. Get it Sam and Ella…Salmonella. 

Look up Gary Larsen’s boneless chicken ranch. Cracks me up every time

As for Peronni’s Carrots, that comes from an ad for a medicine that helps with… to put it…bent carrots. 

My favorite thing about humans is how many ways we find to create florid, vegetal metaphors for our genitals. 🍆

Most people laugh it off, but the post ends with this admonition, “A lot of people didn’t apparently see the joke. Best not to shame local businesses even in jest.” You never know, if a farm stand named Sam and Ella’s ever opens up on island, this could hurt their business. 

Finally, we end with this picture of driftwood disguised as local fauna.

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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