Only on Vashon- The Weekly Rundown 10/14/2022

We start with a question that baffles me. “Is there anyone on Island who can reupholster a cat? Ours is getting a bit worn around the edges…”

I assumed ‘cat’ was a typo for ‘car,’ but further discussions with the post’s author suggest otherwise. When people say that the cat won’t like being reupholstered, the poster says, “I think he would like it – his ears are getting cold because all the fur has come off!”

Some suggest crocheting a hat with ears instead of a complete reupholstery. Like when you have a hole in the wall, and you just hang up a picture in front of it. 

We even get a picture of the cat in question.

This cat looks perfect. Why would anyone change anything about this angelic being? 

A fellow islander shared a picture of their cat, who clearly could use a new duvet cover and a few fresh throw pillows. 

Imagine a cute little paisley patch over his butt.

We learn about medieval dyes. I have no idea why this was on a Vashon group, but I always love learning new things, such as that Red Poker is the name of a plant and that my eyes can’t distinguish between Bog Myrtle, Silverweed, and Gorse flower. 

Our question is whether this muted color palette was strictly medieval European or are they global? 

An islander informs us “Madder and woad were both used in pre-Norman England—between the two, you have a pretty reasonable set of blues, reds, and purples. Chaucer is a good source for the colors available (if not how they were produced)—he had an eye for clothing detail.”

I had to google madder and woad because any dye other than Blue 1 Aluminum Lake or Red 40 is beyond my ken.

We have a rant about people blocking the aisles in Thriftway while we chat about “our annoying kids.” 

One islander notes that ‘our annoying kids’ can be interchanged with “our weird neighbor, where the hell’s my parcel, my new power tool, and all 17 attachments.” 

Another islander has a cynical take on it. “Trying to act like we care when in fact we live within 15 miles and never hang out.” But if you catch up in Thriftway, then you don’t need to hang out. I mean, if you got together afterward for a beer, what would you talk about? I guess you could discuss all the groceries you bought.

We also hate it when someone cluelessly blocks the aisle because their cart is caddywhompus in the aisle while they slowly peruse the spice rack, oblivious to how much space they are taking up. We could just say, “pardon me,” but we’d rather simmer in our rage instead. 

Did I ever tell you about the time I stole someone’s cart in Thriftway? I was shopping with my family, and we were in the bean aisle. My husband and kids got a bit ahead of me while I fastidiously studied the cans. I eventually placed a can of baked beans in the cart that was right next to me and then wandered off, finding my family again near the cereal. I looked in the cart I was pushing and noticed it was full of ten bunches of bananas. So I said to my husband, “Why the hell are you buying so many bananas?”

And he pointed out that he was pushing a cart containing a perfectly normal amount of bananas, and I had in fact stolen someone else’s cart, put a can of beans in it, and walked off. 

If this was your cart, my deepest apologies. You probably picked the best bunches of bananas, and I robbed you of them. Also, I hope you liked the beans. I picked out the very best can in the store. 

We have this anonymous post:  “TURNONYAFUGGINHEADLIGHTS!”

Why would anyone post this anonymously? This is the one thing all people believe. It’s the only opinion that can unite us all. Show yourself, anonymous person, so that we may all agree with you. 

We get a lot of anonymous posts complaining about anonymity. 

Some wonder if the people bothered by anonymous posts just want gossip fodder. 

Others feel like they’ll be judged, and don’t want to deal with that. 

While some islanders think anonymity is new in the internet age, others point out other ways to be anonymous: “You can anonymously post things to the classifieds section of the newspaper, paid billboards, and I guess vandalism. Or the flip side of vandalism may be public art like little painted rocks, and highway haiku type things. Lots of ways to be anonymous if you want to.”

I like the idea of using vandalism and guerrilla art as a way of anonymously lodging a complaint with society at large.

Maybe the problem with Vashon is how everyone posts anonymously instead of approaching people, rolling up their sleeves, and saying, “Hey buddy, you wanna take this outside?” 

And finally, we have the solution to all our problems. One islander says, “Everybody thinks they know what our precious little cowpie needs, but I’m here to tell you what Vashon REALLY lacks: a fucking RACE TRACK! “

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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