Only on Vashon – the Weekly Rundown 10/22/2023

An islander with an incredibly keen eye shared this find: 

The perfect metaphor for our current condition. Failing infrastructure held together on a shoe-string budget. 

The penny’s from 1989, so sometime in the last 34 years, someone came up with the least expensive solution possible to fix a sagging shelf. 

Commenters have other suggestions about how to deal with the systemic problem of shelf sag so that we aren’t  reliant on cheap fixes. One says, “Put the pricey items on the bottom shelves and the budget buys on top. Empty shelves don’t sag.” 

And yet, the picture shows the 12.99 bag of rice sold out, while the 1.79 bag sits up there like a champ. Although, for a bag of rice to cost 12.99  it must be neutron-star dense. 

Another person says,” — you can discover a lot about the shelving at Thriftway — by looking for the sale items !! those spots are always empty!!” This makes me wonder what other treasures and mysteries are hidden in the back of the Thriftway shelves. Is there a portal back there in the darkness behind the cereal?  Do gnomes live in the popcorn and snack cracker aisle? Perhaps the Holy Grail is hidden among the pricey coffee thermoses  on the shelf next to the frozen fruit. 

Ans speaking of shopping, we have this post:

Okay, first off, I’d be deeply ashamed to tell my neighbor that I’m buying a bamboo back scratcher. I want my neighbors to think I scratch my back against a tree like a molting moose. What would my neighbors learn from me by my weird orders? For example,  here are my recent Amazon orders, from which you can infer that I have a problem where my yard has rats and that I wasn’t able to solve the problem by dressing my child up as a powerful game character and sending her out to fight them. 

We of course refuse to entertain the original poster’s idea and instead say everything that could go wrong. We say they’ll still get delivered in separate boxes. We say it’ll still get stolen. We say it’s too complicated. We also say that you should shop on island, which is a great idea, unless the thing you want (such as an inflatable Kirby costume) isn’t sold here. 

Others give this suggestion for getting packages, which seems like even more work than shopping off-island. “Another alternative is to have your deliveries sent to a mainland friend or relative’s home. You can enjoy a visit once a week and grab your items. It’s likely safer and more reliable and, in my case, I get to see my grandkids 😉

Feel free to have your goods shipped to my house, especially if you’re ordering chocolate or weird holiday popcorn bundles. 

But don’t leave me beer cans, as one islander has been leaving around. 

Islanders are scandalized. One says, “That’s almost as much of a crime as drinking that beer.” I don’t see why they would denigrate this beer; it must be good, since it won a blue ribbon. 

Others think they can find the criminal through some forensics. One says, “Have any law enforcement people in your family? Save the can and run the prints.” Someone else  shares an image from amazon of fingerprinting kits, which presumably they will have sent to their neighbor’s house along with garlic presses and nose-hair clippers. 

One person tells us,  “I just did a road trip through 5 states, it surprised me to see Washington was by far the dirtiest along the road side!”  We’re number one!

Someone tells us this is the “Unintended consequence of the “open container” law….”  What’s the open container law? I grew up in New England, which still had weird puritanical blue laws on the books like you couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays, so the grocery store would drape king size bed sheets over the liquor section on Sundays. 

Does this mean in Washington are you allowed to just drink openly on the streets? Out of an open container? To think all this time I’ve been putting wine in a sippy cup and saying it’s prune juice so I don’t look suspicious.

Besides littering, we have thievery.  Someone had this cute statue in front of their house, and then one day it disappeared. They got a new one, and it went missing too. They pleaded for help finding it. They soon learned that their neighbors thought it was ugly, so they stole it and donated it to Granny’s. The neighbors claim that the boulder the statue was on resided on their property

First off, why did the neighbors think these statues kept showing up after they’d donated them? Did they assume they were haunted? Was it like that movie The Ring where you have to share the video or you die? Were they passing the curse on to someone else? I mean, no matter what reason we come up with, the people who stole the statue come out looking like complete jerks. 

Anyway, if you see these at Granny’s please return them to the original owner, so they can line them up on the edge of their property like a squadron line, where they’ll be visible through their neighbor’s window. 

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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