Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 12/09/2022

An islander posts this image of a shelter made of Costco wrap. We estimate it’s valued at $879,000, minus the inevitable permitting fees. 

A rustic Craftsman cottage

Also, what’s with putting the wood stove that close to the plastic? Not to nitpick, but might your walls melt? 

Many of us are impressed with the ingenuity, and intend to build bus shelters with saran wrap. Others reference TV shows I haven’t heard of in which people are sent into the wild with nothing but a few odds and ends from the grocery store and a camera crew to survive in the wilds of Alaska. 

Although this house looks warm and cozy, I imagine it’s not bear proof, especially if you go somewhere like Yosemite where the bears have mastered the skill of unwrapping packaged food. When inside that shelter, you’d be like a giant gas station egg salad sandwich to a bear.

One islander says of this creative endeavor, “What a waste of plastic.”

But, another intrepid islander notes, “At least you could see when your packages arrive.”

We’ve had a lot of issues with the post office, which we’ve covered extensively, but a new, unprecedented postal issue has arisen this week. An islander posts about waiting to park at the post office while a woman was chatting with a friend in the parking lot. The poster got frustrated and yelled, “Hey can you move your car!” and yet the chatting woman didn’t immediately get in her car and drive away. She continued to chat! The line of cars on the street grew longer, the day grew darker, and the one parking spot that could have been vacated remained filled. 

Some of us say it was rude of the chatting ladies not to move the car. Others want to know if the IGA lot, aka post office overflow parking, was also full. 

One islander says, “See this kind of stuff is where I lose the ability to deal with people. It’s a small lot. People should talk! “

I shouldn’t tease the poster, because she clarifies later, “I always have anxiety at the post office but that was a particularly bad day for me. Perhaps it has more to do with that than those ladies.” I totally get it. When you have anxiety and are confronted with something you have no control over, like the underfunding of important public institutions, you get overwhelmed. Then, when you confront a problem that could be solved but isn’t, you just feel the need to shout something like, “Let’s all work together to make this terrible situation marginally less bad!” 

However, yelling at strangers only puts bad vibes into the universe, which makes things worse. Such is the vicious cycle of anxiety. 

We have a witness to the altercation, who has a different take on events. “I witnessed this confrontation. I’m not sure that either woman was parked in the PO lot (the ranter could not have known either) but they weren’t blocking traffic, and there were plenty of spots on the street and the IGA lot. You got out of your car and screamed at them to stop talking. I would have ignored you too.”

But how reliable is the witness? Upon cross-examination, an islander makes this observation: “Where were you located when you witnessed this confrontation? You have made a number of critical statements about a woman who is identified. “

The important thing is that we are all mad about something, none of us can know what truly happened and pretty soon people are going to start camping out in front of the post office to get a good spot in line as if it were 1999 and a terrible new Star Wars movie was about to drop in theaters. 

Speaking of mail problems, we learn that in Port Orchard, two people managed to hijack an entire Amazon truck, then load the packages into a stolen U Haul. I am appalled and also deeply, deeply impressed. 

While watching the video of them chucking boxes into the U Haul, I realized  that wearing masks not only stops the spread of Covid, but makes it harder for the cops to identify you. 

We should tell this to the person who posted anonymously that anyone who wears masks is tacitly admitting that vaccines don’t work. Maybe we aren’t wearing masks as part of  a multi-pronged approach to disease prevention. Maybe we just want to be ready to commit a crime on a moment’s notice. 

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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