Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown -3/05/2023

A startling change has occurred at Sunrise Ridge. We have this post:  “Anyone know why this sign suddenly appeared at sunrise ridge?”

Crows ok, though

One islander explains, “It was a board decision. There was no way to police it and the liability outweighed the risk. Plus plenty of dog leavings were just left there and not cleaned up.”

This brings up an important question: “why does no one ever complain about horse poop?”

Another islander answers.   “It breaks down quickly with the help of birds. It’s vegan its good fertilizer”

Wait, horse poop is vegan? How is that possible? 

Not only can you no longer bring your dog to the park, now people don’t want you bringing your spray paint either. 

Someone graffitied the port-o-potty and this outbuilding at Argen Park. 

It kind of looks like it says STiKWB33D. I think it might be someone’s password, and they wrote it down in a place where they couldn’t lose track of it. Not a bad plan, to be honest. If you see a toilet graffitied with P@ssW07d, you’ll know I’ve been there. Should have thought to also spray paint my username somewhere. 

One islander says, “There’s no prestige in tagging a shitter.”  The most prestigious graffiti is when you have to hang by your ankles off the roof of a building and spray paint your numbers in letters facing the right direction despite painting upside down and under the cover of darkness. This is often done to put profound ideas such as ‘Pudge’ and ‘4-chan’ out into public spaces. 

Barc Skate Park

One islander is deeply upset about the graffiti. They say, “Capital punishment would stop it. The person who did this is a worthless piece of crap.” Personally, I’d rather live in a society where people spray paint toilets than one where people are executed for minor infractions. Maybe that’s just me though. 

There’s the holier-than-thou approach to handling this debasement of our community property. One commenter says, “I’m just glad I’ve had a great life and not the loser who has to resort to this to leave a mark on this world. What can we do? Pay attention to our youth.”  

One islander assesses the situation as such:  “There’s no parents.”  Bold to assume it wasn’t parents vandalizing the toilet. That sounds like a fun date night. Leave the kids at home with a babysitter. Sneak into the park after dark, and spray paint arcane letter and number combinations on the bathroom wall. 

One commenter has a creative and uplifting solution. “We had a problem with inappropriate tagging on our community bus stop, so I got a bunch of youth to paint a mural. We haven’t had one tag back on it since.”

I volunteer to paint inspiring murals on all the local toilets. 

Even better, graffiti can advertise the services of local businesses, such as this message I spotted on a port-a-potty in town over the summer. 

Since Vashon is becoming the sort of godforsaken place where people spray paint toilets, we have an anonymous post asking  “When did vashon get so mean?”  This is asked  in a group dedicated to ranting about things we hate on Vashon. Here is a brief summary of our answers: 

“Oh, that meanness has always been here.”

“Have you seen the gas prices?”

“I blame the ferry”

“Since Facebook”

“January 2nd, 2003”

“I’d say in the 1960’s.”

Some think it’s a more recent phenomenon. One says,  “Pandemic, Trump and social media.” To which another responds, “inflation, Biden and social media.”

This garners the response, “Biden. My ass.” 

Wow, that person’s ass must be so powerful that it has president-level mood-altering abilities. 

Finally, the voice of reason chimes in to say, “I would like Vashon to be meaner.”

Perhaps illustrating the newfound meanness of Vashon, we have an unrelated anonymous post that reads: 

 “F#% off ‘Group Member’ I’m making this anonymous so you can see how fucking annoying it is. You suck. Everyone else, have a lovely day! 🥰

We respond with a bunch of unrelated gifs and pictures that my old lady brain can’t parse the meaning of: A guy driving and tapping himself in the head with his middle finger; A lady with her cheeks full of water like a squirrel.; A radio dial tuned all the way to the right, but instead of reading 109.9 it reads “bullshit”; an islander photoshopped to have buck teeth and wearing a shirt that depicts the outline of a penis around the words ‘group member.’

I like that we use gifs as a way to express subtle emotions that we can’t easily articulate, but the sheer breadth of gifs that don’t make sense to me makes me worry that my emotional range is stunted, and there’s a whole world of emotions I haven’t experienced. Will I ever know what it’s like to overstuff my cheeks? 

The very next post seems to be in response to the “F#% off ‘Group Member” post. It states, 

‘Just wanted to share….so, if I’m reading these definitions correctly (and I have been raised around a lot of corn dust and have swallowed my share of Mississippi River water over the years) then any negative or “less than supportive” post by anyone, even a “group member” is EXACTLY what this page is for.’

It then includes this picture of 4 different definitions of Rant from 4 online dictionaries, 2 of which have exactly identical definitions, and I wonder which one plagiarized the other. 

An islander supports the original poster by saying, “Oh damn – did I miss a good rant shaming? To your point … It’s a rant! So everyone should feel empowered to rant their hearts out on a rant page. It could be about stackable washer/dryers, barking dogs, noisy wind chimes, rats, mail, popcorn prices, ferry line cutters and … celery. A rant page should be just fine with me ranting about the foul disgustingness that is celery. The watery, hairy nastiness that tastes like dirt on its best day. It’s a rant. On a rant page 🙂

You know what? Screw that. Celery is awesome. Slap some peanut butter on it and raisins, and you’ve got a healthy snack. So what if it’s called ants on a log? It’s so good that even a disgusting name can’t make it bad. Oh, you think celery tastes like dirt? How do you know what dirt tastes like? Do you eat bowls of dirt for breakfast? This is what’s wrong with Vashon. I can forgive spray painting port-o-potties and not picking up dog poop, but I draw the line at hating on celery. 

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.

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.