Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 2/25/22

We start with a question posed to the group:  “I’ve got a lot of hummingbirds.  I mean, a LOT.  Any recommendations for the best hummingbird glue traps?”

Some of us take immediate offense to what we assume is a very serious request for information. 

One poster responds, “Not funny. There are a lot of “yabos” these days.”

What’s a yabo? I looked it up and found it was either (a) a taco franchise in Ohio, (b) a Japanese word that describes the very particular unaesthetic quality of something large, phony, and loud, or (c) boobs. 

I’m not sure which meaning is intended here. 

We have a lot of speculation about why someone would want to catch hummingbirds in glue traps. 

Maybe the original poster wants to make little inedible jalapeño poppers? Someone shares a recipe for hummingbird bean soup, which doesn’t contain hummingbird but does contain beef. I’m pretty sure it’s just chili. 

Or maybe something traumatic involving a hummingbird happened to the poster and here we are being cavalier about their suffering! I bet that hummingbirds got into their car and built a nest and ate through their seatbelts. That happened to my car, only it wasn’t hummingbirds, it was rats. But basically the same concept. 

I think one commenter figured out the true reason behind the original poster’s malice when they asked, “Did a hummingbird steal your wife?”

We also propose more psychedelic explanations. 

One of us has this hypothesis: “I feel like I’ve fallen into some kind of pan’s labyrinth hoax post where the poster has ‘seen some things’ and maybe ingested some things and now believes hummingbirds are out to get him or something”

It’s possible the hummingbirds are from a dimension I can’t access but got a glimpse of from this islander’s comment. “What are you trying to catch? I’ve heard tale that hummingbird glue is good for elves (both city and wood!) Ghosts, unicorns ( not surprising), and steve, in all of their forms. However, catching and turning hummingbird into said glue will damn you to some sort of hell. Best to try and ignore how they laugh at you and whisper dark nothings into our ears at night.”

Finally, it’s possible the poster is just misguided in how to interact with hummingbirds. One islander shares the most amazing example of people interacting with nature, worthy of a documentary narrated by David Attenborough: “Really i have a lot of hummers.. maybe because i have several feeders .. and bugs and early flowers.I just hum along with them.. they really like iron Butterfly.. in la gada di vida.. dunno why but they just cluster around..but when they get annoying.. i hum the drum solo from Dave Brubecks.. ‘blue rondo a la turk…’ they just can’t handle the 5/4 rhythm..problem solved.”

But none of this matters because, as someone points out, birds aren’t real. 

We have a poll for people who grew up on the island to find out where they got their first kiss.

The top vote getter is “McMurray Middle School. On the field lol” Eleven people had their first kiss here. Eight had the movie theater and seven Ober Park. 

Many people got their first kiss underneath the giant Trampoline across from Jesus Barn, and all from the same boy. 

We also have the ferry (so romantic!) and the ferry parking lot (even more romantic!)

A few said Burton Elementary. How were you all kissing in elementary school? I was 13 when I got my first kiss. It was in some kind of shed in the center of the town where I grew up during the annual disappointment we called Septemberfest. I think maybe the little shed was for garbage? I was with some guy I’d met at summer camp. I wanted to kiss someone because I thought it would propel me into being a different sort of person- more mature and knowledgeable and cool. I’m still waiting for the transformation to take place. Any day now. 

Some people didn’t kiss in the theater, but they did roll beer bottles down the aisle. And in 1967 one islander set off a smoke bomb during a showing of James Bond. That would be absolutely the coolest situation in which to get your first kiss, so I hope someone took advantage of the moment. 

There’s a skeleton named Shelly for sale. We don’t know if it’s real or fake, but either way we all want it for our schools, for art, to dress up for the holidays, or to prank our kids with. 

Some of us want to bury it underground when we build a deck so that whoever comes along after us and decides to put in a new septic system gets a disturbing scare.  I’m always glad to see people thinking about the fate of future generations. 

Finally, I’ll leave with this story. My daughter wanted an idea for a comic to draw, so I said, “People are mad because someone is pretending to try to catch hummingbirds in glue traps.” My daughter rolled her eyes and said, “something relatable.”

So instead she drew this:

This week: how to battle a hummingbird infestation;

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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