Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bzzzz...spelling bee for grownups


When I was in 8th grade, I won my school's spelling bee. I had been trying to lose on purpose so I would not have to advance to the regional event, but I miscalculated the remaining turns and ended up winning nonetheless. So I found myself with a lot of unwanted studying to do. After all, I was supposed represent Saint Pat's School with pride and charisma and spelling, and I did not want to do it.

I did not study. I was about to be in deep trouble. To use a middle school spelling word, it was a predicament. Then, like a magic gift, the week before Regionals I had an emergency appendectomy and was in the hospital for a week, hence rendering me unable to attend Regionals. My classmate, runner-up William, had to go in my place. But he was always the true bellwhether, and he ended up going to Yale. So he probably belonged at that Bee anyway.

(As a strange aside, that was also the week that we all had to build catapults for science class, and my partner Jenny came to the hospital so we could test the catapult in the hallways. I think the nurses had fun with that. Physics.)

Anyway, moral of the story is that I hate to participate in Spelling Bees. Too much work, too much anxiety. But I have always enjoyed watching them. I adore the Scripps spelling bee and look forward to watching it on ESPN every year. I'm also a huge fan of the documentary Spellbound. Those kids, for the most part, have such poise; and I just don't know how they do it. I am a bundle of anxiety the whole time I watch them. Even when watching the same documentary I've already seen.

If you are like me, then perhaps you will want to get yourself to the Pilot Light tonight at 8pm. They're hosting their inaugural ADULT SPELLING BEE (!!!!!). How cool is that? I think it promises to be a very scintillating, if not slightly weird, event. Note that some words will be of a mature nature. So if you're a prude, this event might not be for you.

It's free to watch and 5 bucks to enter, but you get one free PBR with entry. And we all know how to spell PBR.

17 comments:

B said...

I got third place in my elementary school spelling bee. i self-sabotaged, quickly spelling jaguar jaguer. i couldn't handle the pressure. em, i thought about re-staking my claim as a great speller tonight, but alas, i am what you would call a prude.

Steve K. said...

?

Why is there a picture of a dragonfly and a dandelion? Because 'dandelion' is hard to spell? Why not just have a picture of a dandelion without the dragonfly, since dragonfly is easy to spell?

signed,
really confused.

p.s. I spelled dandelion correctly without looking it up.

benjamin said...

steve,

i would assume that is a bee of some sort in the picture. but who knows, really? nobody, probably.

i wish i could go to this, because i get frustrated when people spell things incorrectly, and because i want to hear someone try to spell "gonorrhea." and, like beth, i got third place in my elementary school spelling bee. i misspelled "coin." hey, it's a tough word. think about it!

benjamin said...

i will admit, it doesn't look like a bee, though.

The Modern Gal said...

Three times in middle school I was the spelling bee runner-up. I was totally going to enter the Pilot Light spelling bee until I realized I had to work tonight. I distinctly remember one of the words I missed being 'raspberry.' I know how to spell that now.

I'll be happy to be someone's lifeline if you need it though.

em said...

It is a dragonfly. I figured the buzzing insect would translate okay, but perhaps it was too obtuse of a choice. I just didn't have any good pictures of a bee that weren't boring, and I thought the dragonfly looked kind of hip and interesting, much like The Pilot Light

B said...

a hipster dragonfly. i wonder if he likes pbr

Joe Ossenmacher-Bedford said...

I know you misspelled "bellwether" on purpose, just to draw me out, another junior-high-spelling-bee casualty. I can still tell you every word I won, or lost, on. "Dilapidated." "Scourge." "Cabal." "Apparel." "Racketeer." Damn right I can spell them all, too. :-)

Joe Ossenmacher-Bedford said...

I see that this is in 25 minutes, and practically next door to my house. But after a moment of temptation, I have decided to pass. I am not much of a barfly at this advanced age. Hope I'm not missing out on fun.

Joe Ossenmacher-Bedford said...

Aw dammit, I'M GOING.

em said...

Yeah, misspelled it on purpose. keep you on your toes...yeah, that's it. Sadly it was a mistype, and blogger did not catch it on spell check. Weird.

Turns out full marathon training means a night at the Pilot Light, even if it starts early, is past my bedtime. So have fun, all you kids who went to the event.

Joe Ossenmacher-Bedford said...

Ha, that was fun! Made it to the fourth round. Successfully navigated "amateur" (softball), "epinephrine" and "antediluvian", but bombed out on "troche" (I mixed it up with "troika").

em said...

Good work, Joe. Way to make the Wigshop proud!

B said...

Yay, Joe!!

B said...

no, really, joe. you should be commended for your guts in entering the pilot light. i've seen your profile pic. i am gushing with pride.

max. said...

i misspelled "tallow" at my middle school spelling bee. i made it to the county championship too! dangit!

Joe Ossenmacher-Bedford said...

Oh good lord B, I did not sport my "running for governor" look. Besides, I shave my head these days. :-)