spelling beeMy husband is not the athletic type.  He actually has a shirt that just says “unathletic.”  It fits him perfectly.  No really.  It literally fits him perfectly.  It’s like Matt was the manufacturer’s muse.

So imagine my surprise when I walked into our living room tonight and discovered the TV was on ESPN.

I realize that may be a normal occurrence in homes across America, as most men watch ESPN almost as much as they watch porn.  Almost.

However, in my house, the only time the channel is on ESPN is if I put it there, and the only time I put it there is when The World’s Strongest Man is on.

I asked my husband why the four-letter word was on in our house, and he responded with “It’s the Spelling Bee, yo!”

Ah, yes, the Spelling Bee.  That glorious competition that comes along once a year…or five times a year.  I don’t really know, because I don’t care about spelling bees.  No one cares about spelling bees.

remote from 1982And yet, I found myself watching it (mostly because he had the remote).

If you haven’t seen this disaster, then you probably have more of a life than I do.

But if you have, well, then it makes sense you read my blog.  You obviously have too much time on your hands (and poor taste).

The premise?  Exactly what you think it is.  Kids are given words to spell and they have to spell them.  Yeah.  Only it’s not in a gymnasium.  And it isn’t as much fun as it sounds.

It doesn’t sound fun.

Pretty simple, right?  Yeah, it is.  So why are there commentators?  I have no clue, but I’m glad there are.

bees and honeycombThey may be there just to keep us awake.  Two men make comments as each nerd kid stands on the stage and contemplates how to spell a word no one has ever heard of.

I definitely need commentary to get me through that.  And vodka.

Come to think of it, if I had a commentator present when I spelled out words in emails (or this blog), maybe my writing would be more enjoyable. And coherent.

Fortunately, the commentators delivered the comedy.  Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?  It may not have been intentional on their part, but they said some ridiculous things that were utterly enjoyable.

For instance, one of them actually said the following:  “Fun fact:  He can name all the world’s capitals.”

trueUm, that’s not a fun fact.  I’m not sure what ESPN and these commentators think is fun, but world capitals are not fun.

However, making fun of the Spelling Bee is, so I continued to watch.

It then went silent as the world capitalist stood there.  (Since he knows all the capitals in the world, that makes him a world capitalist, right?)

As the Capitalist stood there contemplating how to spell nbmkioiuiouiou, one of the commentators made yet another brilliant observation as the kid scratched his chin.

He said “We’ve not seen him do that before.”

Um, the kid scratched his chin.  I’M NOT KIDDING!

Had they already gone through their bag of “fun facts” and were now relegated to observing twitches and body movements?

dictionaryAfter being given the word ggkopyyyiopuioujoj (the y is silent), the Capitalist asked the obvious question; the one we were all thinking.

He asked if there were any alternative pronunciations.

I waited for the moderator to respond with “Yeah, idiot.  There’s a million alternative pronunciations, and all of them are botched because no one knows any of these words.”

Instead, he answered “No.

Apparently that wasn’t enough of an answer, so the nerd kid asked the next completely logical question.  He asked for the definition of the word.

Right, because the definition will tell you everything you need to know about how to spell bkmkljhoyhoijjo (pronounced with a hard j).

The moderator actually responded with the definition, although I’m not sure what it was, as I wasn’t listening.

school daysInstead, I just imagined him telling the kid the definition was “Not a word you’re ever going to have to know in real life.”

Maybe I should be a commentator for the Bee.

And yet, what I found to be the biggest challenge of this entire spelling bee (aside from resisting the urge to change the channel), was the pronunciation of each contestant’s name.

Instead of doing an entire competition of spelling words no one has heard of, they should all just try to spell each other’s names.  It sure would cut down on the competition time.

But seriously, who is going to break it to these people that there’s such a thing in this world as spell check?

That the one talent these kids possess is something a machine can do faster and more efficiently, and without asking stupid questions?

I know I’m not going to be the one to burst their bee-filled bubble.

bee1Maybe it will be one of those things they never know exists.  It will be a mystery to these kids forever; much like the feel of  a woman’s breasts.  (Other than their mother’s, of course.)

As I sat there contemplating all the wonderful things about this program, I got to thinking about why it’s called a spelling bee.

How did the bee get to become the beloved mascot of this delightful sport?

Come to think of it, it might be(e) because watching a spelling bee is as painful as being stung in the face by a swarm of bees.

Or maybe it’s that you wish a swarm of bees would sting you in the face so you could stop watching the competition.

But then again, if that happened, you’d probably be prescribed a bunch of drugs with names you wouldn’t be able to spell.