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.

39 Thoughts on “Spelling bee = E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N-I-N-G

  1. You’re such a nut. Never have I ever heard such a (in)coherent stylistic breakdown of a child’s spelling bee. I wonder why that is? Unfortunately, I was a competitive speller in school and even participated in a couple of adult spelling bees that were held as fundraisers for an educational foundation. I am a competitive cutthroat fool, so I won the first year and lost the second. And I was pissed for days. But ESPN is never on in our house unless I turn it on, either. Do you still love me?
    Melissa@Home on Deranged just rambled about…10 reasons my husband is funnier than a fuzzy kittenMy Profile

    • The fact you were competitive in anything makes me still love you! I know this might be hard to believe, but I’m a bit of a competitor myself….like in everything that doesn’t matter.

      Will I be the first one to gun it when the light turns green? Yeah. Will I beat you to the front of the buffet line? As if my life depended on it.

      So I get the competition thing, and I won’t hold it against you. I also secretly love to learn and mostly read and watch non-fiction because I love to learn so much.

      Don’t tell anyone. I know I have this super cool aura about me that says I’m hip, but I’m actually pretty dorky.

  2. I feel your pain. No really. I literally feel your pain. Hubs was watching this tonight too. Going back and forth between that and basketball. Be still my heart.
    Doreen@househoneys just rambled about…At The Hop!My Profile

    • OMG! I wish I would have known this…we could have IMd about all the ridiculousness!

      And didn’t you love how the background was all honeycombs? I don’t know why this cracked me up so much, but it did. Apparently those in the spelling bee community aren’t overly creative when it comes to decorating.

      I know a certain lake house they could take some tips from…..

  3. I wish I would have watched it! And I agree, you should be a spelling bee commentator

  4. Haha, I refuse to disclose my spelling be history now and forever more when visiting your lovely blog. 🙂

    And LOL at the shirt, I want it! 🙂
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  5. Hi Lisa! Oh, I’m with you here…it’s agonizing to watch as well as pressuring for the kiddos! But I guess we have to admit that it does teach a bi(ee)t about spelling. LOL! At least kids’re more conscious with the thought of the bee. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yeah, I secretly think spelling bees are good. I’m actually a huge supporter of education and learning because I’m a huge nerd and think learning is fun. I know. I”m so lame.

      When I go on vacation I usually read non-fiction books. Could I be any more of a dork?

  6. As a teacher, I must confess my fondness for spelling bees. True confession of my teaching past: I was supercompetitive about the regional spelling competitive with my students, who were middle schoolers. One of my students actually won regionals, which only served to feed my competitive instincts. I eventually gave up spelling bees cold turkey because I thought I was acting a little crazy about it.
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    • OMG! You’re competitive?! I love it. I am too! I’m actually ridiculously competitive about stuff like that. It’s why I can’t play games with friends. My husband says I can’t play games because “that’s how we lose friends.”

      He’s not wrong. It’s probably why I’m a lawyer. I love to win!

  7. LMAO!!! Hahahaha. I just love your summary of it.

  8. I love your brain! Since when was spelling a sport?

    • I love my brain too! And I have often wondered why ESPN has this, as it certainly isn’t a sport. What’s the warm up exercises? Do you think they yell out A-E-I-O-U?

      If that’s a sport, then I’m super athletic, as I can spell like a champ.

      Champ: C-H-A-M-P. Champ.

  9. Hey. I just had a thought. With me possibly switching schools next year, I won’t be stuck planning the spelling bee.

    As for your husband, his shirt reminds me of a group of Muslim and Jewish boys at my son’s high school. Their club had a picture in the yearbook — The Association of Non-Christian Non-Athletes.
    Joyce just rambled about…Survival of the CutestMy Profile

    • 1. If you get to plan the spelling bee, you must keep me posted, as I’m sure I will have lots to contribute. (I’m referring to mocking).

      2. That Association is awesome and hilarious, and then awesome again. How are kids so stinking clever? I love it!

      3. But seriously, keep me posted on the spelling bee. 🙂

  10. Your opinion is wrong and your criticism of the 86th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee makes you sound like a complete qwijibolimilst!

    The fact that the SNSB is on ESPN is huge! It had to fight its way in the ratings from the musky depths of ESPN 5 over the years. All so apermixologophiles like me can see it on a network who’s typical audience has no interest. The feeling of anticipation in our household is palpable as bee season approaches and the bee puns fly through the air like so much confetti as we ready our honeyed popcorn. Now if only somebody, anybody would air Scrabble tournaments.

    As tongue in cheek as that sounded, I really do like the spelling bee. I never understood why it’s on ESPN but i watch it every year and am usually on the edge of my seat by the time it gets down to the final two. I’m weird like that.
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    • I love that you said my opinion is wrong! It’s an opinion, so it can’t be wrong, silly!

      But I can totally respect that you disagree. I understand and I’m definitely note offended…especially since your comment was funny and made me chuckle…especially the “bee season” reference and the puns “fly through the air.”

      I found the honeyed popcorn reference particularly brilliant as well.

      And don’t tell anyone, but I’m a super big nerd who thinks learning is fun and so is my husband. He purchased a textbook off of Craigslist recently just because he wanted to read it.

      We’re closeted nerds, I swear!

  11. I didn’t watch the bee, but I laughed when someone reported that the winning word was “knaidel.” Why? Because it’s a Yiddish word, which means it’s a transliteration, which means it has multiple possible English spellings (kneydl, knaidle).

    So…yeah. Weird.
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    • OMG! I had no idea that was the definition and that’s awesome. It’s also awesome that you know that. Pretty much everything about this comment is awesome.

      I really want to learn more yiddish words. I used the word “coi” today, and used it correctly, and I was so proud of myself.

  12. Oh no!!!! I missed the spelling bee. I am seriously bummed. I usually watch it every year. It is painful at times but also like a train wreck I can’t look away. Your wonderful commentary will have to suffice for now.

    P.S. I have had a love for spelling bees ever since my little sister was in one when she was 7 or 8. We practiced and practiced and she lost on a word we had went over numerous times…. but she did so with flare. The word was opossum, I’ll never forget because we had stressed the whole silent “o” thing… so she remembered to o and blanked on the rest. LOL so her spelling was ” O, P…..awesome!” she literally said awesome. It was hysterical.
    Wordifull Melanie just rambled about…Something BrewingMy Profile

  13. Once upon a sad 4th grade spelling bee, I blew it on the word “feast”. Good. Lord. I drew a blank. “Feast. F-I-E-S-T. Feast.” Oh Dark Mother. Why?
    Todd just rambled about…Speak slowly, and bring a fart jokeMy Profile

    • Maybe you were spelling it the German way? I’m sorry my blog post brought up this painful memory, but at least you know how to spell it now. Try not to let that event take you to a dark place.

  14. I tweeted this bad boy. EPIC. And Hilarious.

  15. HILARIOUS! I love sports but I’ve missed the Bee on ESPN. Will have to find it somewhere. It’s been a hot topic because we have a local girl in it… lucky her.

    p.s. I won my school’s Bee in 6th grade. Lost at the next round- cannot imagine what it takes to get to national level!
    Anita@Losing Austin just rambled about…Welcome: A New DayMy Profile

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I DIDN’T win my 6th grade spelling bee, but I got to the entire school finals, which was with grades all the way up to 8th, so I feel like that was kind of an accomplishment.

      But now I’m jealous of your mad spelling skills.:-)

  16. This was a very entertaining read! I had no idea that the spelling bee was covered in such a way. I find commentary of any kind–even with sports–very annoying anyway.

    I am so glad I found you via You Like Me Blog Hop, and I am planning to follow you. Take a look at my blog, if you like!
    Ruth Hill just rambled about…In Love With June Handbag Giveaway (Ends 6/23) U.S.My Profile

    • THANK YOU! I love that you found me and enjoyed my post!

      Normally, I’m not a fan of commentary but these guys were so hilarious because it was clear they were grasping at just about anything they could just to say something and fill up the silence.

      I wish there was more stuff like that on TV, mostly so I would have more fodder for my blog.

      I will absolutely check you out. Thanks for not leaving a generic post like “Love the blog. Newest follower here. Come check out mine.”

      Those annoy the crap out of me! Um, take a minute to read my post. Thanks for not doing that.

    • Ruth, I don’t know why, but I can’t leave a comment on your page. I read the post about the smallpox vaccine, and I can’t leave a comment. I’m not sure why.

      I can’t believe that vaccine was invented in 1800. I would have thought it would have been much later, and I’m definitely glad they don’t give the vaccine the old way anymore. I probably wouldn’t have gotten it if they did!

  17. My favorite part of your posts are the little bits that are irrelevant to the story, but add so much to it. For example, “the y is silent” cracked me up. I love that I can never, ever predict what you will say next. A clever one, you are!
    christine just rambled about…Ways to VolunteerMy Profile

    • THANK YOU! I appreciate feedback like that so much. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. I never know if people enjoy my randomness or not.

      I also write most of the posts as if I was actually just having a conversation. Those who know me say they can not only hear me saying these things, but can hear my voice and tone and see my facial expressions.

      That’s how I want it to read; just like you are inside my head for a bit.

      Which is scary. 🙂

  18. A “hard j” ………laughing so hard. And you’re right ~ I can’t pronounce any of those kids’ names either. Did you see the kid that won the whole thing? Didn’t even crack a smile! And since when did they start firing confetti cannons at the Spelling Bee??
    Mom Rants and Comfy Pants just rambled about…Musings From the Shower SeriesMy Profile

    • I laughed so stinking hard at how that kid didn’t respond! Matt and I were crying we were cracking up so much. He just stood there with a blank stare as a crap ton of confetti fell on him. Hysterical!

  19. This is funny! ESPN or some sports something or other is ALWAYS on in our house but I’m going to guess it’s not when the spelling bee is on. I didn’t know they televised them…and why ESPN? Is it a sport now? Do you get a trophy with a little bee on top just for showing up?
    Very, very entertaining post, Lisa! I may just have to watch one one day for shits and giggles….I love a good chin scratch!
    Sandy Ramsey just rambled about…Ten Beautiful Reasons To Be HappyMy Profile

    • I like to think the trophy is a giant gold bee taking a dump on the rest of the idiot bees who have to use spellcheck.

      Or it could just be the word “spellcheck” with a circle and a slash through it.

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