There's something really, really wrong with me. I'm sick in the head. There are millions of things I could decide to do with my evenings this week. I could take a walk by the ocean and watch a sunset. I could go out to dinner with some friends. I could even go nuts and play some poker. But what have I done? I am DVRing the National Spelling Bee. Not only am I recording the finals on ABC tomorrow, but I'm also recording the preliminary rounds on ESPN tonight.
The worst part? I'm recording it for all the wrong reasons. Sure, I'm interested because I'll invariably be impressed by the kids. But that wears off after 10 words or so. After 2 minutes of:
Socially Awkward Kid: "Can I get the language of origin?"
Uptight adult: "Latin."
Socially Awkward Kid: "Can you use it in a sentence?"
Uptight adult: "The miner hit the ROCK with his hammer."
Socially Awkward Kid: "Are there any alternate pronunciations?"
Uptight adult: "No. Just 'ROCK'."
Socially Awkward Kid: "Rock?"
Uptight adult: "Rock."
Socially Awkward Kid: "Rock? Am I saying that correctly?"
Uptight adult: "Rock."
Me: "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST SPELL THE WORD!"
there's really no joy left in the competition. Which brings me back to where I'm sick in the head. I'm watching it because there will, almost definitely, be a quirky kid that will be the national joke of the week. And every year, I miss the joke. I missed the fainting kid. I missed the girl who talked into her hands before saying each and every letter. And dog gone it, I refuse to miss another classic spelling bee moment! If you really want to analyze this, perhaps the spelling bee is somewhat comforting. As socially awkward as I've been known to be, the national spelling bee somehow makes me feel a little less so. So, there you have it. Spelling bee. Tonight on ESPN, tomorrow on ABC. (The 'C' is silent).
On a personal spelling bee note, I once made it to my school finals in 8th grade. (I was never quite the speller, but due to circumstances in the prelims where half of my class misspelled the same word, I was sort of in by default). Since my slackered-ness existed back then too, I looked at the sheet and really studied one word. "Adjacent". The finals were in front of the entire school in the gym. It was my turn to go. My word? "Adjacent". "Adjacent. A-d-j-a-c-e-n-t. Adjacent." There was a long, long pause. They discussed. And they said, "Incorrect". I gave them my best Tim Duncan "Where's the whistle?" face and then I sat down in the losers lounge. Later on, I asked what I got wrong. They said they heard me say "g" instead of "j". If it weren't for that moment, I could have gone to the national spelling bee. So, in a way, I thank my inability to pronounce. It saved me from the trauma that was, is, and forever will be - The National Spelling Bee.
(This just in....)
Poker Jason sends the experts handicapping of the Spelling Bee contestants.