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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

To Bee, Or Not to Bee… There’s Really No Question

Hey, is anybody else watching the National Spelling Bee on ESPN right now?

(Or for that matter, when it repeats in a few days, if you’re reading this then. And if that’s the case, isn’t this spooky? How could I know you’d be watching? I’m magic!)

Anyway, they’re down to the wire — just three socially stunted brainiac savants… um, er, I mean ‘spellers‘, left. There’s the obligatory kid of Indian or near-Indian origin, the token marginally normal one, and, of course, the wigged-out, home-schooled, chained-to-the-radiator nerd. And they’ve got a doozy this year, folks. This dude’s a flaming top-of-the-flagpole over-the-forehead wedgie just waiting to happen. Mussed hair, a sort of accidental mouth-breathing sneer, Coke-bottle glasses leaning off his nose… and the voice:

Definition… pleeeeeeeeeeese.

Language of origin…. pleeeeeeeeeeese.

(Yeah, I know, I know. I’m poking fun at a fourteen year old kid who’s got enough problems without me ragging on him. Like, for instance, working out how to get laid before he’s my age.

Okay, sorry. I couldn’t help that one — it just slipped out. But hey, it’s all right — I was way closer to being like this kid than the others when I was his age, much less a normal kid. Except that I couldn’t spell to save my A-S-S, of course. But I’m allowed to poke a little fun. And anyway, it’s not my fault that the guy looks like he was cloned off a boil on Stephen Hawking’s ass.

Damn. Did it again. Okay, I quit now. I’ll be good. Promise.)

Ooooh! Aw, that sucks. My new favorite kid just got taken out by some weird-ass word or other. I think it was ‘parrhesia’ — I didn’t catch what it means, but it looks like the unholy spawn that would be produced if ‘Parcheesi’ and ‘diarrhea’ ever got together.

(And believe me, folks, you never want Parcheesi and diarrhea to get together, under any circumstances. Just trust me on this one.

It’s not quite as bad as Twister and diarrhea, to be sure. But still — it’s not good.)

Anyway, there goes Hawkingspawn. That’s too bad — I like it better when the — um, lessee, I was gonna be nice, right? — the ‘quirky‘ one stays in until the end. That bee a few years ago when the finger-sniffing home schooled girl won the whole thing was spectacular. They should play that shit on ESPN Classic, once a night and twice on Sundays. That’s just never gonna get old.

So, now we’re down to two. There’s David Scott Tidmarsh, an ‘aw shucks’ kid from Indiana, and the bespectacled, quietly confident Coloradian Akshay Buddiga, methodical and relentless in his wordsmithery. Tidmarsh looks scared, every time he goes up to the mic — it looks like just a matter of time before Buddiga puts him away.

(And hell, it makes sense — the kids been spelling words like ‘Akshay’ and ‘Buddiga’ for years. He’s got a natural advantage. Seriously, ‘Scott’? ‘David’? Where’s the challenge in that?)

Oh, but wait! It seems our leetle freend Akshay has a problem — he’s gone over his ‘spellin’ time’, and the judges are going to keep him on a tighter leash for the rest of the way. Who the hell knew there was a time limit on spelling? What the hell is this, chess? Final Jeopardy? A panty raid? There’s no time limit on spelling! Shenanigans! I call shenanigans!

And damn, that cost him, too. They gave him the time spiel just after dropping ‘schwarmerei‘ on the kid’s lap. Holy shit. That oughta count as child abuse or something. ‘Schwarmerei‘? Who uses these frigging words, anyway? Haughty professors? Pedantic schoolmarms? Drunken, clueless bloggers?

(Yeah. Not so much the last one. I’m sure of that. Screw conversation — I can’t even use ‘schwarmerei’ in a damned sentence.

No, wait — that’s not true. Check this:



Okay, so that’s a pretty crappy sentence. Look, don’t rub it in. Keep that shit up and you might find my jackbooted foot shoved up your schwarmerei, there, Skippy. And if anything’ll give you ‘parrhesia’, that’s it. Lemme tell ya.)

All right, this has just gotten silly. What the hell was I on about again?

Ah, the spelling bee, right. So, long story short, they put a huge countdown timer on the one kid, he panicked, and had to sit down. Then the kid from the Midwest stepped up, with two words to spell for all the marbles. And he did it. He sweat it out, and his voice cracked, and I thought — I really thought — he was gonna cry, right there in the middle of ‘autochthonous‘. But he got through it, and now a Tidmarsh is our king. Of spelling. And peeing his pants in front of a microphone. Still, the dude can spell.

So, it wasn’t quite as good as the finger-sniffer, but all in all, a pretty good bee.

(Hey, what can I tell you? Finger-sniffing makes everything better.

Yeah, don’t think about that one too hard. It’s really not that difficult to prove me wrong this time. Don’t go there.)

And now, I’ve gotta be honest — I don’t really remember what the hell the point was gonna be. Something about words, I’m pretty sure. Maybe I was gonna conjugate the verb ‘diddle’. Or learn all the swear words that Swahili has to offer. Or mention how I’m making an effort to work ‘cloaca’ into conversation whenever I get the chance.

Eh, screw it. I can’t remember. What do I look like over here, a Tidmarsh? Meh.

Permalink  |  8 Comments

8 Responses to “To Bee, Or Not to Bee… There’s Really No Question”

  1. Jeff A says:

    Yay for the Indiana boy, see we can do something over here besides grow corn and tip cows!

  2. lucky says:

    did you happen to catch the part where the indian kid fainted?

    went right over like a ton of bricks, got up, and spelled his word.

    and that tidmarsh kid at the end… we were cracking up. i know it’s mean but MAN i hope someone replays the tape for him when he’s 21 or so. tears, shaking voice, nervous squeaking… it should be played at the bar on his 21st.

    i totally see a ‘quiz kid donnie smith’ future for this guy.

  3. wlfldy says:

    First, damn you make me laugh.

    Second, the kid that fainted, what kind of pressure is that?

    And what kinds of parents do you suppose bee parents are like? You know like Texas Cheerleader moms that kill for their lil Toe Kickers? take that and run with it, I bet you get me rolling on the floor.

  4. shelli says:

    I am not stalking you really I am not… This is the second time in a week now you and I have blogged about the same topic. Of course you are more funny and elbrate more then I do. It must be in the air or something.

  5. Skippy says:

    Too funny..

  6. QC says:

    Hey…don’t you be calling that other kid quirky!!

    How the hell do you manage to make something as incredibly, terminally boring as a spelling be as amusing as you just did? Dayum.

    And yeah. I was watching. It cracked me up the way they put a chair out there for the kid who fainted. EVERY time. So every time he went up there to spell a word, it was like, “hey! Remember you fainted? I’m sure you do, because we’re damn well not letting you or anyone else forget it!” Jeez, no wonder he lost.

  7. Edison Chick says:

    DUDE! how rude can you get? David is one of the most awesome kids i know, and you are going to go and trash him like that because you are less intelligent than him, and…wow… like you coulda done that anyway…get a life……….

  8. glory says:

    Holy shi’ite muslim how did I know you were gonna blog about this?

    Maybe it’s partly because that southern kid was great fodder for a hilarious entry…

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