Absolutely No Buzz

28 01 2007

A few days ago, I attended the spelling bee. Remember that post I wrote two months ago about my being a contestant? Of course you didn’t.

But now I must painfully tell you that I did not win.

I lost on a hard word, specifically not telling you which word it was.

I will, though, tell you how I lost.

It was morning. I had just walked into school. I put my backpack down just as the morning announcements came from the speakers.

“Good morning! How is school today?” Yada, yada, yada. Blaa, blaa, blaa. I hate it when they ask that. School hadn’t even started and they ask whether the day was good or not.

So I didn’t pay much attention to the announcements, but it was one sentence that caught my attention immediately.

“If you are a Spelling BEE contestant, please report to the stage for practice rounds immediately. The actual BEE will follow the practice rounds.”

Yea! The BEE was here! I went down to the stage and found 15 chairs. There were five chairs for each grade that was participating: 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

I sat down and the teacher went over the rules of the Spelling BEE: no mumbling, no shouting, no chatting; all the rules I already knew.

Then all the classes from third to fifth filed in. I began to get a little nervous.

We began our practice round. I listened to all the other kids.


Sushi. S-U-S-H-I. Sushi.

“That is correct.”


Plate. P-L-A-T-E. Plate.”

“That is correct.”


Jumbo—could you give me the definition?

“Wait— Jumbo. Very large.”

Jumbo. J-U-M-B-E-O. Jumbo.

“That is not correct, but this is a practice round, so don’t go yet.”

Our practice round went on like this. Finally, the actual one began. You could tell everyone got a whole lot nervous.

It seemed to me that I got all the hardest words. The person before me got “young” and the person after me got “fresh” but I had to get “preferences”.

I finally got out when they gave me the hard word. I spelled it wrong. I was just congratulating myself when they said it.

That is not correct.

Oops. I sat down.

I watched the rest of the show. It was mostly just the three really smart fifth graders in school that were doing it. Finally, one got out.

Now it was between two fifth-graders: one which I had never met, and the other which had won the Spelling BEE every year since he was allowed to participate.

“That is not correct.”

Huh? My eyes must have been playing tricks on me because the winner-of-all-other-rounds was now the winner-of-all-rounds-except-for-this-one!

Now was the championship round. Only one person: the other fifth grader. Should he get it right, he is the champion. Should he get it wrong, the winner-of-all-rounds-except-for-this-one returns to the title of Mr. All.

He got it right.

We all cheered like crazy. A few people (me included) took it further and shook hands. The Spelling BEE was over. After one whole hour and a half, he had won!

If I was a news reporter, I would have him on the Chronicle (the Houston newspaper)!

So that’s what happened. It wasn’t really my doing; it was just that the winner got his name in the Chronicle.

But then again, if I was a reporter, that would mean I couldn’t be in the Spelling BEE.

But that would mean I wouldn’t be here, which would mean— oh, forget it.




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