As the dozens of people who have read and, no doubt, thoroughly enjoyed the literary masterpiece Critical, but Stable know, I represented the great borough of Staten Island in the 1990 Daily News Spelling Bee (snazzy jacket awarded above). I finished tenth, which I considered pretty impressive...after I stopped crying when I was eliminated.

I kind of wanted to win the whole thing and get the trip to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, but I figured it was a longshot based on the words in the study guide that helped you prepare for what you would be asked to spell in front of a Town Hall audience full of your peers and anyone else deranged enough to watch a six-hour spelling bee. I was confident enough in the first two groups, but when Sister Eustace (my coach) made it over to the third group, I had a feeling a glorious victory might not be in the cards. There was just no way I was gonna be able to nail those ridiculous words when the time came, no matter how many roots and language origins I knew.

So, it came as quite a shock when I read about the two winners of this year's Daily News Spelling Bee, which is now split into two days, with a winner crowned at each day's end. The first winner (I will mention neither winner by name, lest they Google their names and find a 31-year-old man casting aspersions on them) took home the prize by spelling "anomaly" correctly. Seriously? Anomaly? And, the Daily News reported, this was his third try at the title. The first two times he crapped out on "debris" and "psalm." Hoo brother. The second winner "earned" the trip to Washington by spelling "magisterial" and "agility" right. What? You're kidding. Has the spelling bee sunk this low?

Do you know what word was my demise? "Toolach." What? Never heard of it? No kidding. Ninety-nine percent of the world hasn't either. "Agility," "magisterial," and "anomaly" are a bit better known. And the bee went on past my word. I don't remember what the winning word was, but I sure as heckfire know it was something loftier than "agility."

Kids today. Bunch of losers.

1 comment:

Gina said...

It's a sad sad situation. Sorry seems to be the hardest word.

PS. I was dissed from the eighth grade spelling bee on 'Jaundiced'. Liver disease. What the...I Gave it my best shot. John-dissed. 1976. To think, had they given us words like agility or anomaly, we coulda BEEN SOMEBODY!