Off Scripps

Went to a spelling bee at a bar last night. There were only 10 people playing. And on a March Madness Monday, there were only 13 people in the bar including the MC and the bartender. So it was intimate.

And yes, fun.

Long story less complicated, John stayed in the longest. Carlos showcased some of his Mr Panama before he went out. Kristina went out on something hard. I went out on ‘ostentatious’. Pam went out on ‘irascible’.

I don’t remember the word Erik went out on, but it was early enough that he was allowed a redemption round. The MC said it would include two parts. One — that he needed to drink the rest of his beer in ten seconds. And two, well, first he needed to drink the rest of his beer.

And it was a fresh full beer.

“Really?” asked Erik. “Drink the whole thing? All of it?”

“Yup. In ten seconds. Ready?”

“Uh, I guess.”

“Ok, go! Ten… Nine… Eight… Seven… Si — wow, that was like, I mean, you seemed to suggest it might be more of a struggle.”

“Yeah. No. What’s the second part?”

“Uh, I will pick a word out of the dictionary randomly and you have to spell it backwards.”


The MC threw his finger down on the page, then held the dictionary up to the light. “Lewd. Your word is lewd.”

“Oh,” said Erik — which everyone in the bar understood was NOT the first letter. And then not more than a second passed before he rattled off, “E. D. U. L.”

There are many reasons I love Erik. The purity and authority with which he assumed drug vernacular in a bar spelling bee is but one.

“Um, no,” said the MC. “That’s incorrect. It’s D. W. E. L. We were looking for lascivious behavior, not the short form of Quaalude.”

I think we could have probably argued in favor of Erik, but his blunder was so damn glorious. It was its own win. In fact, I think he got a headband.

Spelling bee rule of thumb: Always ask, “Can you use it in a sentence please?”

Fun fact: The winner was a woman who just happened to have memorized all the winning words of the last three decades of Scripps Spelling Bees. The guy who got second knew all the titles to every episode of Star Trek — The Next Generation. Episode 15 is “11001001” because it was in binary.
I. M. P. R. E. S. S. E. D.
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