I went to my barber today at lunch to get a much needed hair cut. They had ESPN on, and ESPN was showing the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee.
Oh. Hell. Yes.
The redneck at the next chair was complaining that they were showing spelling on ESPN (he spent the entire time calling all the Indian kids “Patel”). I pointed out that it was a hell of a lot better than poker. The woman cutting Cletus’ hair turned and said, “Clearly you’ve never played Texas Hold ‘Em before.”
(Nope, never have and never will). I responded, “Poker on tv is nothing but video footage of guys wearing sunglasses, laying cards on a table. These kids are a 50 cent cab ride from having an emotional breakdown on national television, hell YES it’s better than poker!”
Everyone in the establishment agreed with me. The woman cutting my hair (who has been my barber for about 3 years) already saw my way of thinking, when we witnessed the following:
* A 13 year old boy of possible Greek background (his father is clearly northern European descent, but his mom has that Mediterranean Islands look to her, complete with facial hair), with a moustache. Apparently, I missed the 13 year old with blond hair and a full beard.
* The young Indian girl, also 13, immediately after the moustached kid, had a better ’stache than the boy before her. Not only is her moustache better, so is her spelling.
* A 14 year old Indian girl who, upon getting dinged for mispelling a word, responded with a bemused “Oh.” I realize it’s hard to get anything from a 2-letter monosyllabic word, but her facial features said, “Thank the good Lord above I am done with this bullshit.” Her parents, who appeared very traditionally Indian, actually looked like they had a similar thought in mind.
* Why do some of these words even exist? One of them was “hebdomadal.” Definition? “Occuring every week.” Oh. You mean…..weekly?
* One of the words was “stapp.” She asked the announcer to use it in a sentence. I said out loud, in the barbershop, “Scott Stapp is the shitty lead singer for Creed.”
* Another kid got “Santeria,” which is a Catholic religious ritual in the Caribbean. It’s also a song by the defunct band “Sublime” (the lead singer dying of heroin often makes a band defunct). The kid asked the guy to repeat it MULTIPLE times, and use it in a sentence, and definite, etc etc. At some point, kid, just say “I have no fucking clue.” Well, he took a whack at it, and mispelled it (it’s not Santaria). I predicted to all in the barbershop that when he returned to school, his smartass friends would leave a Sublime CD on his desk. That song is probably older than the kid, but it still gets radio airplay, unfortunately (I say this because Sublime sucked), so he SHOULD know it.
* The guy reading the words sounds like an even bigger know-it-all than Alex Trebeck.
* A suggestion I made to the barbershop occupants: Have a NASCAR spelling bee. National TV, have all the drivers in NASCAR in a spelling bee. “Dale Jr, spell “hebdomadal.” “Do what now?” Juan Pablo Montoya, spell “stapp”. “Que?” My guess is only Ryan Newman would do well, since he’s got an engineering degree from Purdue University. Of course, he coud still be a shit speller. Still, we need to make this happen.
I didn’t see anyone fainting this year, unlike last year. But, it was entertaining nonetheless, and I now have half a dozen people convinced that the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee is one of the highest forms of entertainment on TV. In the summer rerun season, anyway.