It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Could I have that in a sentence, please?

Well, the Fandos dined in one of our favourite Mexican eateries this evening after the Littlest Fando's two football matches (that's soccer for those of you who insist on it). The topic soon turned to spelling bees, as one of our child's friends had been in one recently, one that just happened to be on telly.

Well, the Littlest Fando was complaining that her friend had received "hydraulic" whilst one of his competitors got "jungle." This led to a robust discussion about unfair spelling bees, which inspired the following sketch.

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(An elementary spelling bee, somewhere in the United States.)

Moderator: Our last two remaining contestants are Mary Jones, from Fairview Elementary, and Bobby Smith, from Plainview Elementary. Bobby, you're up next. Your word is "pharyngeal."

Bobby: Pharyngeal ...p-h-a-r-y-n-g-e-a-l ...pharyngeal.

Moderator: Yes, correct. Mary, you're next. Your word is "spice."

Bobby: (Under breath) Lu-cky.

Mary: Spice ...s-p-i-c-e ...spice.

Moderator: Correct. Bobby, your next word is "albuterol."

Bobby: Albuterol ...a-l-b-u-t-e-r-o-l ...albuterol.

Moderator: (Looking at word sheet carefully) Yes... that is correct. Mary, your next word is "cat."

Mary: Cat ...c-a-t ...cat.

Moderator: Correct. Nice job. Bobby, your next word is "Phalangiidae."

Bobby: Phalangiidae? Could I have a definition?

Moderator: Yes. Phalangiidae - a family of Phalangida.

Bobby: Oooookay. Phalangiidae ...Capital P-h-a-l-a-n-g-i-i-d-a-e ...Phalangiidae.

Moderator: (Looking closely at word sheet) Correct. Mary, your next word is "the."

Mary: (Quickly) The ...t-h-e ...the.

Moderator: Correct. Well done.

Mary: Thank you, daddy. I mean "Mr. Moderator." (She winks and curtseys)

Bobby: Daddy?

Moderator: Bobby, your next word is "onomatopoeia."

Bobby: Onomatopoeia? She just got the words "cat" and "the!"

Moderator: Now, now, Bobby. These words are chosen at random. Let's not be a poor sport here.

Bobby: Are you sure about that?

Moderator: Absolutely.

Bobby: Well... I guess.

Moderator: That's the spirit... (under his breath) you little bastard. (Normally) "Onomatopoeia" is the word.

Bobby: What did you just say?

Moderator: "Onomatopoeia."

Bobby: No, before that.

Moderator: "That's the spirit?"

Bobby: No, there was something else.

Moderator: (Shrugging shoulders) I'm not sure what you mean. (Long pause during which he and Bobby lock eyes suspiciously) "Onomatopoeia."

Bobby: (Sighs) Could I have the word in a sentence, please?

Moderator: Yes. "The word you need to spell is onomatopoeia."

Bobby: That's not a proper sentence!

Moderator: Yes, it is. It is a perfectly proper sentence.

Bobby: It doesn't tell me anything about the word!

Moderator: Are you stalling here, Bobby?

Bobby: I'm not stalling! I just want a sentence that gives me some idea of what onomatopoeia means!

Moderator: (Sighs impatiently) Well, would you like a definition?

Bobby: (Pause) Yes, thank you.

Moderator: Onomatopoeia - a word that Bobby Smith cannot spell to save his life.

Bobby: That's not a proper definition!

Moderator: Yes it is, you ingrate! Now spell the damn word or pumpkin gets the prize!

Bobby: Pumpkin?

Moderator: Mary ...I said Mary.

(They lock eyes again, this time angrily.)

Bobby: Oh, all right! Onomatopoeia ...o-n-o-m-a-t-o-p-o-e-i-a ...onomatopoeia.

Moderator: (Looking at word sheet) Damn! Correct again!

Bobby: Ha!

Moderator: Mary, your next word is "an."

Bobby: What?!?

Mary: Can I have the word in a sentence Daddy?

Moderator: Yes, sweetie-pie. Bobby Smith is an ass.

Bobby: Hey!!!

Mary: Thank you. (Quickly) An ...a-n ...an.

Moderator: Excellent job. A very tricky word "an." (Looks at Bobby contemptuously) Bobby are you ready for your next word?

Bobby: (Rolling eyes) I guess so.

Moderator: Bobby, your word is "antidisestablishmentarianism."

Bobby: I give up!!!

(Bobby throws up his hands and storms off the stage. The moderator goes to the stage and hands Mary the winner's trophy.)

Moderator: For the third year running our champion is Mary Jones!!!

Mary: I love you, daddy!!!

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For another bizarre spelling bee experience, see this SNL sketch.

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