The Screwjob of ’97

There aren’t a whole lot of things that I am exceptionally talented at. But at the same times, I am fairly skilled in many things. Call me a jack-of-all-trades if you’d like.  But the things that I am particularly good in, I take pride in. I’m a pretty good athlete… I’m particularly efficient in ping-pong. I’m good at adding large numbers in my head, and I also take pride in my writing skills.

I think of myself as a proficient writer. Even with this blog… after every entry I revise it and correct even the slightest errors. I always expect my grammar to be top-notch; it’s just how I am. But probably my biggest skill is that I am a great speller.

When I was seven years old, I spelled supercalifragilisticexpialidocious correctly on a spelling test. I also know how to spell the longest words in the English language: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.  It’s a lung disease.

But I’m not here to brag about that. Even though I consider myself a good speller, I never participated in a spelling bee. In fact, I don’t think I even could if I wanted to because I am forever scarred from spelling bees. When I was in elementary school, they would sometimes combine all the kids from each grade and hold spelling bees. They were nothing official… just for fun. I participated in it when I was in both third and fourth grade. Naturally, I expected myself to win.

In both instances, I made it to the final round. And in both instances, I spelled my first word wrong in the final round. The first one was completely my fault; a horrible mistake. Choked under the pressure. But the second time was complete and utter BULLSHIT. To this day I still insist that I should not have been eliminated.

Alright, the first time… the word I was given was “weird.” Now this was my first time having to deal with the pressure. There were about 40 kids watching, and I got nervous. In my head… I started thinking of that goddamn rule: “I before E except after C.” Alright, I thought… stick to the rule. Can’t go wrong.

“Weird, W-I-E-R-D, Weird”


Just like that, I was eliminated. I went into the hallway and started crying. I cried a lot when I was in elementary school. But that’s neither here nor there. If anything, this motivated me to come back even stronger next year and win the whole thing.

A year passes by, and I am determined. Nothing can stop me. I once again make it to the final round, and this time… the final round – which took place in a classroom the year before – Is held on the stage in the auditorium. Goddamn. Talk about being under the spotlight.

I was one of the final ten competitors left. The first word I receive is “Wednesday.” Now this is a tricky word for a fourth grader because it’s not spelt how it is said. But I had this down. I know my days of the week.

“Wednesday, W-E-D-N-E-S-D-A-Y, Wednesday!”

I say this with no doubt in my mind that I am correct. Nailed it.


What?! I could hardly believe my ears… I wasn’t wrong! Did I miss a letter? What the hell?! Then the word is given to the person after me. They say:

“Wednesday, CAPITAL W-E-D-N-E-S-D-A-Y, Wednesday.”

I forgot to say “Capital W”. Are you FUCKING kidding me? I should have taken my chair and thrown it directly at whoever was moderating. Because that is complete and utter bullshit. It’s a spelling bee… not a fucking capitalization bee. I was robbed. I was somehow eliminated without spelling anything wrong.

I have never participated in a spelling bee since, nor will I ever. Because I know the politics of it. They could screw over whoever the hell they want. This was about thirteen years ago, and I am still pissed off about it.

And I haven’t been able to enjoy a Wednesday since.

2 thoughts on “The Screwjob of ’97

  1. enjoyed this one…capitalization bee – ha!

  2. I think that was Mrs. Goldglit… bitch

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