Tag Archives: kids

A, Bee, C

3 Jun

NARRATOR: You’re watching BeeTV, the first and thankfully only spelling bee channel. On today’s episode of  “Could You Use It in a Sentence?”, we’ll catch up with some of Scripps’s most memorable champions, and get a look at their life after the Bee.

NARRATOR: Of course you remember Bhagirathy Balasubramanium, the 2004 winner who famously won with the correct spelling of lûztüęrgēńšpìel, a tenor glockenspiel commonly played in polka and reggae styles. Bhagirathy made headlines the following day for showing such a deep lack of emotion while receiving his trophy that many viewers had to turn off their TVs out of discomfort.

BHAGIRATHY: After the Bee, my life was basically in shambles. I had spent fourteen years preparing for that day, and then in the blink of an eye, nobody cared if I could tell them the etymology of words like autochthonous or chiaroscurist. By the time I was fifteen, things were really quite out of hand.

NARRATOR: Spiraling from a word withdrawal, Bhagirathy went on a two-week dictionary binge, doing things to a Merriam-Webster that he has still not come to terms with.

BHAGIRATHY: I was finally wrested from that dark place when my father found me lying in the street in my underwear, asking passersby for the definition of sadness. That’s the lowest it ever got.

NARRATOR: After that, Bhagirathy cashed in his Scripps scholarship and went off to college. It was there that he realized it was impossible for him to completely escape his background as a speller.

BHAGIRATHY: One day, as we neared graduation, I realized I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I took one of those tests that suggests careers for you based on your personality and skills. The only thing I could really think of to write down was “memorization”. So, it said I could be a fast food chef, you know, because you have to remember all the steps and how to put together all the menu options, or a museum docent, but you can’t legally do that job without an AARP card. So I was back to square one.

NARRATOR: Desperate to put his skills as a speller to good use in mainstream society, Bhagirathy found work in a local zoo, proofreading informational signs for correct spelling of Latin species names.

BHAGIRATHY: It turns out zoos don’t really make new signs all that often, so I had to find another way to augment my pay. That’s how I started cleaning out the animal cages.

NARRATOR: Today, Bhagirathy is almost as famous as when he won the Scripps, after he starred in the viral video “Zookeeper Gets Head Stuck in Elephant Butt.” He is well-known and beloved at the zoo, affectionately coined “the guy who shovels animal crap,” by his colleagues. These days, zoo guests know they can ask Bhagirathy to spell any requests, but nobody does because he smells like sh*t.

(commercial break)

NARRATOR: Hi, and welcome back to “Could You Use It in a Sentence?” right here on BeeTV. For our next entry in the Where Are They Now File, we’ll head over to Seattle, Washington to talk with WordWyzard, the first spelling bee contestant to change his name to cultivate a brand around himself. Bee enthusiasts will remember him better as Clyde Boondock, who took home the hardware in 1988 by correctly spelling flaumpoosh, an Aboriginal word used to describe the onomatopoeia of a belly flop.

WORDWYZARD: After the bee, my mom said I needed to come up with a stylized name to create a brand of myself. Up to that point, I had really just concerned myself with spelling things, and I let my mom take care of all the other parts of bee life. I was always fine with Clyde, but WordWyzard sold a lot more t-shirts. It also had a word spelled wrong in it, but like I said – it really moved merchandise.

NARRATOR: After graduating from Washington State as the only person to ever receive a diploma from the university with only one word in the name section, Clyde WordWyzard went to work at Microsoft, helping them develop the spell-check software for word processing.

WORDWYZARD: I made critical breakthroughs there, removing a lot of words and phrases that aren’t actually real, such as “Oedipus complex” and “motherliness.” Another thing I did was help implement the squiggly green line for grammar errors. So when your computer tells you to correct an already accurate sentence, you can blame whoever made me memorize words instead of sending me to elementary school.

NARRATOR: Unfortunately, a butting of heads at Microsoft in the mid-1990’s left WordWyzard without work and without direction.

WORDWYZARD: So one day, we’re all sitting in the office working on the spell-check code, and Bill Gates walks over to our part of the office. I’d never even seen the guy before, and suddenly he starts talking to me, so I’m stressing out a little bit. He starts telling us about how he keeps seeing red squigglies under words he uses often, like his name, so we should make it so that people can add words to the dictionary. And I’m like, “But your name’s already a word. Gates is in the dictionary. Plural of gate.” But he keeps saying how it’s something we can fix easily and tells us to get on it and walks away.

NARRATOR: It was in response to this request that WordWyzard would cost himself his job at Microsoft.

WORDWYZARD: Right after that happened, I sort of lost my cool. I was just like, “If I’d been able to add words to the dictionary my whole life do you think I’d be as sad as I am today?” So I yell this to Bill, but he pretends not to hear me and keeps on walking. Classic Bill, right? Anyway, I said enough unsavory things and kicked enough computers that I’m no longer allowed to be within one mile of Microsoft headquarters.

NARRATOR: After losing his job, WordWyzard moved back in with his mother. He keeps busy by running the WordWyzard Foundation for Misnamed Youth. You can make a tax-deductible donation at CallMeClyde.com.

A Typical Day in High School

27 Apr

(A Monday morning in high school. Two students are speaking to each other at a lunch table.)

STUDENT 1: Dude, my weekend was so crazy. I had a few kids over Saturday night, and things got pretty wild. (laughs)
STUDENT 2: Yeah, I had a pretty sick weekend, as well. I told, like, 20 kids to come over and it ended being about 150.
S1: My house was pretty trashed afterward. I spent all Sunday cleaning up. I’m pretty sure someone took my goldfish. They left the bowl and stuff, but the fish was just gone afterward.
S2: Same here. Someone did a belly flop out of a second floor window and shattered all of my patio furniture on the way down. I’m going to be grounded for months.
S1: Someone at my house brought a two-hundred foot hose to my house. During the party, I guess they ran it upstairs, hooked it up to the faucet outside and just started pumping water into my parents’ bedroom. Then, some other guy runs up the stairs with a bucket full of barely-alive fish, and he throws them all into the water and locks the door. The next day, after I waited for a lot of the water to leak down through the ceiling under the bedroom, I opened the door and it just reeked of stale water and dead fish. What a weekend.
S2: If you think that’s good, one of the kids that showed up to my house that night? Turns out, he’s a 46-year-old DEA agent who retired to live the life of his suspects. He moonlights as a street mime, and he has this beautiful motorcycle parked out front.
S1: Wait, what does the mime thing have to do with it?
S2: Absolutely nothing at all. So we get out to the motorcycle, and like clowns in a tiny car, we manage to cram thirteen kids on the bike at once. The mime guy just cranks the gas, and the next second we’re going 130 in a residential area. In a proud moment of defiance, some of us reach out and grab those plastic stand-up turtle things and embellish with all sorts of profane and anatomically-correct declarations of protest.
S1: I can top that. As I’m going outside to turn off the hose, one of the guests comes up to me and hands me a drink. I take one sip and I’m out like a light. I woke up hallucinating that I was the ham in a Cuban sandwich, so I’m so distracted and confused that I don’t realize where I am. A few minutes later, I realize I’m riding a statue of a horse in the middle of some bustling city square, and everyone around me is screaming and cheering in Spanish. Another few minutes, and I’m aware that I’m wearing full military garb from the waist up.
S2: Waist down?
S1: Moving on, I dismount the statue and start looking for the American embassy. As I’m looking for the embassy, the people in the streets just part like the seas in front of me, and they’re all just cheering “El capitán” as I walk past. The rest of the details are pretty foggy, but all I know is I woke up the next morning in my parents’ bed, wrapped up in the soaking sheets cozied up to a largemouth bass.
S2: I love the weekends.

Teenagers: A Guide for the Elderly

4 Oct

Teenagers (adolescents, youngsters, the people on your lawn) can often be seen in their natural habitat engaging in wild antics that can send even the most resilient pacemaker offbeat. However, these exotic activities are not necessarily the result of the underage drinking and grass-smoking you preemptively called the police about; hey may just be some of the fun new trends kids enjoy these days. Try your hand at this fun quiz to figure out which fads are real and which aren’t!

Coning – at an ice cream parlor, kids reach out and grab their ice cream by the cream itself. The server’s reactions are usually videotaped.

Scarfing – as many kids as possible try to wear the same scarf at once. Knitted hilarity ensues.

Nuggeting – kids turn their friends’ backpacks inside out, making the contents inaccessible.

Microbusinessing – teens seeking out a cheap thrill hastily create their own startup companies. Examples include artisan yogurts, digital clocks for vegans, and DIY taxidermy kits for the everyman.

Bedazzling – late at night, students prowl the streets for inattentive law enforcement officers. Working fast, they bedazzle the officer and scram in a poignant cry for freedom.

Poking – youngsters hide themselves in public mailboxes and read your letters, secretly laughing at those who still send mail.


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

16 Sep

If you work at a Sunday school kindergarten, the kids will want to sit on your lap.

If you let them sit on your lap, they will twist your fingers and play with your hands.

If you let them play with your hands, they will smack you with their yarmulke.

If you let them smack you with their yarmulke, they will poke you in the eyes with their sheet music.

If you let them poke you in the eyes with their sheet music, they will wipe their dirty, five-year-old hair on your skin.

Then they will have to go to the bathroom.

If you take them to the bathroom, they will intentionally touch you with their unwashed hands.

If they touch you with their unwashed hands, then they will throw soap foam at you while they wash their hands.

If they throw soap foam at you in the bathroom, then you will still sit quietly when their parents pick them up and say how great their kids are.

If you say how great their kids are, you will go home and sadly write a blog post about how young schoolchildren push you around.

And if you sadly write a blog post about how schoolchildren push you around, you will find yourself looking forward to the next Sunday.

Putting the “Art” in “Fart”

15 Aug

This last week, I fisnished my final summer at camp. Traditionally, the oldest group of campers are taken on a week-long trip to California, and this year’s didn’t fail to meet expectations. However, amongst Hollywood, Laguna Beach, Rodeo Drive, someone had the shortsightedness to bring a group of 23 teenage boys to the Getty Art Museum. Here are a few choice quotations that could be heard if you just so happened to be there on  the same day as us:

“I bet you I can get closer to the paintings than you before the guard notices.”

“Hey, look! If you touch it like this, you can see the paint chips fall off!”

“This place is huge. I wish I brought my roller skates.”

“Sssssh. You’ll wake that old guy on the couch.”

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