Christian Schneider

Author, Columnist

Time To End All Imegrashun

One thing struck me about the National Spelling Bee last night – there were three Canadian spellers in the finals. Who let all these immigrants into our spelling bee? Isn’t it the NATIONAL spelling bee? Are these kids from Canada willing to spell words that our American kinds aren’t?

According to the Washington Post:

The 80th annual bee began Wednesday with nearly 300 students traveling from across the country; some also came from Europe, Guam, Jamaica, American Samoa and New Zealand. Three finalists were from Canada.

First of all, kids from Canada on average are smarter merely because Paris Hilton doesn’t live in their country. That raises the Canadian national IQ by about 10 points per person. Secondly, Canada is secretly plotting to take over America\’s most sacred institutions. You think it’s just coincidence that Steve Nash won two straight MVP awards? If we don’t fight them now, your kids will be speaking Canadian.

On the other hand, this influx of immigrant spellers could provide Scripps-Howard with a valuable marketing opportunity if they play their cards right. They could set it up like the old WWF, where the Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik come on and insult Americans before they do their spelling. Can you imagine the tension when the kid from Al-Qaeda stands up, spells “quixotic,” and wishes death to America before he settles back into his seat? It would be the greatest TV show ever.

And as long as we’re on the topic of spelling bees, and since everything is always about me, I thought I\’d relay my spelling bee story. Back in 5th grade, I worked my tail off to excel in spelling bees. I won my class, school, city, and county spelling bees, and went to the state bee in Richmond, Virginia. (I punctuated my school bee victory by thrusting my arms in the air and falling to the floor, like I had just won the Tour de France.)

At the state bee, I worked my way into the top 10. If you made it into the top three, you got to go to the national bee (the one on TV last night.) I stood up to spell the word “proctor,” only the guy pronouncing the words had an accent, so I couldn’t totally understand. I even asked him to repeat it a couple times. So I spelled the word “poctor,” not hearing the “r” in his pronounciation. Then, I got dinged.

I was so mad, I took off the cardboard number around by neck, ripped it in half, and threw it on the stage. (If I really were smart, I would have lit it on fire.) I stormed off the stage and out of the auditorium. The next day, there was a picture of me in the Richmond newspaper in my happier times, before I was rudely forced out of the competition. No mention of my meltdown.

Needless to say, my parents were aghast. I think they covered their faces before slinking out of the auditorium. But I had missed my one chance to be a nerd on national television. I may have even been able to meet Jessica Alba – had she been born yet.

So I guess you could say I was the Bad Boy of Virginia Spelling Bees. Kind of like the Dennis Rodman of nerds. Had I gone on to the nationals, I likely would have gone on stage with a cigarette and a flask of Wild Turkey.


  1. Mr. Pelican Pants

    June 1, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Well, I watched it for a couple of minutes and got a total of five words wrong. And two of them were “spelling” and “bee”.

  2. Phelony Jones

    June 1, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    If Canada takes over the spelling bee, were all doomed. They’ll take over with flying colours. In an organised, specialised, manner.

    No favourites, we’ll all have to get with the programme.


  3. Couldn’t we just throw in words like “about” for the Canadians, then they’ll spell it “aboot” and be out of the competition?

  4. I would figure that the “eh” Canadians insert after every word will mess up the spellers.

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