“OOPORPHYRIN” MEANS A PALE BROWN PIGMENT IN EGGSHELLS: 11:16 am: Connor Spencer raises the numbered Bee placard all spellers wear around their necks and whispers into it before spelling. It’s strange and disquieting and very worrisome but he gets it right. Like Horton Hears A Who, perhaps he has a little man taped to the back of his placard. Perhaps I should get a tiny little man and whisper to him. Maybe that would help…
11:18: Caroline Rouse is tall, lovely, confident, plays in the junior LPGA. She’s too emotionally together to be in this Bee and I want her to go home. She’s all whole and comfortable in her own skin and that, my friends, is not what the Bee is all about.
11:20: Upon hearing the word “reblochon”, speller Sarah Harmsworth howled“I’m gonna ding!” And then she did.
11:25 A protest has been filed! Some kid spelled “suttler” and Jacques spelled “sutler”. Now he’s gone and checked the dictionary, found an obsolete version of the word spelled “suttler”. They deny his protest on the basis that obsolete is obsolete. We can all rest easy. The beauty and perfection of the bee has not been marred.
11:31: New Zealand has sent their Champion Kate Weir to our Bee. She’s like some sort of spelling Olympian. All strong, creamy-skinned and full of accent. They can’t understand a darned letter she spells and so she stands there, rolling her eyes and feeling superior to us Americans, as they play and replay her spelling again. I kinda love her. Right now there’s some controversy over whether she’s saying “g” or “j”. Oops, turns out she was saying the wrong letter. And she’s gone before I got to know her better. Bye, Scary Champion Speller With the Pretty Accent!
11:37: I call foul for inappropriate use of Coma-Mom! Shame on ESPN for dredging up the painful personal details of a 13 year old Grace Upshaw whose mother is in a coma for the emotional value of the bee. She had to stand there waiting while they ran the video piece and INTRODUCED HER to the crowd as “girl whose mother is in a coma.” She looks sad and tired and like she would rather be somewhere else. No wonder she dinged quickly and left. Poor thing.
11:41: I dig the look on Andrew Lay’s face after, to his amazement, he correctly spelled “negus”. He fully expected to hear the ding and when he didn’t, he almost leapt out of his tiny skin. I like him.
Almost two hours in and 40 spellers remain…