>>> The News: JAY KAY!
By staff writer Amir Blumenfeld
June 6, 2004

The real news (for boring people)
The breakdown (for college people)

Boy Collapses at Spelling Bee, Nails Word

By BEN FELLER, AP Education Writer

WASHINGTON – The National Spelling Bee took a scary turn Thursday when a 13-year-old Colorado boy appeared to faint and collapsed on stage, drawing gasps from an audience packed in for the finals. Akshay Buddiga gathered himself after a few seconds, stood up and, to the amazement of the judges, immediately started spelling his word: “alopecoid.”

Oddly enough, “alopecoid” means “somebody who's parents push him way too hard, almost to the point of death.”

He got it perfectly, drawing a standing ovation. Akshay went back to his chair, looking uncomfortable, when a Bee employee came to escort him off stage. He received medical help and was expected to return.

It makes me giggle to think that the Bee employee was dressed in a giant bee suit, and the kid was afraid of him at first. Then the employee stung the child.

As the crowd buzzed, the next speller approached the microphone, and the competition resumed.

Was that a Bee pun? You think that's what the author meant? STICK TO THE FACTS WALT WHITMAN!

Earlier, Akshay, from Colorado Springs, methodically asked for clues – definition, language of origin, part of speech, other pronunciations before he calmly got “gruine.” His big brother, Pratyush, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee two years ago.

You should also note that Akshay is Pig Latin for “shack.” Think about it. (No you won't.)

A total of 46 children were still in the running as the 2004 bee resumed competition Thursday, the finals of the three-day event. But the fifth round proved rocky, as 20 spellers stumbled, cutting the field nearly in half to 26.

Ah the ole “FIFTH ROUND HUMP.” Remember in '87 when 43 kids stumbled in the fifth round? We call that day Black Tuesday. Because it coincided with the stock market crash.

Among those eliminated was 10-year-old Samir Patel, who was considered a favorite and had been deemed a force to be reckoned with by last year's winner, Sai Gunturi. Samir, who finished tied for third in 2003, tried to break down “corposant,” at one point asking the pronouncers, “Am I on the right track?”

HA HA HA OH SAMIR! Am I on the right track?! No wonder they call you the Robin Williams of spelling. It's because your mustache is hairier then Karl Marx's! HOW IS THIS KID TEN?!

Nine of the first 15 on stage advanced, acing such words as “xerostomia,” “technetium,” and “Weimaraner.” The stumper words included “belonoid,” “Nigerois,” and “solipsistic.”

Nigerois sounds like a cereal that racist people eat. Oh wait no that's Wheaties.

The field began with 265 spellers, the finalists from at least 9 million children who participated in local bees. With initial live coverage Thursday from ESPN2, the cable sports network, the bee paused during each commercial break to ensure every child got on television.

Ah yes, ESPN 2. Only the finest in sports television. From ping pong to spelling bees, I dunno how I ever lived before ESPN 2!

When spellers heard the dreaded ding of the bell for a misspelling, they were escorted off stage to a comfort room of snacks and sodas – and a dictionary, just in case they wanted to review what went wrong.

What a dick move! Awww Sanpreethkar, you were wrong. Now come here and read this dictionary because there's only THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE DAYS UNTIL THE NEXT SPELLING BEE AND GOD FORBID YOU EVER LET THAT BELL RING AGAIN. Wanna Twinkie?