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Last year began a bit of a tradition at Orange::44: the blogging of the final rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee (or, as we in the business call it, "The Bee"). Unfortunately, I will not have the time to blog The Bee this year as Thursday nights are designated as "Lose at Softball" affairs.

In an effort to educate all those will-be bloggers attempting to pen prose about The Bee this year, I have put together this brief "how-to" guide. It is fairly straightforward, yet indispensable to those attempting to navigate such unchartered waters.

Point One: Remember the Date

This year, the national finals of The Bee will be held on May 30th and 31st in Washington, D.C (it is like the Mecca of spelling). You should probably write down those dates on a notepad or on the inside of your eyelids so you do not forget.

Remember: Nobody wants to read a day-old composition about spelling. Hell, even up-to-the-minute prose about The Bee is difficult to digest. So, strike while the iron is hot, or else your two-hour voyage into adolescent voyeur will be all for naught.

Point Two: Watch the Whole Mess on Television

Assuming you neither have the means nor inclination to haul your misguided ass to Washington to tailgate and attend the event, you should watch this adventure of social incompetence in its entirety. ABC (the "Official Network of Spelling") will televise the event live from 8:00 PM until 10:00 PM. Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPN will broadcast the competition, which further emphasizes the fact that your evening will be an unmitigated failure.

Remember: Resist the urge to channel surf. The results of the dog show on Animal Planet are likely already available on the Internet. There is no need to flip on E! as Paris Hilton is still batshit insane. Your uninterrupted dedication to The Bee will reap tremendous rewards.

Of special importance to watching The Bee is immersing yourself in the "action." I have heard rumors of people developing a drinking game to accompany the horrors being transmitted via the airwaves, and it has take the following form:

  1. Drink every time the "Agony of Defeat" bell rings (thus indicating an elimination of the competitor and your liver);
  2. Drink for mustaches (the whispier the hair, the more you chug);
  3. Drink for the home-schooled miscreants; and
  4. Drink for the local state competitor (double for eliminations).

I, however, have always watched The Bee stone sober. Frankly, the stunning reality created by participants of The Bee far outweighs the artificial reality of intoxication.

Remember: Drinking is fun, but ridiculing children with mild social detachment and slightly uncommon interests is the apex of entertainment.

Point Three: Writing About The Bee

As you may or may not know, there is no right or wrong way to write about The Bee. In fact, despite all the best intentions, simply writing about The Bee is wrong. I am pretty sure it says so somewhere in The Bible, right next to the part with your picture and an arrow pointing to Hell.

If, however, you still have a desire to ruin the Internet with drivel about adolescents and their non-professional sports futures, I would use this essay as a template. In it, I expose many salient features of The Bee, including:

  1. Mustaches and their prevalence in automotive repair and spelling competitions;
  2. The delineation between sport and anti-sport;
  3. The disadvantage Canadian, British, and Australian spellers face due to their education of superfluous vowels; and
  4. My unending dislike of potential ties in competitive spelling.

Remember: You should probably spell check your work, as not doing so will result in unmitigated embarrassment and all-encompassing irony.

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