A Slice of Fried Gold

We are the champions!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I made the photographers take pics of us like this

For the second straight year, I participated in the Alaska Literacy Program's Biz Bee. The Biz Bee is a charity event where businesses around Alaska get together and compete in a spelling bee to decide who is, once and for all, the greatest spelling company in Alaska (or at least until the next year). After last year's disappointing finish of 7th (or 8th, but my memory fades), we were particularly excited about taking another run at the crown, with that excitement further increased by new (and dedicated!) teammate Sara joining fellow returning member Sharee and I.

The bee started off after an extremely lengthy introduction by the Queen Bee (as she described herself), and it started off with a shocker - the second team to go missed their word, and it was giraffe! Sitting up on my high horse directly behind them, I scoffed and laughed at the puny mortals and their inferior spelling (that may be a lie, it was a little old man and I felt bad). Progressively, more and more teams went out but our crack team of spellers kept going. We even worked out a strategy where if we knew a word and we knew a team was going to pass it, we would feign dejection and look away. Inevitably, the teams would give us the word and I would respond with a thumbs up to moderator, effectively saying "hell YES lady, we got this." The predictable nature of human kind worked out for us quite nicely indeed.

Of course, given that it is a spelling bee and filled with lots of waiting, I had to find things to do to entertain myself (besides drinking Crown and diet cokes, which was quite entertaining in itself). This led to me coming up with a new way to clap for the people who would get a word correct every single time they got one right. You would think it would be hard, but it ended up being pretty damn easy as I started using props, snaps, and various other things to make my applause lengthier and more bizarre. This is of course a special version of my low level OCD that comes up when I get really competitive.

Back to the actual competition. A few bizarre things happened during the spelling bee: somehow the words that came up for us kept being my words, and given that I had studied a lot I developed the reputation as some sort of incredible speller (murmurs of "he must know every word!" and "he's freakish" were surrounding us at all times) and we became the team that everyone was rooting for. The latter became especially obvious after every team had been demolished by a freight train powered by difficult words. While we were in a heads up matchup versus Anchorage Fracture and Orthopedic Clinic and were pulling absurdly difficult words, they were getting lay ups like "obnoxious" or "tenacious." Clamors of favortism rippled through the teams, as the announcer basically announced she was trying to make us lose.

But those with lion hearts and ice water in their veins never give up, and our team didn't. As we managed to pull off the successful combination of "dedicatee" and the other team unsuccessfully spelling their word, the championship fell to me. 31 rounds in (longest Biz Bee ever, literally), it came to me to finish it and the word almost made me fall over. Something that sounded like "coo-chee-free-toe" came to me, and my demeanor went from gleeful to aghast in a heartbeat. Let's break it down from here on out:

I lean in and say: Okay, c-u-c-c-i-f-r-i-t-o...like the food, but with the double c?
Sharee: You think it's the double c? I don't know...where is it from?
Me to the moderator: Language of origin?!
Moderator: Spanish.
Me (internalized): JACKPOT!
Sharee (with the Chilean roots): Okay, try this - c-u-c-h-i-f-r-i-t-o.
Me: Cuchifrito...c-u-c-h-i-f-r-i-t-o...cuchifrito.
Carol Comeau, announcer: That is correct!
The audience goes crazy! Sharee, Sara and I start hugging like crazy. Sharee and I run down the top aisle high fiving everyone and we celebrate like the most ridiculous people ever.

Of course, given that we were adults participating in a spelling bee on a Friday night, we may just have been. Who cares though - viva la cuchifrito!!!


Katie said...

that is awesome!

Sara said...

Hells yeah!

Patty said...

Congrats on a job well done!

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