Spelling bee has history with men and mice

Did you watch any Wimbledon tennis? Some players grunt as they hit the ball in order to improve the effectiveness of their shots. Well, if it works for them it might work for me. So if you see a grunt occasionally throughout the text, you ‘ll know why.

There are a couple stories that we’re going to examine this month. The first one deals with is the lost and disappearing skill of spelling. We can be grateful that the ability to spell has very little to do with intelligence. Take heart my friend. You could be a genius and spell dog, “doog,” and it doesn’t mean you’re stupid.

The recent edition of the National Spelling Bee was just completed near Washington, D.C. There are quilting bees, barn-raising bees, and spelling bees. No one is certain where the term bee came from. That’s all I can tell you other than a bee is essentially people getting together to do something. Like beer bees, bowling bees, and even a golf tournament could be a golf bee but know self-respecting golfer would ever be in a bee.

Two teenage boys won the recent 2014 bee. They tied after one kid missed “corpsbruder” and the other missed “antegropelos.” The guy finishing third should’ve gotten a trophy just for spelling his name; Gokul Venkatachalam, (grunt). Work on that name the remainder of the day.

The first official bee was in 1925 when the winner successfully spelled gladiolus. That was pretty good but that got me to wondering if 1925 actually was the first spelling contest? My expert team of bee researchers discovered that the first spelling bees go all the way back to when guys hung out in caves.

I suppose that the guys had to take a break occasionally from clubbing woodchucks and saber tooth tigers. After all, a steady diet of saber tooth could get pretty boring. “What’s for dinner Gorog? Oh no, not filet of tiger shoulder again! I’m going out and get us some woodchuck. I don’t care if it’s Tuesday Night Tiger Night, I want some ground hog.”(grunt)

These mighty hunters would meet at their man cave and do what ever men did back then in a cave. We know that the more sensitive member of the tribe would get his paint set out and sketch animals on the wall. Perhaps the other guys belched, burped, ate raw meat, talked about the latest standings in stone throwing, and then challenged each other to spelling contests.

According to early cave man records found in the underground vaults of the Dunkirk OBSERVER, a guy by the name of Ugh went against a guy named Guh in the first contest finals. Ugh beat Guh when he spelled A correctly and Guh spelled A with an S.

This misspelling provoked huge laughter from the bee audience and a good deal of bee ugliness ensued which caused Guh to be suspended for 30 days after skull-crushing infractions.

Following the suspension, Guh practiced the entire year in preparation for the Second Annual Cave Spelling Bee. But it was to no avail. He was defeated once again in the finals when Ugh spelled B with a B and Guh used a lower case t.

Despite the early disappointments, there is a happy ending to the story. At the 3rd Annual Cave Man Spelling Bee which was moved to the Ritz Carlton Cave in lower Laona, Guh was vindicated. On letters starting with C, Guh found victory when his opponent spelled C as D. Oh so close. Ugh protested his defeat claiming that he was a graduate of Common Core.

Now on to our second story. Here’s an amazing scientific discovery by the scientists at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center. This discovery is undeniable proof that our past winter was a long one in Minnesota. After thousands of dollars and many valuable hours of experimentation, this is the astonishing discovery made by these Minnesota scientists; rats regret bad choices. That’s right. Apparently we have conquered all illnesses and serious human diseases so that scientists are turning their attention to the emotional and intellectual world of rats. If I explained to you how they measured the rats emotion of regret, I would regret it so I’m not going to do it. (grunt)

Next winter, there’ll be a study on the nonsensical workings of one western New York brain that wrote a column on caveman spelling bees and rat emotions.

In an anecdotal way, I can verify their conclusion and I didn’t do a study to come to that result. I know that rats regret. Many years ago, my mother opened the bottom drawer of our kitchen oven and a rat was sitting in there staring back at her. I didn’t see this event so I don’t know whether or not the rat regretted his choice to visit our kitchen but I assume that when he scampered to the safety of the cellar, he had some concern about his visit.

I never saw the look on the face of the rat when his whiskers were introduced to my dad’s shovel. He probably regretted that moment as he was dispatched from the realm of the living. He probably had some regret in his pea-size mind for a split second as the frontal lobe of his tiny brain met the posterior lobe of his even tinier brain.

Look at this cute little rat. Can you see the look of regret in his beady eyes? You bet you can. This rat lives in the White House and besides regret one can see a look of distress in its eyes. That’s because all he gets to eat is broccoli and cauliflower from Michelle’s leftovers. His stomach and brain is also in turmoil because he just heard discussions on Iraq, Syria, immigration, IRS, ISIS, the Ukraine, climate change, Benghazi, NSA, a John Kerry speech, VA hospitals, and the possibility that Hillary will soon be his roommate.

Here’s another rat. This guy lives in the Capitol Building. I don’t see an ounce of regret on this guy’s face. He’s so fat with the largesse that flows through the Capital doors that he’s stuffed with pretty much anything found in a pork barrel.

There’s no look of regret on this rat’s face. It’s pure happiness because he lives with the Clintons. Hillary just got a $10 million advance on her lame book and Bill gets $400,000 for a speech where he parses the difference between the meaning of is.

This rat is not experiencing regret. He’s under a state of utter perplexity as he’s searching for the missing IRS emails.

Here’s a rat that doesn’t have a look of regret. It appears to be more a look of profound anguish. This rat was rooting for of Team USA at the World Cup in Brazil. That’s what he looked like while waiting for Team USA to score.

This rat exudes the emotion of anger and regret. No wonder. This poor sap just spent $24.95 on Hillary Clinton’s new book.(grunt) (grunt) (gag).

Nin Privitera is a Fredonia resident. Send comments to