“Okay, if the crowd will just settle down then we can go on to our next round. Let’s have the first contestant up. From Atherton, California, Bobert Weir.”

“Bobby’s fine.’

“Hello, Bobby.”


“Bobby, your word is whirlicote.”

“I don’t need a coat.”


“No matter what it does.”

“No, Bobby. The word is whirlicote.”

“Ah. Can you, uh, use it a sentence?”

“Yes. The Duke and Duchess took a whirlicote to the opera.”

“Okay. Can you spell it?”

“I cannot.”

“Then how are you going to know if I get it right?”

“I meant that I can’t spell it for you. I know how it’s spelled.”

“Well, you know: only cuz you have it written down in front of you. Might wanna get off your high whirlicote.”

“Just spell the word, Bobby.”


“You missed the comma in between ‘word’ and ‘Bobby.'”

“Huh. Yeah, looks like I did. Do-over?”

“No. You’re out.”

“All right, then.”

“Let’s have the next contestant. This will be Mr. Billiam Kreutzmann from…Mymother? Is that a town? Billiam, where is Mymother?”

“Probably at the bus station with a cock in her mouth.”

“I see what you did.”

“Got you, fucker.”

“Great. Are you prepared to spell your word?’

“Hit me.”


“Nation of origin?”


“Is it about butt-fucking?”


“Big butt-fuckers, the Greeks.”

“It is an ornament or design representing a utensil or implement.”

“You sure this bullshit’s a word?”



“Wrong! No. You’re done.”

“Blow me.”

“Thank you, wonderful. Next contestant, please.”

“This is one of the most exciting night s of my life, being here with all these wonderful people and enjoying knowledge and learning and celebrating everything good in the world.”

“Please put your arms down, Mr. Walton.”

“Hands up on defense.”

“This is a spelling bee, sir.”

“You play your way, and I’ll play the right way. Now hit me.”

“Choucroute. Would you like me to use it in a sentence?”

“No need. U-C-L-A.”

“Get off the stage.”

“Which way did Billy got?”

“Follow the screams.”

“Usually the best way to find him, yeah.”

“Let’s just get through the rest of this. Next contestant?”

“Set me up one o’ them fancy words, Professor! The ol’ Pig’s ready to do some spellin’!”

“Didn’t you die in 1973?”

“This a spellin’ bee or a damn trivia quiz!? Don’t you worry ’bout who’s dead and who’s not!”

“Fine. Your word is boxbacknitties.”

“That ain’t no word.”


“Then lay a little bit o’ context on me!”

“Here is the sentence: She’s got boxbacknitties, and great big ennobled thighs.”

“That’s just gibberish. You drinkin’? And if you is, why haven’t you offered the ol’ Pig some?”

“The word is boxbacknitties.”

“Pig! It starts with a B!”

“Mr. Weir, you’ve been eliminated. Please don’t help. Mr. McKernan?”

“B. Um, uh.”

“Mr. Weir, I can see you making an ‘O’ with your arms.”

“Just stretching.”

“Thanks, Bobby!”

“You got it, Pig.”

“I quit.”