It occurred to me recently that I never took part in a spelling bee as a kid.
I’m sure I was automatically excluded because I was crippled. And now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve still never seen a kid who is obviously crippled in a spelling bee. It’s probably happened somewhere because these days, what with laws and all, it’s a lot harder to turn crippled kids away if they’re determined to win that shiny spelling trophy.
And besides, there really isn’t any reason crippled kids can’t be in spelling bees. Even if a kid can’t talk, they can use one of those Stephen Hawking talking boxes to spell out the word. Okay maybe it might be hard to figure out a way for a deaf kid to compete. Someone would have to show them the word and that would defeat the purpose. Either that or the interpreter would have to finger spell it out, unless it was some word for which there is a symbol in sign language, like maybe the word football. But who the hell doesn’t know how to spell football?
There was no reason to exclude crippled kids from spelling bees back when I was a criplet either. But they did. If pushed, the spelling bee organizers probably would’ve said they were excluding us for our own protection, which is the most common excuse for excluding us. They probably would’ve said something like crippled kids are too emotionally fragile to withstand the pain of being rejected for misspelling a word. Or maybe other spellers and their families would’ve complained that we had an unfair competitive advantage because we’re crippled and judges are afraid to reject us so they’ll give us easier words to spell like dog and cat. You know how it is if you introduce cripples into the mix. Everything gets watered down.
I really missed out on something by not being in any spelling bees. I definitely would’ve made my mark. As a kid, I was psychopathically competitive so I would have been driven to become Spelling King by any means necessary. And I would’ve made headlines for trying to poison my rivals.So it's probably a good thing I was excluded, for my own protection.