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You Would Eat These Words, Too

To my family’s great chagrin, I’ve finally started studying for my Adult Spelling Bee.  Along with everyone else in the Firepants household, Wonderbutt is not pleased that my attention is on a book instead of him, and he is eyeing said book very hungrily.

Wonderbutt is an Academic at Heart

According to the Adult Spelling Bee Press Release, the words will be chosen from the novel The Whiskey RebelsThe Powers that Be in Charge of the Bee are announcing the novel ahead of time to promote good reading as well as good spelling.

The book is set a few years after the Revolutionary War, so there are words in there that no one ever uses anymore – especially my 6 to 10 year-old students, who are the actual authors of most of what I read these days.

I mean, I think I used to know what penury was, but when was the last time someone used that in a text message?

EVERY word in the novel is fair game, including proper nouns and hyphenations.  I am really bad at hyphenated words.  I always try to stick them together.  They just look so sad with that little line between them, separating them for some obscure reason that seems about as logical as denying same sex marriages.

So I am even studying the review excerpts on the very, very, very first page just in case.  OMG.  There’s a Reader’s Guide and Acknowledgements at the end.  Crap, I can’t even spell acknowledgements.  I just got corrected by my computer.

I tried skimming the text, looking for possible problem words.  But then I, with the true logic of a procrastinator, reasoned that I would learn the more archaic words better in context.  So, I started reading the book.

Well, that complicated things enormously.  The book is INTERESTING!  And it’s even making me laugh.  You see, one of the main characters, Ethan Saunders, is one of those thoroughly unlikable likable men that makes you want to chuckle, and kind of root for him, even though he is a complete cad.  I kind of picture him as the young Bruce Willis in Moonlighting or a  –

Oh, goshdarnit.  I just read four chapters without paying actual attention to the words.  I mean, I read them, of course, but I forgot to make mental note of their spellings because I was too engrossed in the story…

You might be wondering why I am putting myself through this torture.  I think, like poor Ethan Saunders, I am trying to find something I can be good at again.  Plus, I think there’s a prize.  Let me see what it is again…

Oh, yeah.  It’s the book.  The book I just forked over a ridiculous amount for at Barnes and Noble when I could have bought it for less (but not gotten it in time) from Amazon.  The book I obtained so I could, uh, study.  The book that Wonderbutt plans to eat as soon as I set it down somewhere remotely bulldog accessible.

Mmmm. This Looks Tasty. There IS "Whiskey" in the Title.

It's the Book or Me. Think Carefully Before You Choose.

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