After reading metalia's recent post about her time as a spelling bee nerd, we traded emails and horror stories of our involvement in spelling bees. She has convinced me to post about mine, although I will not be posting any pictures of myself from that time period...
In the metro spelling bee when I was in 8th grade, we were in a tv studio at the local university. They were televising the whole thing on cable. I was the winner from my school, and I had to sit next to the runner-up from our school, a really nerdy 7th grader. We were sitting on metal folding chairs on risers to simulate a stage, I guess. There was a big map of our state hanging over a lame, powder blue curtain behind the top riser... and that's where our seats were. As the kids from the other schools started dropping out, we all just remained in our same assigned seats.
I went up to spell a word, successfully of course (haha), and then returned to my seat. Nerdy Mc7th Grader next to me was next up. I can't remember what his word was, but I know he stumbled over it. Apparently it was something he didn't think he should have stumbled over, because, after actually spelling it correctly, he stomped back up the risers and slammed himself into his seat. This is where the super slo-mo action began in my mind.
I remember turning to him to try to figure out what his major malfunction was, but also was slowly realizing that I was somehow in motion. Before I could do anything about it, I began to understand. His metal, rinky-dink chair was entangled with MY metal, rinky-dink chair. When he slammed himself into his chair, it started pushing my chair backwards... and slowly off the back of the riser. There was probably only about a foot or two between the back of the wall (covered by the powder blue curtain) and the back of the riser. BUT... that's where I flew backwards. My chair quickly became stuck between the riser and the back wall, and there I stayed... flailing wildly, wearing a dress, with my legs straight up in the air. The camera guys (college guys, of course) ran back to help me... while trying desperately not to laugh. They did anyway. All I could think of was the fact that my dress was falling around my waist and how could I get up and regain my dignity. There was no hope. The camera guys pulled me up, took me around the front of the tv studio (oh, yes... this was being recorded for prosperity), and put a plastic cup of water in my shaky hands.
After checking to see if I was "okay" for the umpteenth time, they walked me back to the risers where the remaining 6 or 7 spellers were waiting. Oddly enough, they moved us all to the front row there. I was so embarrassed, nay, humiliated that I couldn't even think straight. The next word they gave me was meringue, and I blew it. It was probably the easiest word I'd had all night, and I didn't even care.
The only saving grace was that they edited the whole fall out of the televised version... and people from my school actually WATCHED the show. Thank God that "the incident" wasn't broadcast. I would have been the laughing stock of the whole school.