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A Rough Night

November 15, 2011 - Karin Elton
The Rough Writers spelling bee team, comprised of Cindy Votruba, Deb Gau, Jenny Kirk and I, smirked at the preliminary rounds of words that we were given to spell — “pickle” and “opera.” Kindergarten words. OK, our third word, “chipotle,” was a little challenging, but it was nothing compared to the final rounds.

Candace Thomas, on behalf of the Library Foundation, organized the third annual Spelling Bee Monday night at the Marshall-Lyon County Library. Outwardly, she looks like a lovely lady, but we soon discovered she has a cruel streak a mile long.

She gave poor Marshall Radio news director Aaron Ziemer, the evening’s announcer, words that were hard to pronounce, much less spell. Teams soon littered the ground like bugs bumping into a wall of Raid Fly and Mosquito spray.

The Rough Writers were taken down by our seventh word, the French-derived word, chandelle. Yeah, I’ve never heard of it either. We spelled it chandel. We forgot that most French words have a few extra letters that don’t do much.

Elder Bees, a team from the Southwest Minnesota State University’s Senior College, ruled the day. Irritable Vowels and SMSU Library battled it out for second and third place. Much to Ziemer’s dismay, the Irritable Vowels team, which included his boss, Joyce Strootman, came in second. He had hoped Irritable Vowels would have been eliminated (pun intended) in earlier rounds.


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