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O-B-S-C-U-R-E W-O-R-D

10:03 AM EDT on May 22, 2007

For nerds like myself, next week is one of the greatest of the year, as it means the Scripps National Spelling be will be upon us. On May 30th, 286 geeky kids with glasses will descend upon Washington DC in order to determine just who is the best speller. Now, for most people, the Spelling Bee is nothing more than a novelty, and another of many reasons to complain about ESPN (it's a fair complaint, really, as there's not exactly a lot of athletic ability on display and you're about as likely to find a sports fan on hand as you are to find a contestant who isn't awkward around girls). But for us nerds, it's our chance to shine. Our fifteen minutes in the spotlight.

We here at The Lost Ogle will be pulling for the two local Okie spellers, Audrey Kaye Foote, who will be representing the Daily Oklahoman, and Bruce Haiduk, representing the Tulsa World. Both are first-time entrants and are probably considered longshots compared to grizzled veterans like Samir Patel (entered for the fifth time) and Tia Natasha-Elizabeth Thomas, Maithreyi Gopalakrishnan, and Matthew C. Evans (all entered for the fourth time). Still, you never know what the Bee has in store for us, and Audrey and Bruce should be congratulated on making it as far as they have. I myself was not that nerd-worthy, having been ousted during the regional competition on "diuretic," a word that means so much to fifth-graders.

Hardcore Bee fans can follow the results over at A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago, where Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes will be liveblogging the results, as she does every year. If you're just interested in the local contestants, we'll let you know how Audrey and Bruce do.

But I urge you all to tune in so you can recognize the signs of the nerd.

Being able to get excited about being able to spell words no one will ever use better than everyone else:

Really bad attempts at humor that invariably end up with someone saying "What?" instead of laughing:

Anxiety attacks, but even more so, resilience in the hope that no one will remember what had just happened:

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