Even though my friend Ken Silbert lives in Florida, he is funnier than Dave Barry. I am proud and grateful to say that I have known Ken long before he ever killed anyone softly with his song. And now he has begun to officially share his malignant mind with the world using mere words. This will be a fun trick to watch. It’s like using an industrially complex cement mixer to squeeze a nano-thin ribbon of icing on to a tiny muffin that says “Oh, hi, I didn’t realize anyone was watching.”
Here comes Ken. Warning: don’t drink and read.
SPELLING BEE CHAMP RETAINS STATE TITLE WITH AID OF ADA
Kelley Mantz, 12, of Bitters, Oregon, will retain her title as State Spelling Bee Champion and move on to the national Scripps-Howard competition in Washington D.C., thanks to pressure from the Office of Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to Nels Fflargrensen of the ADA, Mantz was disqualified by state judges despite beating all other competitors and proceeding to the final round where she correctly spelled the word gynandromorph—except with a ‘dick’ in the middle.
“Kelley suffers from Tourette Syndrome and is on medication to suppress her urges to blurt out offensive sounds and words,” explained Fflargrensen, “but in pressure situations, or when experiencing abnormal emotional stress, patients often exhibit unwanted behaviors even while under medical treatment. That could certainly explain the unfortunate ‘dick’ in the spelling bee.”
Officials with the Oregon State Spelling Bee are planning an appeal before May’s national contest. “Look, I feel bad for the little girl, I do, but the rules are the rules,” argued Eileen Gelb, one of the judges on the state panel that originally disqualified Mantz. “She spelled G-Y-N-A-N-D-R-O-M-DICK-O-R-P-H. That’s just not how that word is spelled. There is no dick in it.”
Kelley’s mother, Nancy Mantz, sees it as even more than an ignorance of the disease though. “Just because my girl is special needs and whatever, okay, fine. But if she had like a club foot, or one huge ear and no ear on the other side—something they could see with their own eyes—they’d still let her win at spelling. So yes, they don’t understand Tourettes, but also, secondfold, I think they don’t like ‘dick.’ I just have to wonder what if she put a ‘twat’ in there instead. I just have to wonder,” she said.
Fflargrensen, however, does not feel that is an issue. “Sure, it’s an uncomfortable topic for many, but whether it was a dick, a slot, or just mud flaps, it would boil down to the same thing: this is a smart little girl with a disability who needs to be defended against discrimination. Even if it had been shit nipples, mud puppy or a beeping sound. Some of them beep or honk, you know.”
“Let me ask you this,” countered Gelb at the ADA inquiry, “what if Kelley were to spell the word mattress M-A-T-T-R-E-S-PEE-S, with the word ‘pee’ in there. How would we know it was the word ‘pee’ and not the letter ‘p’ —which would constitute a misspelling? I don’t want Oregon represented in the national championship that way.”
Kelley’s mother explained that ‘pee’ would not be a problem. “She never says pee. She either says ‘piss’ or ‘hot squirt’ over and over and over.”