When: Fri., June 5, 7 p.m. 2015
DSI COMEDY THEATER, CHAPEL HILL | FRIDAY, JUNE 5
In 1989, I lost my elementary school's spelling bee. This was galling for two reasons. Before I hit puberty and went insane, my identity was very tied up in being "precocious" (that's what they called me until I was old enough to be "pretentious"). Worse, the kid I lost to was named Brian Hauser—basically my name with an extra syllable. I don't remember what word I lost on, but I do remember leading a student protest in front of his homeroom class. (I'm not sure why I was allowed to do this, as I lost fair and square. Like I said, "precocious.")
In 2013, I had the chance to redeem myself when I attended the UNC-Chapel Hill Humanities Department's very first adult spelling bee at Flyleaf Books. It didn't pan out, as I wasn't one of the people whose names were drawn to compete in various group games and speed challenges. But it was still a fun time because it was as much comedy as competition—and one of my teammates, INDY art critic Chris Vitiello, took first place.
Since then, the spelling bee has forged a natural partnership with DSI Comedy Theater, its current venue, though it is still co-sponsored by Flyleaf and UNC Humanities. The judges include DSI instructor Kit FitzSimons and the host is UNC Humanities Executive Director/all-around wacky dude Max Owre. Sign up early if you want to be sure to have the chance to right your childhood shame. But if Brian Hauser shows up, back off—he's mine. 7 p.m., $6, 462 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-338-8150, www.dsicomedytheater.com. —Brian Howe