You know what they say: Spelling is only noticeable when it's wrong.
Brave and courageous were the scholarly teams that stepped up to the lectern as they attempted to understand, sound and guess their way through difficult vocabulary at the 23rd Annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee that benefited Houston Center for Literacy.
Add adult bevs and riotous commentary courtesy of Los Angeles-based funny dude Jeffrey James Binney and you know what that spells? Mayhem. The kind of mayhem that's welcomed at a fundraiser at the River Oaks Country Club, of course. Because despite fun and games, the throng of 300 was on a mission to support chairs Kathleen and James Jennings in honoring Katy Hays and Hannah and Cal McNair while feeding the nonprofit's piggy bank, which by the end of the soirée totaled $185,000.
"Every now and then, Mother Nature likes to scare us with haboobs."
Thank goodness there were studious folks who were indeed smarter than a fifth grader and who had the brainy prowess to spell "haboobs," which Binney used in the sentence, "Every now and then, Mother Nature likes to scare us with haboobs." (Haboobs are walls of dust or sandstorms that occur in African and Middle Eastern deserts.)
When it came to the final round, it was Joe Herman and Boran Buturovic of team "I can barely spell M-L-P," sponsored by Kim and Dan Tutcher, who earned the big trophy for getting "euphuistic" correct. (The definition of "euphuistic" is "an affectedly elegant literary style of the late 1500s and early 1600s, characterized by elaborate alliteration, antitheses, and similes.")
The crowd included Nic Phillips and Linda Marshall as pronouncer panelists plus Audrey and Brandon Cochran, Clyde Hays, Cathy and Joe Cleary, Sarah and Bradley Bracewell, Paige and William Griffin, Allison and Spencer Stasney, Susie and Sanford Criner, Sydney and Robert Eifler, Jane and Gus Eifler, Lyndsey and Brett Zorich, Jeremy Radcliffe, David Mincberg and City Council members Jack Christie and Ellen Cohen.