\IM-prest\ , noun:  

an advance of money; loan.

I didn’t need a loan, really.  I just didn’t want to pay $10 to get into the school play.  I showed my staff ID at the door and said, “is this a night I can get in free?” (there’s always a night we get in free).  “No,” was the student’s response, “but you could be a guest speller.”

“Ok,” I said.  She wrote down my name and I asked, “what’s that mean?” 

She told me I’d be up on stage to spell a word as the cast put on “The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”  I figured walking on stage, spelling a word, then sitting down was absolutely worth this sort of imprest of $10.

I was on the stage for the first half of the production.  I stood, sat, twirled, held on while the bleachers I was sitting on were spun, went up to the mic three times, then sat down, still waiting to spell a word.  It was nerve wrecking, but also, quite lovely.

During the show, EIGHT blog words were used!  Oh how I longed to be assigned a word like “antediluvian” or “chimerical.”  But when my name was called, I walked up to the mic, pulled it down because it was 8 inches too tall, and waited for my word. “Crah-pod.” 


“A species of bullfrog.”

“Can it be pronounced ‘CRAY-pod?’”

“Sure.  But it’d be wrong.”

“OK,” I said. “Crapod.  C-r-a-p-o-d. Crapod.”

Ding.  “That is incorrect.   C-r-a-p-a-u-d.”

I really should have known!  The spotlight blinded my better judgment.  Twas a lovely (and free) evening at the Bee.

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