Why I Should Never Judge A Kids Contest.


In my head, this is what the teachers at the school looked like.

Recently, I judged a speech arts competition for fourth and fifth graders.

This is the most I’ve done in seventeen months.  Judge a contest.

Ladies?  That’s called being driven.

A dozen tiny contestants took the stage to deliver a speech, while I, alongside two other unemployed people evaluated them to declare a champion. At the end, we awarded one lucky young person the trophy of victory and shamed the others until they unraveled emotionally and ran away crying, flailing their tiny girl-arms in the air.

Here are my notes from the competition, in random order.

Speaker 1: Some little kid who didn’t comb his hair today

Subject: Spiders

If you look around you, you can find many different species of spiders. Some of the species you will find are…

A variety?  Where does this kid live that he has a variety of spiders around him? And different species too. Does he live in Botswana? His mom should clean more.

My favourite spider is the daddy long legs it has a big red..

Is Daddy Long Legs a technical term?  Because I don’t think it is.  I like your jogging suit, kid.  It’s got those scrunchy bottom bands with the elastic.  If jogging suits with scrunchy bands were socially acceptable, I’d wear them all the time.  To first dates, even!

Final Judge Question: What is the most popular type of spider you would find in Canada?

I don’t know. There are none.

Rating: 67/70. Loses points for not knowing what species you find in Canada. Everyone knows it’s the black Calgarian spider indigenous to tiny Indian restaurants that feature bathrooms in the basement. Oh, and menus that translate everything to “tasty Indian specialty”. How can everything be a specialty? How?  I want to know.


Speaker 4: Some little kid who also didn’t comb his hair today.

Subject: World Hunger

Me and my mom sponsored a little boy from Ghana named Sheboo. Sheboo is nine years old and has the same birthday as me. I write Sheboo letters every month and one day we’re going to play together.

Oh dear. Somebody tell this kid there ain’t no Sheboo.  Sheboo’s really a thirty-eight year old divorced landscaper from Alabama who took a web design course.  Then he made this website where you can adopt a kid with random names and your mom fell for it.  Why do you think Sheboo’s writing you back with his opinion on how the Crimson Tide can take the national championship this year in college football? Trust me, kid.

No Sheboo.

I think we can stop world hunger if all of us sponsor a child from a poor country. Then we can bring them to Canada and we can all go to school together.

Yeah, hi.  That’s called human trafficking.  And it’s illegal.  Luckily nobody’s really listening to your pro-human smuggling agenda.  I notice one kid in the audience just put his gum in some girl’s hair and this one boy wearing an Oakland Raiders jersey has turned completely around to stare at me for the last thirteen minutes.  Do I have a booger?  What’s your problem, shithead.  The Raiders suck.

Final Judge Question:
Were you surprised that Sheboo has the same birthday as you?

Yes! When I told him my birthday he said “that’s mine too!”

Rating: 70/70. If he wins, he’ll definitely send Sheboo a letter to which I’m sure Sheboo will respond with, “Hee yaw!  Y’all done did great up there. Send me more money, friend. I take PayPal.”


Speaker 8: This kid with acid wash jeans.

Subject: Dragons

Have you ever wondered if dragons exist? I’m going to tell you why I think they do.

What!? You’re high.


Some say the Loch Ness monster is actually a dragon that has found a home deep in the waters.

Who says that?  Really.  Who says that.

Who says that the Loch Ness monster is a dragon that has found a home deep in the waters?

You want to know who? This guy Chris from my dorm in college. He told me that if I took a toke of this ‘crazy-ass shit I just got’, it’s like a ‘dragon taking you to Walt Whitman mall so you can buy sneakers and pickles.’

I believe dragons are real.

Really high.

Final Judge Question: What`s your favourite dragon?

Just the ones you see in the movies and in books and on TV.

Rating: 69/70. Loses points for being incredibly high.

Other speakers included a young lady who spoke about the travails of Afghanistan and used words that I had to look up later.  I tried asking her a question that I thought would be intelligent but she looked at me much like Jane Goodall looked at chimpanzees.  Another speaker spoke about light pollution and informed us that blackberries were destroying the pristine soft natural light that Mother Earth has gifted us with. I actually forget what she said because I was playing BrickBreaker on my Pearl at the time.


My experience judging a contest instead of just being unemployed in my parents basement.

Now, you can’t say I don’t do anything.

In fact, today I’m going shopping for jogging suits.

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