The 12th Annual Fidgeton County Being Bee is a tradition dating back six years. Organized by leading newspapers, flower shops, schools, and essentialist philosophers, it counterbalances things getting so complicated it's not possible to start being anything. Since the controversial third Bee where it was noticed they'd somehow skipped numbers 3, 4, 3, 7, 8, 6, and 3 again, these Being Bees have spread almost into neighboring counties and been resisted only with armed force and nihilism.
Corey Warren (11 - Tri-Town Weekly Daily-Journal) received high marks for Being Being Bee judge Corey Warren, with his recreation of a clipboard, holding nothing but implying competent authority, called ``apt''. He was disqualified as it is unfair for judges to be contestants, a ruling leading to complaints from Warren and also some kicking. The organizing panel for next year's 12th Annual Being Bee was advised to not try this high concept stuff.
Andrea Khvylya (12 - Camel Wheeze High School Hawk Gazette) won acclaim for Being a plate of dragee-covered mint chocolates and was delicious. Bee organizers stress her family's lawsuit is invalid as the rules of the competition were on the signup sheet and she did technically reach the quarter-finals before being devoured.
Thomas ``Jim'' Kenney (10 - Spacetown Elementary School Capsule) also reached the quarter-finals. Kenney made an excellent traffic signal and his use of LED signals for all the lights except one yellow facing the main road was ruled inspired. He was unable to advance as the bumper sticker affixed to his base was for a Senatorial candidate who, in fact, won twelve years ago, rather than the correct losing one.
Don ``John'' Laney (15 - Eventual High School Aggrandizer-News) wants to be known as John ``Dan'' Laney, but met judge Corey Warren's challenge of Being ``this old newspaper stall, I guess, in the flea market that used to be off Route 35 where the Route 36 traffic circle spits you off on Route 37 near Route 38 Town, and they had all these Richie Rich Digests with marker swipes across the bottom so I think they were supposed to have been returned for credit instead of re-sold cheap'' with under four seconds on the clock. Warren looked wistfully, muttered ``I forgot the scent ... '' and wandered around, until his nostalgic reveries forced a delay-of-Bee and his replacement by Compu-Evalutron 2000, the Infallible Electronic Judge of the Future.
J Daniel Patel (12 - Crumbled Asphalt Middle School), contestant in last year's 12th Annual Being Bee, was recovered after a yearlong absence from his outstanding performance as a four-door 1988 Chevrolet Celebrity resulting in his escaping all human memory. He was to have been given a retroactive special certificate but everyone forgot.
Henry, the Funniest Living American (78 - Any newspapers now that it's not 1948 anymore? Really?) lost in the qualifying rounds after playing hooky, going to the pond, and pulling up a rubber boot instead of a fish. The boot went to the semi-finals where it lost in straight sets to a plate of doughnuts left on the windowsill.
Ana Kelly Rosen (14 - Invoice Street Lower High School Rap Session) was eliminated in semi-finals when her Being ``herself, but two feet to the left'' found she was two feet to stage left instead of to audience left, unless it's the other way around. Anyway it was three feet, and that's the story Compu-Evalutron 2000, the Infallible Electronic Judge of the Future, is sticking to.
Vera Haisch (13 - Independent School Newspaper Wire Services) was expected to win the final round, ``some manner of Goedel Unprovability Theorem''. Unfortunately she tried Being ``the most average-sized creature whose ability to win a Being Be contest could not be predicted'', which caused Compu-Evalutron 2000, the Infallible Electronic Judge of the Future, to burst open its primary logic circuits and spew data from all thermionic valves.
The resulting fire left the competition without a decision for the first time since last year's 12th Annual Being Bee, but with a fresh warning from the fire and philosophy departments to stop it with the high concept stuff already, so it was judged a moral victory.
Trivia: Wilhelm I preferred not to consider himself Kaiser or Emperor, and instead referred to his title as Charaktermajor, the rank given officers who actually retired as Captains. Source: The German Empire, 1870 - 1918, Michael Stürmer.
Currently Reading: Time In Advance, William Tenn. And now 2458, a new latest-date for the explicit survival of the United States in a work of science fiction that I've seen.