Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pop Goes My Head

Bold Minstrel and William Steinkraus
jump a Puissance Wall. photo by Budd
"How do you spell minstrel?"

My daughter asked me this question just as I was about to press the start button on my coffee machine.  Even in my under-caffeinated state, I knew I was capable of rising to the challenge.

"M-I-N-S-T-R-E-L,"  I said.

"Nope," was my daughter's reply.  "It's an A, not an E."

"Yuh-huh. Is too an E," was my uber-mature retort.  "Know how I know?  One, because I am old and have spelled this word a few times over the course of time.  Two, I know this because there was a very famous horse named Bold Minstrel who was very successful internationally in both eventing and show jumping under Bill Haggard, Mike Plumb, and William Steinkraus."

(See, all this horse stuff comes in handy. Especially around the Olympics and the Kentucky Derby. It's a bit like reading historical romance novels. I tell my husband all the time that you can learn all kinds of interesting stuff in historical romance novels. For instance, one day I may be on Jeopardy and I'll be able to say, "I'll take Traditional Scottish Clothing for $200, please, Alex" and then answer "What is a sporran?")

"They must've spelled the horse's name wrong, because on the study sheet it's spelled with an A."  Soph was adamant, standing there with her legs apart, hands on hips, and her battle face on.
The great spelling debate raged on.  Sophie was not about to believe me, despite the fact that I have two degrees from institutes of higher learning certifying I've got at least half a functioning brain. Nor did she plan to give in without a fight.  In fact, we went back and forth about it as we headed to the barn, discussing the ramifications if she believed me (risk of TOTAL HUMILIATION in front of her peers) and my proposed solutions, one of which was sending Sophie to school with a page copied from the dictionary showing the correct spelling.  It wasn't until we were halfway there that I had the brilliant thought to call home and ask my husband to check the spelling on the sheet.  (In my defense, that was when the second cup of coffee kicked in.) 

Turns out the stupid word wasn't even IN the bloody spelling list!

That sound you heard was the sound of my head exploding.