'Squushy Carrots': Spelling Bee kids form bonds

'Squushy Carrots': Spelling Bee kids form bonds

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Some belong to The Order of the Squushy Carrots. Others are "Ghetto-pens" — a play on last year's winning word, "guetapens" (GEHT'-uh-pahns).

Those are just two of the informal groups formed by youngsters at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The groups allow the spellers, who come from across the world, to stay in touch the other 51 weeks of the year when they aren't competing.

Kate Miller of Abilene, Texas, asked Sriram Hathwar two nonsensical questions, then held her thumbs and forefingers up to his forehead, said "ding!" then sang the group's theme song: "The Order Of The Squushy Carrots; at least we don't have hair like parrots. Every day we walk the earth forever alone; no one in the Order plays the sousaphone."