Haught Funeral Home’s David Wolf came into my office earlier this year with a crazy idea. He wanted to do an adult spelling bee, as a fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Plant City.
And he was going door-to-door, searching for competitors.
He stroked my ego, saying I’d be a tough competitor. He fanned the flames more by telling me his next stops were all the other publications in town. And before I knew it, I had signed myself up — willingly — for my worst nightmare.
And, as Wolf welcomed guests and competitors to the Kiwanis Club of Plant City’s first Business Spelling Bee Aug. 6, at the 1914 PCHS Community Building, he reminded everyone that overwhelmingly, people fear public speaking more than death.
Count me among the majority.
To top it all off, Wolf had been ribbing me every chance he could get — saying I better win (or at least best our friends representing the other publications).
Last week, he even was quoted in this very newspaper, saying: “There’s a lot on Michael Eng’s shoulders. As the editor of a newspaper, many people think he has the advantage.”
And before the bee, my wife reminded me not to shame the family.
But, all fear aside, I, along with about 20 other competitors, had a blast. Although I didn’t win (“innocuous” was my fatal word), I did make it to the top five. More importantly, representatives from a variety of Plant City businesses came together to raise money for the Kiwanis Club’s Read Around the World and Stuff the Bus campaigns. Pretty great reasons to face your biggest fear, if you ask me.
And before you ask, David: Yes, I’ll happily be your victim again next year.