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Boston, Ep. 13

October 2, 2013 — O, Boston, our Boston! After a summer away, Literary Death Match returned to Club OBERON for a blazing-hot October fun-tacular that ended with Steven Brykman narrowly winning over co-finalist Jenn De Leon in a Quiz of Death finale by a final score of 7 1/2 to 6 to win Brykman the LDM Boston, Ep. 13 crown.

But before literary questions were at the forefront, the night kicked off with Brian McFadden (writer/artist of the New York Times Sunday Review “The Strip”) who rolled through a series of titter-inducing cartoons that tackled health care concerns, the government shutdown and townies in Boston. Then it was Jenn De Leon (fiction writer and Grub Street teacher) who read a gorgeous, evocative story about childbirth inspired by a trip she took to Mexico. 

Then the mic was handed over to the night's trio of all-star judges: Don Cummings, playwright of more than fifteen plays, a screenwriter, fiction writer & essayist; Barry Tattle (a.k.a. Chris Coxen), man of many characters; and stand-up comedy firestarter Sam Johnson. The trio heaped praise on McFadden's humorous stylings (while Tattle said his humor was as smooth as an endless flow of Chardonnay), and all three were taken by De Leon's succinct and moving prose (plus, as Johnson said, she had great calves). But in the end, a decision had to be made, and after a difficult deliberation, it was De Leon that was chosen as the night's first finalist. 

After a slightly boozy intermission, Round 2 kicked off with writer/performer Marian Fontana (author of A Widows Walknominated for a Books for A Better Life Award), who graced the crowd with a piece based around the Mayan apocolypse that discussed her husband's death at 9/11 and her breast cancer in 2009, then fired into the hilarious, as she listed off the bonuses of the apocolypse (like no more Costco). Finally, it was writer/humorist Steven Brykman who lit through a story about coming into money and so many off-color, awesome things (including taking a "Jew-y pee"). 

Again the judges were faced with a tall task, applauding Fontana's sincerity, her powerful prose, her pretty toes, and then speaking to the joy that Brykman (Brykberg?) brought out with his energetically-delivered tale. But after much discussion, it was decided that Brykman would be the night's second finalist. 

Then, while the succulent whir of beats by childrens book writer/artist/scientist DJ John Paul Jimenez showered down, LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage to announce the finale: Literary Quiz of Death in which the two finalists had to answer questions over three goofy rounds. With all to play for in the end, and only 1.5 points separating them, De Leon had to decided it a quote was said by David Foster Wallace or Kim Kardashian. Her guess wasn't the right one, which meant Steven Brykman was crowned as LDM Boston, Ep. 13's grand champion, willing literary immortality to go with it. 

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