October 14, 2008—The LDM (Ep. 10) returned to NYC’s finest venue (The Kitchen) for a party that doubled as the Opium7:7 NYC launch. The result: an event that shook Chelsea with a blare of talent, whimsy and ridiculousness. Once the dust and invisible bullets had settled, Guerrilla Lit Reading Series representative Dennis DiClaudio out-Laser Tagged co-finalist, and L Magazine Literary Upstart rep Lincoln Michel in a three-round duel that won DiClaudio the LDM title.
An hour before triggers were ever pulled, the night began with Michel trundling sharply and shortly through four stories, barely pausing between, followed by LA’s Vermin on the Mount reading series rep Katherine Taylor who kept the crowd captivated with a tale of Parisienne living.
The judges were athrill after both, and the committee of three--The New Yorker’s Ben Greenman, SF improviser Kurt Bodden and Kansas comediess Jodi Bullock--were stunning in response, with hilarious quips and comments. After contemplation, they made the tough decision of announcing Michel as the night’s first finalist.
After a scorching quick intermission, the second round began with DiClaudio leading off the proceedings, and regaling the captivated crowd with a tale of a Tic-Tac being shoved up a man’s bottom. Following him was Poetry vs. Comedy’s Thaddeus Rutkowski who dared go scriptless, reciting four poems from memory, clever, funny and caring all. The judges were perplexed post-comments, and finally did a mental coinflip, putting DiClaudio into the final round.
All of it led to one of the greatest and most odd finales in LDM history (watch it all here), as both men removed their glasses--against their will--and stood back-to-back with laser tag goggles over their eyes, and pistols in their grip. Round 1 had them each walk five paces before blasting one another (won by Michel). Round 2 featured them shooting with their wrong hands (DiClaudio was victorious). Round 3 was a barnburner of blindness as we had them shoot wrong-handed and blindfolded! DiClaudio, diving and dodging, won the finale 2-0 to become the latest in a long line of brilliant Literary Death Match champions.