December 16, 2010 — On a holly, jolly, cut throat night of poetic gift-giving at the Bowery Poetry Club, Literary Death Match’s final event of the year ended with “Team Hanukkah” (featuring Clay McCleod Chapman) outdid “Team Christmas” (headed by Elissa Bassist) in a vicious battle of "Mad Lib Christmas Caroling" that led to the crowning of Chapman as LDM champion.
The blasphemed yuletide festivities began with journalist/essayist Robert Moor calling upon the stage an assistant to read footnotes and supply props (two 40 oz. bottles of Steel Reserve) for the performance, which were all but necessary in his luminous reading about a YouTube society of drunkards that get wasted together by sharing videos of their malt liquor guzzling progresses. Next on stage was master storyteller Clay McLeod Chapman (Rest Area, Miss Corpus), who told a mouthwatering tale — with a desperately anxious voice — about his first day of sex-education courses, which left the audience revering his fondness for the giant black abyss of mighty vagina.
The mic was then passed to the three wise men panel of judges: editor/writer/playwright Donald Breckenridge (You Are Here, This Young Girl Passing), writer/performance artist Mike Albo (Hornito, The Underminer: The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life) and the Onion's Jason Roeder (Our Bodies, Our Junk). And even though all loved the idea of suburban Texans living through the internet (Roeder planning on going home after the show to find some new friends on YouTube), Chapman’s hysterical voice, wild performance and mother of pearl ooze on the linoleum floor of his childhood won the panel’s heart.
After a brief intermission, round two commenced with host Mikey Barringer threatening the next combatants with a Nerf gun if they went over their seven-minute reading limit. Poet Michael Leong (e.s.p., Cutting Time With A Knife) battled first, and in the spirit of a death match read a poem titled “I Battle Elissa Bassist,” which was a blood-thirsty anagram of her name. Bassist went next with a story that gave the crowd emotional blue balls when her man zipped up his pants, put on his shirt (while she remained topless) and walked out of her door. She was unfortunately shot off the stage after surpassing the seven-minute reading limit.
Again the judges were called on. They were impressed by the fact Leong had written an individual poem for all the night’s LDM contestants and amused by the precursor of an enema before reading his poems — but Bassist had them on the edge of their seats with talk of Brazilian waxings and ravenous female yearnings, which so captivated the imaginations of the three wise men it made her the night’s second finalist.
Then co-host and LDM NYC producer Ann Heatherington weaved her way trough the club, collecting seven unsuspecting audience members to participate in the secret finale and, once they were upon the stage, informed them of the horrors that awaited them: singing Mad Lib Christmas carols in front of the entire inebriated crowd! Two people were given to Chapman and two people were given to Bassist, while the other three took on the role of judges. Bassist’s “Team Christmas” went first, with her partners singing while she improvised an act to a twisted version of Jingle Bells. Next went “Team Hanukkah” with a slapstick growling of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which won the attention of the judges, exposing to the world that Jews also know a thing or two about Christmas while simultaneously immortalizing Clay McLeod Chapman with literary stardom for the rest of eternity.