June 26, 2008—A pair of NYC debuts lit the literary world on fire on Sept. 27: the first-ever Lit Crawl NYC (that traveled from the Lower East Side, to the East Village and finally on to Williamsburg) featured the first-ever Lightning Round LDM, Ep. 9, at Supreme Trading in Brooklyn.
The blitzed-through LDM ended with Word Riot representative Timmy Waldron and Hobart rep Jensen Whelan having their heads covered in authentic Mexican wrestling masks, then emptying a cup of water. A dramatic finish had Waldron dump the half-cup on his mask milliseconds before Whelan was finished. The result: championshiphood and fame aplenty for Waldron and Word Riot!
A nutty finish, but the misadventures started early on as Failbetter representative Christina Kallery read sharp and aching poetry, followed by Whelan who read a whimsical tale of a letter writer trying to win the girl. After, the trio of judges--The New Yorker’s Ben Greenman, Opium’s .com editor Cicily Janus and Aussie scribe Lee Bob Black--had a tough decision ahead, narrowly selecting Whelan to be the night’s first finalist.
Following a lightning intermission of three seconds, the second round begun. Slice Magazine’s Tim Mucci read a startling, heart-stopping tale that silenced the tipsy crowd. Next up was Waldron who brought the house down with his crafted and bizarre story. The judges again were challenged to select a finalist, but chose Waldron after a quick deliberation.
Next came one of the most oddball finales in the history of the LDM. Volunteers were called up to tie Mexican wrestling masks on each of the finalists, before they ran to the bar and finished off a cup of H2O. Waldron’s mask was tough to tie, hindering him from getting to the bar as quickly as Whelan. But while Whelan gulped, Waldron stunned with a never before seen catch-up tactic of dumping the water all over his mask-covered face. His cup hit the counter milliseconds before Whelan’s and his hand was raised in victory, his neck graced with a medal worn by the rarest of rare: LDM champions. Victory to Waldron, and a NYC Lit Crawl victory for all!