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Philadelphia, Ep. 3

May 23, 2012 — To celebrate Drexel University's 6th Annual Week of Writing, Literary Death Match teamed with Painted Bride Quarterly to put on a wild show that finished with Team Elizabeth Scanlon falling to Team Scott McClanahan in the most exciting game of Pin the Mustache on Hemingway the world has ever seen. A last-gasp attempt won McClanahan the LDM Philadelphia crown. 

But well before the finale hijinks ensued, the night kicked off with McClanahan (author of Stories V!) reading a sermon-like story that featured a can of tomato-turned-chicken noodle soup, and finished with him wandering the crowd as he finished the final lines. Next up was Apiary Magazine editor Ras Mashramani who read a sexy/startling Tumblr-specific tale that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. 

The mic was then passed to the night's trio of all-star judges: Philadelphia Weekly's Tara Murtha, Philadelphia Inquirer book editor John Timpane (a poet in his own right), and legendary visual artist Zoe Strauss. After doling out whimsical and oddball commentary, the three huddled, and decided — after a long deliberation — to annoint McClanahan as the night's first finalist.

After a quick, boozy intermission, Round 2 kicked off with American Poetry Review editor Elizabeth Scanlon reading a stellar series of diverse poems, followed byBarrelhouse Review co-founder Mike Ingram who told a story of sexual power and anal play. 

Again, the judges took center stage, and again, after kind and wild commentary, they were tasked with choosing a finalist. Another difficult choice, but it was Scanlon who made it through. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Todd Zuniga, who welcomed four volunteers on stage to be part of the Pin the Mustache on Hemingway finale. He then paired the finalists with volunteers, and had them select from an assortment of 'staches: Joyce, Faulkner, Rushdie and beyond. Then each was blindfolded and asked to blindly pin a mustache on Hemingway. With the win on Scanlon's proverbial racket, and only one bullet left in the Team McClanahan gun, volunteer Rich Grisham took the final run at Hemingway and was impressively accurate — he made it closest to Hemingway's actual cookie duster, which meant McClanahan was awarded the LDM Philadelphia, Ep. 3 medal, winning literary immortality to go with it. 

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