I ARE THE CHAMPION
Seeing as there's a Glasgow show tonight at Mono -- which you should totally go see -- I won't spoil the fun of running order selection for them as might be popping along; but I ended up paired with Sophie Cooke for the first round. I won the coin toss and let her start, on a "ladies first" principle -- which was probably about as self-serving as chivalrous, I admit. Sophie read a poem about Antarctica, as sharply crystalline in formation as the ice of its subject. I shamelessly played to the perennial popularity of filth (albeit erudite filth) with a selection from "Sonnets for Kouroi Old and New." We were judged, with much hilarity rather than Simon Cowell style snark, my favourite comments being on Sophie's "Doctor Who" style of dress and the possibility that my moustache was independently doing all the dirty bits. The result: I won; hurrahs!
After a brief intermission, it was Katerine versus Doug, with Katerine doing a scene from her current novel about a learning disabled girl, and Doug doing a viscera-churning scene involving a bullet and brains from his latest novel. Both were most impressive, Doug's getting audible reactions of "ewwww!" from the audience, Katerine gripping attention with exactly the sort of intimate passage that can be hardest to hold listeners with. It was a close thing, but Katerine won in the end.
And so we came to the tense final, with three volunteers called to the stage for a basketball-and-book-burning-themed showdown: one to serve as stanchion for the net, the other two as trusty sidekicks, scrunching printouts of book-burner related malarkey for Katerine and I to lob. And lo, despite my piss-poor hand-eye co-ordination, I somehow managed to be first to five, making me CHAMPEEONAY!!!
I gots a medal and everything! Here is me sporting it afterward, doing my WWF style "victory face".
So, yes, all in all, it was an awesome night. I even ended up chatting to Sarah from Polygon Books, who turned out to have gone to Kilwinning Academy a couple of years after me. And signing a copy of Songs for the Devil and Death as a gift for someone back in NYC who had asked Todd to get my autograph. Which was cooooool! And I got to meet antifolk icon, Lach, who was in the audience. I spotted him in the bar and foyer before, and was thinking, hey, isn't that...? just at the point where someone referred to him by name as he passed. Which led to me going: Oooh! Oooh! You're Lach! Um... COOL! Turns out he's one of the judges for the Glasgow match tonight.
Which I shall be heading out for shortly, to enjoy in a nice relaxed way as a member of the audience, albeit possibly sporting my new shiny bling just... well, because.
(And I do believe there's a Dublin match tomorrow night, so if that's your neck of the woods, I highly recommend you go along. You won't regret it.)
Anyways, yup, most happy to have participated (with no small thanks to Jane McKie for passing my name on to Vikki.) Literary Death Match = Awesome Sox!