but all the photos posted on the website from that night are red. It's probably a way to convey the mood of the evening.
Because this certainly was an event like no other. More than 100 people crowded into the Verdi Club on Potrero Hill in San Francisco to hear four authors read a piece and to hear biting and hilarious pronouncements from three judges.
While I wasn't the oldest reader (I think Lynka Adams is older than me) I certainly was the most staid. I read a piece on my growing obsession with James the skunk man who deftly relieved my home from a colony of skunks.
My piece differed from the three others in part because there was no fucking, sucking, orgasmic recreations, or discussions of getting high. Marijuana did not waft through the room as I spoke. I was not dressed in a dominatrix outfit, nor did I bring three people clad in white onto the stage with me.
In short, I did not win.
Amber Tamblyn judged my performance, which she characterized as "nice." Talk about damning with faint praise.
But who could blame her? I elicited the fewest laughs of any of the contestants.
I did have my fans, though.
Here's what one tweeter said:
@frannydink got robbed tonight - just saying! #literarydeathmatch
Still, winning or losing was not really the point of the evening. It was having fun, with literature at the center. Oh, and throw in lots of booze, too.
Hats off to James Nestor who took home the prize. Tod Goldberg and Lynka Adams were also great. The other judges were David Wiegand from the Chronicle and Paul Madonna, who draws the comic strip All Over Coffee.
And thanks to Todd Zuniga and Sky Hornig of Opium Magazine for putting the entire thing together,