photo by Erica Gerdes

A couple of things happened tonight at the MAELSTROM. For one, for reasons no one is sure of yet, Mike Rosolio didn't show up to the show. Patrick Brennan had just come to run the lights for the show and he bravely stepped up and joined us on stage.

For another, I won.

Yippee! I'm still a little surprised -- everyone's stories were great. It was great to win, with the extra nice bonus that the prize gift certificates were all to places I already shop: Intelligentsia (I went there twice tonight), Chicago Comics, and Threadless.

I told a 3-minute story about murder by giant robot (since people asked, a mecha is a giant robot controlled by a person riding inside it, like in Robotech or Voltron), a 2-minute story about "cicadas and 4 am at Taco Bell", and a 1-minute story about the creation of the world, the founding of Chicago, and "truck stop love".

Everyone had awesome stories -- Jen told her 1-minute story about "a pet 3-legged mule" in a made-up language, but we all knew exactly what was going on. Bob launched into his 3-minute story tying together surfing, coffee, world hunger, and the Boy Scouts with nary a skipped beat. Mike fit the entire history of childbirth from ancient times to the present in a 2-minute story. Patrick had a hilarious 60 second introduction to his 3-minute story about how great it would be to win because it would surprise his wife. Mary Jo wove "Mongolian love with flute and fish" into a charming story of 3rd Grade love.

There's one more event in the SKALD festival -- the SKALD proper, where 10 storytellers each tell a prepared 7-minute story. I can't be there, but you can! (Maybe -- price and participation may vary. Check local listings.)

P.S. I won!

Update: Don has more pictures.