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Ah, I love the smell of napalm in the morning! Hm, no wait… That’s not napalm, that’s air freshener. My bad.

It is odd to have two such solidly civil writers in the ring this week. As attitude tends to breed fear and loathing, two essential ingredients for many a heated argument witnessed in Deathmatches past, we are left with a decidedly Monty Python-esque battle on our hands. However, we shall work with what we have, even if it’s two coconut halves rather than horses leading the sound of our charge!

The first rewrite this week comes from James C. Strouse in the form of an unemployed dad stealing jewelry for his acerbic young daughters during a community’s Take Your Daughter to Work Day. The tragicomic tale has been revamped somewhat grudgingly to provide unhappy commenters in the last round with a less “misogynistic” story, as they seem to have overlooked the basic POV lessons from high school English class and insisted the writer be less of an asshole. Moderator and 2012 DM winner Chaise Baird weighed in this round saying, “I think changing the temp job manager to a woman works to the story’s advantage, though not because of the whole women in the workplace thing. It’s effective because then it draws the reader’s attention to how the protagonist watches all the employed men with their daughters at work.” Another pro-The Big Everything commenter, Carmella, summed up the story with: “You manage to take this guy from zero to hero in 3000 words or less.”

James is doing fairly well considering his refusal to solicit votes; some kind of self-deprecating experiment in embarrassment. However, I think if we do the math we can determine exactly how many votes he has garnered besides those from his parents. With 400 votes as of12pm EST, and mom and dad each separately voting on the hour… Erm… Four, carry the one… That’s 36 times two: 72 votes. Now, to play the Devil’s Advocate we’ll assume James is secretly voting for himself which is another 36, equaling 108 votes thus leaving him with 292 unsolicited votes. If these had been electoral votes, he could basically win the United States Presidency. There are no losers here.

On to the leader with Andrea Wrobel’s quick-paced, comical monologue from a woman choking on an eraser in a college classroom. The story had a bit of a disjointed start, but Wrobel has reigned in some of the character’s thoughts and actions and tightened up the piece to create an absurd story, in the best way. Wrobel does not have an issue with shameless self-promotion, the cornerstone to any Deathmatch battle. She is embracing her role as vote solicitor and attempting to hashtag her way to victory.

Meanwhile, the overdramatic diary entries of Wrobel’s main character are being taken quite seriously, with questions about the validity of the piece being fired at the competitor. Wrobel, who took a day off from competition to enjoy the stat Family Day holiday because that’s how she rolls, has returned to retaliate with a smidgen of feistiness. She poses Jack Handey style deep thoughts with, “If Samantha isn’t choking, what is leading her to believe she is?” Ahhh. What, indeed? At the comment that the story is “hijacked at the end by a dog needing to pee,” she insists that all animals pee, the character of Rolf the dog being one of them. Touche! Another pro-Eraser commenter Brian Cauley has defended attacks against the neurotic Samantha Able as being difficult to understand with, “Yes, the protagonist may handle things differently than you would, but that doesn’t make them unbelievable.” If those aren’t words to live by, who knows what is… let the especially-nice battle wage on!