Brooklyn hipster imitation is the highest form of flattery

I wanted to be supportive. I really did. The poster’s kind of cool, even if the women depicted look too scrawny and too bangly and too fashionable to compete with the likes of us. They’re also in the Break Arm Position.

Hipster arm wrestling poster

But then I visited the Classy Ladies Arm Wrestling Society (CLAWS) Myspace page and the more I examined it, the more icky I felt. CLAWS was founded by three 21-year-old Brooklyn artists and DJs who are into 1) bike ridin’, 2) whiskey drinkin’, and 3) taking publicity photos of themselves in cute outfits. Okay, we’re into all that same stuff, but at least we’re not writing excruciating copy and questionnaires like this:

Have you ever found yourself clearing off a barroom table, staring down your best friend, hands locked, nail polish chipped … a frenzy of dudes gathering around you…when the jukebox and everything you’ve ever accomplished (graduate school, solo art show, your band’s European tour) is drowned out by the sheer necessity of this moment…of your moment…when it all just comes down to arm wrestling?

Calling all classy ladies with a penchant for arm wrestling and whiskey drinking…Fill out this survey and send it in. [. . .]

1. Name
2. Nickname
3. Age
3. Locale
4. Birthplace
5. Which female celebrity would you most want to arm wrestle?
6. Which fictional character?
7. What’s your favorite ‘would you rather’ question?
8. Theme song in movie of your life at two moments, (both while walking down crowded nyc street)…1. you’re exalted, in LOVE, it’s a scorching summer day 2. you’re exalted, in LOVE, but it’s a grey winter day
9. Last but not least, why do you love to arm wrestle?

I wonder if I could make it onto the CLAWS roster with a few white lies. I dream of wrestling the fictional Madeleine, as played by Chantal Goya in Jean Luc Godard’s 1966 Nouvelle Vague film Masculin, feminin, while surrounded by a frenzy of dudes in bands who are still boozy from the night before. I dream of walking down Flatbush Avenue on a scorching summer day with a bottle of whiskey in one hand and a fistful of MIA’s ass in the other to the tune of “Under My Thumb” by the Stones. And I would rather contrive to arm wrestle away my existential hangover than admit that I am ripping off the nice girls of Central Virginia.

This has all been an antagonistic preface to the following challenge: Brooklyn hipsters, we will rip your skinny arms off! We will shatter your bangles! We will mock your DJ careers! And then we will declare ourselves the original Lady Arm Wrestlers!

But all in fun, of course. There’s room for every patient in the wrestling fever ward.

24 Thoughts on “Brooklyn hipster imitation is the highest form of flattery

  1. angela deane on October 30, 2008 at 10:42 pm said:


    challenge accepted! we’re tough and sincere gals; lifelong lovers of arm wrestling and comraderie! bring ithe noise!

    if all the girls in central virginia are as nice as you are, then we brooklynites are in for a real treat!


    1. name: angela deane

    2. nickname: deane deane the scoring machine (from soccer days)

    3. age: 31 years old (and loving it)

    4. locale: brooklyn

    5. birthplace: florida

    6. celebrity i most want to wrestle: all five spice girls morphed into one

    7. fictional character i most want to wrestle: wicked witch of the west (like her style)

    8. would you rather ?:
    would you rather give up arm wrestling or chocolate?

    9. Theme song in movie of your life at two moments, (both while walking down crowded nyc street)…
    you’re exalted, in LOVE, it’s a scorching summer day
    ‘held’ by smog
    …a grey winter day – ‘at last i am born’ by morrissey

    10. Last but not least, why do you love to arm wrestle?
    the spontaneity, the show, the bond, and 9 out of 10 times, the triumph!

  2. Hello Angela! We are ready and willing to do battle. Either y’all can bus to Virginia and see the fall foliage while we whoop your ass, or we can bus to your turf and face off in a royal smackdown! Either way, we are looking forward to meeting our Brooklyn arm wrestling sisters. I will double up on my lady pushups in preparation. xo w

  3. fred the ref on October 30, 2008 at 11:20 pm said:

    Bring it ladies. One request: room for the referee match. Consider it ‘dessert’.

  4. I saw our ref, aka The Ref, in the ring yesterday working out in his short shorts and extra tall gym socks. His stripes know no bounds. His whistle has a long leash. His penalty box can fit any number of spaghetti-armed men inside it. Let’s hope you are made up of stronger stuff than dessert! 🙂

  5. Y’all!
    I’m gettin anxious just thinkin bout it. Oh, Lordy. Some woman is gonna get hurt!
    Nurse Cheryl

  6. The Ref on October 31, 2008 at 12:42 pm said:

    Rule 15.5(a) of Title II, Part A of the International Association of Arm Sports Officiates (IAASO) bylaws clearly states:

    “Arm sports officiates, including referees, under-the-table-umpires, and linesmen, shall not compete in arm sports events or participate in arm sports events except in an official capacity, ceremonial capacity, or guest. Members of the officiate shall not compete , whether professionally or for fun, in any arm sports with any arm sport athlete.”

    I don’t KNOW what in hell you city slicker officiates are doin’ but if I had my way ya’ll be expelled from the IAASO and banned from arm sports for life.

    / god damn kids!

  7. Hey, keep it classy Ms. Murray! Why the hate for your gangly bangly sisters in arms??? You think we’re imitating YOU, Virginia? HAH!!!!!

    Another CLAWS founder responds:

    1. name: Megan Newcome

    2. nickname: The Kentucky Killer

    3. age: 34 years old (as of today!)

    4. locale: Brooklyn

    5. birthplace: Kentucky!!! Where I worked in a whiskey distillery before I went to college on a track scholarship, studied film theory, began a 14-year DJ “career” (no one calls it a career in New York, by the way–like everyone else, I do it for the music, free booze, and easy sex), moved to New York, started a music PR company, started an artist-owned record label and book publishing company, and co-founded CLAWS, in earnest, with two other formidable and totally classy ladies.

    6. celebrity i most want to wrestle: Sarah Palin, of course

    7. fictional character i most want to wrestle: Diana Christensen from the movie Network

    8. would you rather ?:
    Would you rather have carrot toes or lettuce hair?

    9. Theme song in movie of your life at two moments, (both while walking down crowded nyc street)…
    you’re exalted, in LOVE, it’s a scorching summer day – “Me So Horny” 2LiveCrew
    …a grey winter day – “Miss X” MC5

    10. Last but not least, why do you love to arm wrestle?
    I’ve been arm wrestling and bike riding since I was a scrawny teenage girl! I’ve arm wrestled more friends, DJs, musicians, door girls, bartenders and bridesmaids than you can shake a stick at! It’s because, while arm wrestling boys is fun and good practice, arm wrestling ladies is just so MUCH better! CLAWS was born as a venue for that…Classy, scawny, bangly girls can arm wrestle too if we damn well please!!!! Get thee to Brooklyn, Ms. Murray. We’ll take in a Godard film at the Alliance Francais, get pedicures, and then arm wrestle! Loser buys the whiskey. I drink my Maker’s neat!!

  8. Happy birthday, Kentucky Killer! And you are in luck. We actually have a Sarah Palin (aka Sarah Barracuda) in our wrestling roster. I think music, free booze, and easy sex are also among the reasons she launched her political career. And a word of caution to your girls – before matches we always administer pee tests to check for the right ratio of whiskey to steroids. I like my steroids drunk.
    Debbie “The Debutante” Danger

  9. Hey, thanks!! I love a bookish Southern girl with a wicked wit so we might be friends afterall, Debbie Danger…

  10. You can count on it! At least until we meet across the wrestling table and you finally feel the wrath of my deadly shark arm. But let’s totally hang out after.

  11. fred the ref on October 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm said:

    I’m from Mississippi by the way. Let’s not go too far with this ‘city slicker’ business. K?

  12. The Ref on October 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm said:

    Mississippi??? No way. I LOVE Flight of the Conchords!

  13. Word up. Stay classy, lady.

  14. Cheryl on October 31, 2008 at 4:35 pm said:

    Y’all, Act right.
    Debbie, you’d be friends with anyone willing to blow some sunshine up yer ass.

  15. angela deane on November 1, 2008 at 8:29 pm said:

    this is a great collection of back and forths!!

    happy election week, ladies and ref gents.
    ange deane

  16. We really need to get BUST to sponsor our showdown-throwdown. Anybody know somebody there? Or some equally hip/trendy publication or alcoholic beverage company willing to pony up the big ones to make this an international incident? Arm Wrestling Quarterly?

  17. The “bangles” have got to go. So dangerous. Loose them. No shit on one’s wrists while wrestling. Lord. Is there anyone watching y’all Brooklyn girls’ asses?

  18. angela deane on November 2, 2008 at 2:48 pm said:

    no worries ladies, any and all bangles get taken off and handed to our ‘trainer’ before we get to the table.

  19. Iron Crotch on November 3, 2008 at 6:13 pm said:

    There is another epic song waiting to happen here….

  20. Christos on November 9, 2008 at 10:39 pm said:

    what pisses me off is they totally ripped off your name!!! bastards!

  21. angela deane on November 9, 2008 at 10:56 pm said:

    well, with ‘ladies arm wrestling’ as an obvious middle for the acronym and the idea of an animals claws as a force to be reckoned with, it’s an obvious choice!

    ain’t no copycats over here.

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  24. Zen Bonobo on February 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm said:

    One of these “lay-dees” is my daughter. Her mother must never see this.

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