Mitt Romney had just been declared the winner of the Republican primary in Florida. Runner-up Newt Gingrich, refusing to concede, was on the radio promising he'd approve the Keystone XL pipeline on the first day of his presidency when we made our way to a women's arm wrestling match at Missoula's Zoo City Apparel.
Who knew women's arm wrestling could be as nasty as the GOP primaries?
The last Tuesday in January marked the inaugural brawl of the Garden City Lady Arm Wrestlers, a new group of women who roll up their sleeves and lock fists to raise money for Missoula-area non-profits. The concept began in Charlottesville, Virginia. There are about a dozen sister leagues around the country.
Zoo City was packed for the match, which was a benefit for Garden City Harvest. Eight "wrasslers" competed. Among them were Lincoln Hawk, the truck driver played by Sylvester Stallone in the classic arm-wrestling movie Over the Top; the fur-coat wearing Sassy Squatch; Donatella, dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle; and the lavishly dressed Lady Forsyth.
"One, two, three... Wrassle!" hollered the referee, who wore overalls and a mullet wig. It wasn't all about arm strength. Wrassler managers and gaggles of supporters worked the crowd to raise money. The teams and the audience were encouraged to bribe the three judgesPEAS Farm Director Josh Slotnick, artist Courtney Blazon and Biga Pizza's Bob Marshallto give their favorite wrassler an edge. Whether he'd been paid off or wanted to be, Slotnick, during one of the matches, called a foul: one of the lady's buttocks had come up off the chair. "You got butt cheeks rising," he shouted, "and unless something changes, it's going to happen again!"
The finals featured Lincoln Hawk, tattooed and wearing cut-off jean shorts and a backwards hat, against Lady Forsyth, in a dress and veil. "Rip her fucking arm off!" someone yelled from the crowd.
Lincoln Hawk just about did, winning handily. She flexed her pipes.
GCLAW has a few rules that are worth considering, we think, in this election season: Keep your feet on the ground, no kicking the refand no false