Words By Kara Burney, Photos By Clarissa Villondo
“If anyone sees a white glove, will you return it to the mimes?” In what may be the best quote of the weekend, if you found yourself at the American Legion Post 8 this past Saturday, you know that the mimes in question are none other than The Silent Killer and her entourage, the West Hollywood Mime Troupe, who emerged victorious in the DC Lady Arm Wrestlers’ Holiday Smackdown.
On her road to victory, The Silent Killer left those with less-endowed arms in her wake and claimed the Golden Bicep title in a final, tie-breaking bout against newcomer Nadi by Nature. According to her official wrestling bio, The Silent Killer was once an aspiring actress gifted in the art of miming whose failure in Hollywood drove her to “the one industry that would accept her — porn.” But outside the ring, The Silent Killer is one of the many brawny and brainy women that make the DC Lady Arm Wrestlers (D/CLAW) one of the most unique non-profits in the District.
In a city where fundraising is a ubiquitous, D/CLAW has put a fierce spin on charitable giving with its mission to empower women through theater, arm wrestling and philanthropy (or as veteran wrestler Jackie O’Nasty put it, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your biceps and your pocketbooks can do for your country”).
Over the course of 11 competitions, D/CLAW has raised over $40,000 for various DC-area charities, including Miriam’s Kitchen, The Noble Argus Foundation, and The Aleethia Foundation. This weekend’s competition, D/CLAW’s 12th, raised over $6,000 for the Navy League of the United States to distribute to the victims of the Navy Yard shooting, just in time for the holidays.
While the event is all for charity, the wrestling is real and the stakes are high; a Golden Bicep medal and the bragging rights that come with it are on the line for the victor, and the ladies are coached to avoid “break arm position”. This weekend’s competition featured a strong showing of both first-time and veteran arm wrestlers facing off in best-of-three bouts. Each wrestler creates her own wrestling persona, complete with a costume, bio, theme song and an entourage of enthusiastic, costumed hype-men to help raise funds for the chosen charity through bets from the crowd.
Highlights from this weekend’s lineup of stellar competitors include:
- Like her namesake, Hannah Bell Collector was carted into the arena on a dolly wearing a face mask and straight jacket, and sipped from a glass of chianti before competing.
- Mahatma Fanny, who was escorted onstage by an entourage of Swamis to “Beware” by Panjabi MC featuring Jay-Z, executed a perfect headstand after her first-round victory against The Valkyrie.
- Adjusting her red-leather mask in the bathroom, newcomer Doña Diabla was disappointed by her first-round loss to Jackie O’Nasty, but not discouraged: “Next time I’m going to start bench pressing.”
- Nadi by Nature drank from a bottle marked “XXX” while carted through the crown in a wheelbarrow and gnawed on a selection of radishes, potatoes and onions between bouts.
While she may have been overpowered by The Silent Killer in the finals, newcomer Nadi by Nature and her entourage of overall-wearing, pitchfork-wielding hillbillies took home a prize as the top fundraisers of the night, outperforming the competition with their crass showmanship and impressive method acting (the entourage members could be overheard introducing each other as “my mother’s sister’s brother’s cousin” and calling the American Legion’s whiskey selection “too high-falutin'”).
When asked if she wanted to say a few words about her victory, The Silent Killer said… nothing.
Want to see more ladies arm wrestling in DC? You can donate to the Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers’ campaign to hold the second SuperClaw National Championship here in the District.