by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  June 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM Lifestyle News
 Meet the the Iron Lady in US Arm Wrestling
"Amy Smackhouse" slams down her opponents hand with one hand, and the other hand holding a bottle of bourbon in her latest victory in the women's arm-wrestling tournament.

The tongue-in-cheek event aims at humor and to raise money for charity, but there is a competitive edge of sorts.


In regular life, Smackhouse is called Andrea Kavanagh, and she works at an environmental non-profit organization.

But on stage in the US capital Saturday evening, she dons her satin red, white and blue cape awarded to the national arm-wrestling champion and works to entertain the crowd.

Her bottle of whisky, a cigarette perpetually hanging from her mouth, her heavy makeup and bawdy jokes are all part of the act: a satire of British singer Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011 and was known for her drinking and drug-fueled lifestyle.

"That's funny, since physically we are very different," Kavanagh says with a burst of hearty laughter.

Arm-wrestling contests -- or rather the DC Lady Arm Wrestlers club she helped found in 2010 -- are just for fun, and for charity.

In the fall, Kavanagh will fight for her national title at a championship in Washington.

But Saturday, the eight competitors were battling for the "Golden Biceps" title and to get the audience betting heavily on the outcome -- with all profits going to Knowledge Commons DC, a free community school.

"We've been around for four years, and in 13 tournaments we have raised almost $50,000," said Ashley Evans, whose nom de guerre is "Sailor Slamrock," a rebellious leprechaun-style character dressed in green and ready to rumble.

"It's also about women empowerment. It shows that we're just as strong as men."

- 'Would you wrestle them?' -

Like in boxing, a platform is erected in the middle of the room, on which stands a simple table where the competitors do battle.

Phil Yunger, a gray-haired retiree who bills himself as a tough Army vet, serves as the completely corruptible tournament referee -- who pledges to turn bribe money over to charity.

"The ladies? Oh they're a pain in the ass. They're arm wrestlers. Pinch yourself, would you arm-wrestle one of these people?" he says, tongue-in-cheek.

"Margaret Thrasher" storms onto the stage, showing off her fake Union Jack tattoo, a homage to her pretend British heritage. Dressed conservatively, with her hair in a severe bun, she mimics the high-brow British accent of the former prime minister.

"My technique is very simple," she joked.

"Usually my opponents start by looking down my blouse, but then they realize that I am this old, ugly lady and that's when I give it all."

The technique seems effective -- Thrasher easily defeats "Jackie O'Nasty," a character modelled after the former first lady of president John F. Kennedy.

But maybe Jackie O was saving her strength for another bout.

"Well, I look forward to seeing Marilyn Monroe on stage."

Source: AFP

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