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In this chaotic arm wrestling tournament, the real winner is charity

photo courtesy of LA LAW

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What do a nun covered in blood, a Martian princess, and a crazy crafty cat lady have in common? They will be raising money for charity next Tuesday via one of America's most cherished past times: arm wrestling.  

Next Tuesday, the Bootleg Theater will host the Los Angeles Ladies Arm Wrestling Fall Brawl. In its 4th year, the ultimate purpose of the tournament is to raise money for organizations such as Homegirl Cafe and Chicas Rockeras. Tournaments are notorious for being raucous and wild, but at a recent orientation, the mood is calm. 

"We want to make sure we've got our ground rules covered so no one gets hurt and everyone has a good time," says league commissioner Amanda McRaven. McRaven says there have never been any serious injuries in the Los Angeles league, but it doesn't mean they can't happen. That's why Offramp's Taylor Orci is paying close attention. She attended orientation to learn how to referee the upcoming Fall Brawl. 

First timer Elizabeth Elson gets schooled on the basics.
First timer Elizabeth Elson gets schooled on the basics.
Taylor Orci

"In other leagues, women have literally broken their arms," says Provvidenza Catalano, who arm wrestles as Sister Patricia Pistolwhip. She explains the ladies in this event run little risk of that happening since most of the matches are more for the theatrics than the real sport. But she reminds Orci not to be a lazy ref just because they're not wrestling to out and out win. "If I get too much blood on this thing," Pistolwhip gestures to the glittering arm wrestling table, "call time out and wipe that thing down." Later, upon further examination of the table she remarks fondly, "Aw, some of my blood from last year is still on this thing." 

Need to get out a good scream? The Los Angeles Ladies Arm Wrestling Fall Brawl is Tuesday, November 15 at 7 p.m. at the Bootleg Theater. Click here for tickets