Essays · G

Why Arm Wrestling is the Stupidest Thing That Has Ever Happened

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Courtesy of Flickr

The following is rated G, for Gerber Baby, because a Gerber Baby should be able to read this. I am not making any statements saying a Gerber Baby has the ability to read this (like, that a Gerber Baby is objectively smarter than the average baby and can somehow read at this level despite still wearing a bib at every meal) but I am stating that it is a nice, wholesome article about the dumbest thing ever.

Amidst commas, feeling nauseous, and college students who are just there to get a degree, arm wrestling is one of my least favorite things. What is falsely advertised as a sort of “Contest of Strengths” is in reality a quest to find the human most genetically advantaged in regards to forearm length and wrist flexibility.

I recall most of my own ventures into the field as utter failures, degrading me as a human, and giving unearned pleasure to younger, weaker individuals who (I can only assume) garner all of their pleasure from dominating others. Not only is this attitude a sign of a horrid future (marriage, careers, and parenting being three things to be damaged by an unwarranted want to dominate), but is a perfect excuse to use the rather archaic word, inane.

To me, inane means so much more than the modern “stupid.” No, inane seems to imply three characteristics: a lack of sufficient mental faculties, a knowledge of this lack, and a boorish stubbornness accompanied with a refusal to try and change oneself.

I recall arm-wrestling with my good friend, Weston Enlow, many times over the course of our brief and nostalgic childhoods. For some reason that I could never understand, Wes would always beat me. “Clearly,” my nine-year old brain hypothesized, “this humbling defeat cannot merely be the result of my own lack of strength and Wes’ storage of muscle. There must be something else at work here.”

Indeed younger Clark, there is something else at work here, because arm wrestling has considerably more to do with leverage, the flexibility of one’s wrist, and subtle adjustments than it has to do with one’s biceps or triceps. If your forearm is considerably longer than your opponent’s, you have a massive disadvantage, having to straighten your arm a bit to meet your opponent’s hand at the same level. This greatly magnifies the amount of muscle needed to move one’s arm inwards. In addition to forearm length, how messed up your wrists are from four years of high school football plays no small part in how well you can slam someone else’s hand to the table. If you are fifteen, you have played considerably less high school football than I, a twenty-one year old have. Lastly, subtle adjustments are a big part of arm-wrestling. What are these subtle adjustments, you might ask, were you me, asking me a pertinent question to this very topic. Well I don’t know considering I SUCK at arm wrestling, but there sure as heck are small adjustments.

Arm-wrestling resembles some test that the Nazis would have done to people to see if they were pure and had the right proportions. I challenge anyone who can beat me in arm-wrestling to a nice full-out brawl and see who wins that, as that is more of an actual test. Fight me.

With all of this in mind: that arm-wrestling leads to stupidity, stubbornness, humiliation, may resemble a Nazi test, and is no real measure of strength, consisting instead of a whole lot of BS, I denounce the practice of arm-wrestling and hope it dies out entirely.

Why yes, I did just lose an arm-wrestling match to a fifteen year old, and yes, I am still salty about it. Why do you ask?

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