CLAW 9 On 10/14 to Raise Funds for PEP

CLAW 9, the last regular tournament of 2008, will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 14th, at the Blue Moon Diner from 8-10 p.m.  Funds raised will go to Performers Exchange Project, one of Charlottesville’s only professional theater ensembles. Founded by Martha Mendenhall, Sian Richards, Jennifer Tidwell, Doreen Bechtol, and Kara Burke, PEP co-produced with Zen Monkey Project the performance art carnivals A Charlottesville Wunderkammer and Shentai. Two of PEP’s members are CLAW regulars (MC Rosie and Nurse Cheryl). PEP is currently working on a new original piece tentatively called America Transcendental, which will premiere in fall of 2009.

Check out the CLAW 9 lineup here. Celebrity judges are Daryl, Grady, and Satch from Live Arts and Permanent Lifetime Judge Jim Waive.

If you like to move your body, stay until 11 and break out to DJ Western Front.

**!Achtung! This is your last chance to see new wrestler blood before the magnificent CLAW X: Smackdown of Champions, which happens Nov. 11th.**

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CLAW Featured on local NPR All Things Considered

Deepak Singh, a local reporter for NPR’s WVTF, stumbled upon CLAW while walking by the Blue Moon Diner on Sept. 9th. He went back to his house to get his equipment and made this piece, which aired on Friday afternoon during All Things Considered, Sept. 26th. Thanks, Deepak!

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CLAW 8 Raises $2,074 for Books Behind Bars

I thought CLAW couldn’t get any more epic. But on Sept. 9, at CLAW 8, it did. It got epic-er. There was magic in the air, don’t you think?  Or maybe it was the Ref’s new beardlet or MoJo’s pungent Musk by Jovan or Cheryl’s hairspray melting? At any rate we had cooler temperatures and a new outdoor grill and DJ Western Front spinning tunes before and after. There was Pitbull’s 91-year-old friend Shakti shouting in the front row. Then shaking her booty to the CLAW theme song…………. Oh and remember Jenny Johnson speaking poetry to a group of rabid arm wrestling fans? …..And Debbie Danger’s hand-shark? And Betty Rocker’s dissemination of baked goods? Ol’ Cocktease’s butt shimmy and feather-leaking problem. ………..And Missy’s safe sex endorsements and Kat the Great riding a child’s (my child’s) hobby horse….and Glamma Slamma’s personal paparazzi… and Sparkles’ sexy deely-bobbers….and Pitbull’s gentle dominance. Did you know that NPR and Virginia Living magazine were there? More on that in another post. And the place was squeaky clean by 11:00 p.m. with barely a cigarette butt in sight.

In all the madness, I am proud to say we raised $2, 074 for Kay Allison’s 20-year-old Books Behind Bars project. Kay writes to thank us:

Thank you soooo much for selecting Books Behind Bars to give some of the proceeds from your Wrestling Match on Tuesday night! It was a very special evening! You all are a very creative group!! Such powerful energy! . It means so much as the expenses of the rent, postage and dictionaries are a lot and as more of the men and women in prison find out that they can get free books from us, more and more letters come. We get over 500 each month and send five books to each one.
If you have time one day, stop by and read some of the many grateful letters that we have received. We have thousands of them!
Do thank everyone !
Most sincerely,
Kay Allison

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CLAW 8 on 9/9 for Books Behind Bars

What’s the connection between lady arm wrestlers, prisoners, and literature? Who knows? It just so happens this CLAW will mark our third event for a prison-related organization, this time Kay Allison’s (of Quest Bookshop) Books Behind Bars, a 20-year-long project that buys and mails books to prisoners on request.

We’re also excited to announce that Jenny Johnson, a local writer and old school CLAW fan, recently won her way into the 50 Best New Poets anthology with a poem written about CLAW, called “Ladies’ Arm Wrestling at the Blue Moon Diner.” She will be reading this poem at CLAW 8. Please get there early, as we exceeded our 300-person capacity by 8:30 last time! It goes a little something like this:

Ladies’ Arm Wrestling Match at The Blue Moon Diner

On a red booth with Rose, right hand bracing a beer,
left elbow dismantling a pastoral, we shout into the throng—

In a leather body suit, Stiletto squeezes, insists, reconciles,
hazel eyes working overtime on the fist of her opponent.

Under the table there’s a penalty, “Left foot off the ground!”
A python en-circling her bicep, Sidewinder hisses like this:  Sss Sss Sss

Then, Cheryl, golden as Carhartts, softening us,

“My grandma always told me if life gives you lemons

throw ’em away.” And so, we loosen. We shuffle off sore tendons.
Tuesdays. And insults cat-called out Chevy windows.

Clinking whiskey glasses, we wipe away sweat and
old flames who only leave muscles warm in daydreams.

Before the heat begins again, I have this vision
of a kid kicking up dust for hours in the road.

All I ever found in the gravel was the paper body,
what the gartersnake shed. Take off that old suit, tonight.

Even as your good arm shudders to the mat
like the waning crescent meeting the mouth of the Shenandoah.

In new skin, come back again and again. Own this acreage.
This new ground rippling under rolled sleeves.

–Jenny Johnson


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CLAW 7 Raises $2,081 for Food Not Bombs

On August 12th, the CLAWs staged their seventh tournament, with the net proceeds of $2,081 going to the local chapter of Food Not Bombs. It was an anarchic, unpredictable and fruitful night, much like Food Not Bombs itself. Billy Hunt’s photos are here and Missy Colombo’s are here. Congratulations to the final duo of Tragedy Ann and The School Marm.

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Purple Haze is August’s CLAW of the Month on C-Ville Weekly

Purple Haze, our resident Harminatrix, explains what  we’re doing for CLAW 7 tonight:

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CLAW 7 for Food Not Bombs on 8/12

Leave yer bombs at home and bring what cash and friends you can scrape together. On Tuesday, August 12, from 8-10 p.m., at the Blue Moon Diner, we’re offering up a sweaty, no-holds-barred CLAW 7 for Food Not Bombs. FNB feeds people delicious vegan meals made from surplus food every Sunday at Tonsler Park at 1 p.m. The Daily Progress gave them a mention back in April. They will use the funds that CLAW raises towards cooking ingredients and fuel for transportation, among other things.

The show starts at 8:00, but come earlier to get one of the very few ringside seats. Celebrity judges include Permanent Lifetime Judge Jim Waive and Activist/Singer/Songwriter/Teacher/Man-About-Town/Knife Fighter Stratton Salidis.

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Bridezilla Takes the Trophy as CLAW scores $2,375 for SARA!

On Tuesday, we CLAWs had our most successful night yet, netting $2,375 for local charity Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA). New house band Straight CLAW to the Crotch opened the night with their CLAW theme song and emcee Rosie (that’s me) introduced the audience to the celebrity judges musician Jim Waive and City Councilor Holly Edwards, who relished the faux legitimacy she brought to the proceedings.

This month, we had a new “greenroom” of tattered green rug in the parking lot for the wrasslers to relax and preen in and on with their large entourages. As I looked at all the wrestlers and CLAW production volunteers, I worried that we may outnumber the crowd itself. But that turned out not to be the case as hundreds of eager spectactors poured in just before 8 PM.

Rather than try to describe what happened in detail, I’ll let you check out Will Kerner’s shots and official CLAW photographer Billy Hunt’s shots.

The night reached a fever pitch as Bridezilla reached Round 3 and went into labor and the crowd of several hundred went wild screaming “Breathe, breathe, breathe!” It worked. The baby never came and she won her match against formidable former champion The Homewrecker in a tie-break.

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CLAW to Raise Funds for SARA on July 8th

CLAW is pleased to announce that July 8th we will wrestle in the name of S.A.R.A., or the Sexual Assault Resource Agency. This event will take place rain or shine from 8-10 PM behind the Blue Moon Diner under a tent. Bring your friends and some cash for bribing, betting and merch!


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Lyrics to “I Love My CLAW” by Straight Punch to the Crotch

I knocked the light out of the sun with my claw
I sailed the seven seas with my claw
I scratched my head with my claw
Now don’t you want to party with my claw?

I love my, I love my Claw
I love my, I love my Claw

Mama said cook the chicken I say, “Hell No!”
Daddy said clean up, he know where to go
There’s only one thing I’ve got to do now
Suitin’ up gonna let these guns roll

I love my, I love my Claw
I love my, I love my Claw

I threw the I-Ching with my claw
I rang the Church bells with my Claw
I saved Hanuman with my claw
Now don’t you want to party with my Claw

I love my, I love my Claw
I love my, I love my Claw

This is the life I lead
Opening the flood gates, take it to the mat now

Now I’ve got everything I need
My home, my country, all my sisters now

Here I am coming at you full speed
I’m a freight train running through your back door

Couldn’t it be, Couldn’t it be, Couldn’t it be
First a beat down, then another beat down.

I love my, I love my CLAW
I love my, I love my CLAW

~Copyright 2008 Straight Punch to the Crotch


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