Show Us Your . . . arm-wrestling costume | Show us your [____] | Chicago Reader

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Show Us Your . . . arm-wrestling costume

As a member of the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers Bess Boswell's outfit of choice is a Walmart-bought children's bee costume.


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Never underestimate the effectiveness of a good tagline. As a member of the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers Bess Boswell's is "Uh huh, bitch, you've just been stung!" which she's screamed each of the seven times she's pinned an opponent during a match. The reason it's so effective? The 32-year-old mental health and youth counselor (by day) also sports a modified, mutated bee costume and goes by the moniker of the Killer Bee.

Twelve years ago in her southern Arkansas hometown, Boswell found a children's bee costume at a Walmart and wore it as a top during a camping trip. After relocating to Chicago in 2007 and graduating from Second City in 2009, Boswell joined CLLAW, a comedy/improv arm wrestling league that benefits the Sideshow Theatre Company and various charities. She revived the costume with a few more additions and invented the backstory of a bee made by a mad scientist.

The costume—which only encourages antics like running wild around the ring, wielding a bat—also features yellow go-go boots, ripped black spandex tights with a yellow layer underneath, fishnet gloves, yellow shutter shades, a red sweatband, and temporary arm tattoos.

"I've been told that I bring WWE spirit; I like riling up the crowd," says Boswell.

And it's all in good fun, of course.

"CLLAW is my family," says Boswell. "It's cool for women from all walks of life to come together for a good cause."

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