Things were going pretty well after we came back to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We had found some better spots and the weather had been better as well. We were at the hotel one night when Andrew and Van started arm wrestling. Then things went terribly wrong. See original text below.
Iron Arm Allen
Vans in Singapore.
By Jonathan Mehring
We were in Singapore. It was hot. It was raining. It rained everyday at 3 o’clock. Van Wastell, Dylan Rieder, and Andrew Allen, all from the Vans squad had joined Anthony Claravall and myself for a 2 week tour. Fortunately, we were so jet lagged we got up around 6am everyday and were skating by 8 o’clock. By 3 we were tired anyway.
On the second to last day we went back to the hotel from skating and played pool for a while. We had planned on going out that night and had started drinking at the hotel. A few hours of sitting around a hotel room when it’s pouring rain outside can get seriously mind numbing. First it started with Van putting Andrew in a full nelson. They rampaged around the room and finally crashed into the bathroom. That’s when I heard my electric clippers. A few minutes later they both came out with huge lines shaved in each other’s heads. It was actually pretty amazing. Shortly thereafter shit started getting intense. It was hotel room arm wrestling at its best. Over The Top references were flying left and right. The match was Van vs. Andrew. The cash pile was thick. Dylan, Claravall, and I had thrown our bets. The match started. Determination surged in each of their faces. Wrinkles creased across their foreheads. Beads of sweat were running down their brows. Then, as if it was the felling of a tree, Andrew’s arm was slowly, painfully, bitterly pressed to the table. “Aaaarrrgh!!!” He cried. The rest of us all cheered for Van. Andrew was not going to go down that easily though. “Wait! Another match! …Left handed.” He said, feeling the sting of defeat. Van accepted the challenge without hesitation. They planted their elbows on opposite corners of the hotel room table, all the while staring each other down without the slightest blink of an eye. Music was blasting but it seemed as if it all went quiet as the face off began. Their hands gripped together they gritted their teeth in determination, each trying to bring the others arm to the table. Its legs creaked beneath the force. There was a strange calm in the air. The music seemed quiet and distant. Blue smoke shrouded their heads. You could almost see the tension as electric bolts jaggedly emanating from their hands like a Tesla generator. It seemed to last forever in slow motion, neither one could budge. They were perfectly matched. Neither Andrew nor Van could exert enough energy to beat the other, but neither one would give up. The crowd was going wild. Then CRACK!thud. It happened. Van’s arm hit the table. Andrew jumped up raising his arms in victory, a huge smile on his face. Everyone was cheering for Andrew this time. But something was wrong. I’ve known Van for a while and he isn’t the type to give up like that. I looked over at him just as Claravall was saying, “I hope that was the table that broke”. Van was staring in surprise at his arm, and holding it by the wrist. “You fuckin’ broke my arm.” He said a little too calmly. Then again, “You fucking broke my arm!” He sounded surprised. We all stared in silence for about a second then I heard Claravall’s voice. “We need to go to the hospital right now!” It was for real. Andrew had literally snapped Van’s arm in half just above the elbow. Claravall and I helped Van downstairs, Dylan and Andrew looking after us still trying to make sense of what they had seen. We jumped into a taxi and shot to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible. They X rayed Van’s arm only to find a compound fracture of the Humorous, the bone that starts at the shoulder and ends at the elbow, and is one of the hardest bones to break in the body. They informed us that Van needed emergency surgery and he could have it there or get on the next flight home and get it done in LA. Naturally, he opted to get on the next flight. They gave him some pain-killers and we put him on the 6am plane back to SoCal. The doctor gave him a note that read: “Please allow Mr. Wastell to fly business class for his comfort. He broke his arm during an arm wrestling accident.” With that and the huge line shaved in the side of his head we couldn’t help but laugh about the situation. Turns out, Van had slammed really hard earlier that week and had fractured it then. He didn’t think much of it, but wondered why his arm had been sore. He had no idea it was just waiting for something like an arm wrestling match to let him know.
Fortunately the next day was our last so we just pushed around a bit till it started to rain. Moral was pretty low after loosing Van so we were ready to get on a plane ourselves. We had some strange Chinese food for the last time and packed our bags for home.