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Real-life Popeye says people ‘freeze' when they see his huge arms

Real-life Popeye says people ‘freeze' when they see his huge arms

After getting the nickname in school, he decided to make a living out of his big biceps

A TikTok sensation owes his Popeye nickname to his colossal arms - something he says leaves strangers gawking when they meet him.

Jeff Dabe, a 59-year-old arm wrestling champion from Minnesota, US, has garnered 1.3 million followers on the platform where he regularly posts updates on his life.

Born with bulky arms, Jeff’s parents brought him to the doctors to test him for gigantism and elephantiasis, but no one could provide a scientific explanation for his huge limbs.

Since then, Jeff earned his nickname in high school and decided to make a living out of his big biceps.

Speaking with The Daily Star, he explained he’s amused at people’s reactions when they notice his arms.

“A lot of them you just kind of see them freeze up for a minute. They don’t want to talk,” he said.

After being born with bulky arms, Jeff’s parents took him to the doctors to test him for gigantism and elephantiasis as a baby.

“I will go through a drive-through window and I go to hand them my money and they just kind of freeze up and it takes them a second and they will take the money or say something.

“It’s kind of funny. I know right away when someone notices me, you see it in their face and they can’t quite believe it at first.”

But Jeff says that he 'doesn't mind it'. However, there's some that are able to speak their mind upon meeting Jeff.

“Little kids are the ones that are the funniest. They are not shy and they come up and ask right away which I like,” he said.

"We can go somewhere and a little kid can say, ‘Oh I follow you on TikTok and this is cool I can’t believe I met you’ and they always want to compare hands and stuff.

He said people 'freeze up' when they see his arms.

"They are so fun because they are always so bright about it, they don’t see nothing wrong with it whereas certain age people get more weirded out by it.

“Some people are afraid to talk to me at first because of my size then once they meet me… you see on the TikTok comments people say ‘I met him, he’s the nicest guy, he’s cool and doesn’t mind talking and stuff’.”

Of course, his arms also attract the odd stranger looking for trouble in a bar. Or at least, they used to.

“That used to be back in the day when I hung out in the bars,” Jeff said, adding he could immediately spot the person who would try and start a fight after having a little too much to drink.

But his bar days are behind him, and Jeff is now enjoying his quiet life as a grandpa and social media star, but he also said he has a few more years of arm wrestling competitions left in the tank.

Watch this space.

Words: Stefania Sarrubba

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@jeffdabe

Topics: TikTok, US News