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    A bloke nicknamed Popeye in school says people “freeze” when they see him in real life because of his whopper arms and hands.

    Arm wrestling champion Jeff Dabe – who has a striking resemblance to the cartoon character – is gawked at by strangers too afraid to speak.

    Even as a baby Jeff was enormous and his parents took him and his meaty paws to the doctors to check for abnormalities.

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    He has since been tested for gigantism and elephantiasis – but his hulking limbs and his 49cm circumference of forearms are unexplainable.

    The 59-year-old grandad, from Minnesota, US, now has more than 1.3million TikTok followers where he shows off his massive hands.

    But in an exclusive interview with us, the gentle giant said people can be intimidated when they meet him in person.

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

    “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.

    “I don’t mind. Little kids are the ones that are the funniest. They are not shy and they come up and ask right away which I like.”

    Jeff added: “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.

    “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’.”

    And asked whether any brave strangers ever try to start fights with him, he laughed: “That used to be back in the day when I hung out in the bars.

    “I could always tell the guy who would come cause a problem after a couple of drinks.”

    Cheerleaders nicknamed him Popeye when he was on the wrestling team in school and it has stuck ever since – but he insisted he doesn't mind and that he enjoyed the show as a child.

    He has spent years winning arm wrestling competitions, including being crowned State Champion, and he believes he has two or three years left at the highest level.

    But in lockdown his popularity surged when his wife and daughter filmed TikTok clips with him to help pass the time.

    Speaking about the viral videos, he told us: “I can’t believe a simple video of me doing something around the house… I still can’t believe it does what it does and it travels all over the world.

    “It can just be a simple little video. The one that took off was me picking up a table top I made and putting it on a stand or the one where I carried a heavy weight down the driveway and back up.

    “That got like 30million views!”


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