FABULOUS FLAB: When the recession walloped the California construction industry, heavy-equipment operator Michael Glover of Redondo Beach found himself out of work and searching for a new career.
He has unexpectedly found one in the role of “Flabio,” who could be the latest male heartthrob. In coming weeks, stores are scheduled to start selling posters of Glover--all 6 feet, 6 inches and 400 pounds of him--sprawled on his stomach on a surf-washed beach, squinting at the camera from under a damp blond wig.
The inspiration, of course, is Fabio, the Italian model whose muscled form and flowing blond mane have graced the cover of many a romance novel.
But Flabio glorifies a different body type, the American male approaching middle age with a few (in some cases, more than a few) extra pounds around his middle.
Eric States, 34, of Santa Barbara, created the parody poster. He traces the inspiration for Flabio to the day he emerged from the shower and teasingly asked his wife to evaluate his physique: “Fabio? . . . Flabio?” The chance remark led to plans for a poster. When States put out a casting call, he discovered Glover, whom he says has “the perfect body, the perfect face.”
Soon Glover found himself lying on a beach near Santa Barbara, posing for the poster that could make his career.
So far, interest is keen. CNN has already carried a report on Flabio and People Magazine is supposed to take photos this week. Plans are under way for a 1995 Flabio calendar.
Glover is not bothered at the prospect of his body image pinned to walls coast to coast.
“It’s kind of a kick. And when I wear the wig, it doesn’t look like me at all,” said Glover, 37, a South Bay native and the father of two.
Glover hopes his Flabio role will help him achieve his career goal of becoming a character actor. In the meantime, he simply hopes it will assist in paying the bills.
“I’ve never been ashamed of being big,” Glover said. “That poster, it represents the mainstream of America.”
SITE SELECTION: Marymount College has expressed interest in buying Northrop Corp.'s old research and design center on Crest Road in Rolling Hills Estates, but it may be too late.
The college has little room to expand its dorms, library and other facilities, and has been looking for additional space nearby.
Although the Northrop site may fit the bill, the college has yet to submit a formal offer, Marymount President Thomas McFadden said. And it would be at least two years before the school could move to a new site, he said.
Besides, another unidentified buyer has made an offer on the property, which Northrop is considering.
“Someone else is further along,” said Michael L. Condon, vice president at the Seeley Co. in Torrance, which is marketing the site for Northrop. “We’re doggone close.”
BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN SAN PEDRO: Jay Leno has the Los Angeles skyline. Johnny Carson had the sparkling lights of the San Fernando Valley. David Letterman has . . . San Pedro.
Talk-show host Letterman began a week of tapings in Los Angeles on Monday, broadcasting from a new set in Studio 36 at CBS Television City.
In New York, he sits at a desk in front of a mock-up of the New York skyline, with an occasional “blimp” floating by for laughs. Here he sits in front of a quaint coastal town, or, as he put it Monday night, “Many of you will recognize the port community of San Pedro.”
Then: “Oh my gosh, look! It’s the Queen Mary!” And a tiny model of the luxury liner proceeds to steam into port, complete with horn and tropical sound effects.
“The Queen Mary is out of mothballs now,” Letterman said. “It’s no longer a museum and hotel. It’s running every day between San Pedro and Catalina Island.”
(In fact, the Queen Mary remains a museum and hotel permanently berthed in Long Beach Harbor.)
And the depiction of a San Pedro carved by bays and inlets, though charming, is not geographically correct.
Spokespersons for the show could not explain why Letterman chose San Pedro instead of, say, El Segundo.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"(Many of) our youngsters, somewhere along the line . . . have missed being able to discuss anything, any kind of differences, without coming to verbal or physical confrontation.”
--Leuzinger High School Principal Sonja Davis, on attempts to ease racial tension and sporadic violence at the Lawndale school.