I met her in Vince’s Gym, which is run by the equally legendary Vince Gironda, the Iron Guru of Studio City.
Vince is a wry old guy with a chicken hawk glare who once informed me that cannibalism was the purest form of protein.
For that reason, we have never dined together.
His gym used to cater only to men but now about half of his customers are women.
“They come here to work off their buckets,” Vince said, peering out from behind his counter. “I am literally living off the fat of the land.”
Actually, what he said was that he was living off the fat of their buckets. Well, not buckets exactly, but off the fat of what Cobalt refers to as a woman’s biscuit. That is as far as human decency and company policy will allow me to go.
Kay Baxter was not there to work off her bucket, it being in better than adequate condition.
She was there to demonstrate certain of the compulsory poses which have won her contests across the country. The famed Front Double Bicep, for instance. The old Side Chest. The Back Double Bicep.
“I live and breathe body building,” she said, holding the last pose. She wore a skimpy red swimsuit, and the exposed parts of her body glistened with perspiration. Cobalt was right.
“At one time women didn’t have the vote,” Baxter added. “Now we have the vote and we can have muscles too if we want them.”
If you saw her walking down the street in clothes, you would probably not know she is a body builder. At 5 feet, 3 inches and 130 pounds, she is deceptively petite.
But make a move on her biscuit and you will learn soon enough. In addition to being stronger than hell, Kay is also an expert in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat. Best you leave her biscuit alone.
I asked her why she was a body builder and she said because it made her feel and look good.
“Also,” she said, “it puts me in touch with myself spiritually. I find my different parts. It’s a return to the primitive, a going back to the animal in us.”
Baxter was one of the first female body builders and, as such, considers herself a kind of spokesperson for all of them. She is trying to tell women it is possible to be both muscular and attractive.
“Our ideals have always been anorexic fashion models,” she said, snapping once more into the Famed Front Double Bicep. “That, as you can see, has changed.”
It really doesn’t matter to me what women do, since I have a woman who is just right for me, but I think on the whole I would prefer seeing a female with muscles than those plastic nimrods who enter beauty contests and come away whimpering foul because they did not win the Miss Pep Award.
Also, I like the fact that Kay Baxter is 40 and is still out there doing the Back Double Bicep. True, she sweats a little, and while Billy Cobalt may never ask her to the prom, I doubt that she would accept if he did.
Too bad, because I know he would appreciate her biscuit.