JUDGING FROM Mike Fechter's straining biceps and broad chest, which of the following would most likely be his line of work?
(a) truck driver
The correct answer: all of the above.
Mike Fechter works out six days a week, drove a truck for the Teamsters Union and now cuts hair professionally. His hulking form can be seen in action snipping hair at Heaven Hair Designs in Clarence.
"I have always wanted to do hair," Fechter says. "My dad was doing hair for 30 years, my cousins do hair, practically my whole family is in the hair business. It's in my blood, I guess."
Fechter, 31, started cutting hair about a month ago. He says he meant to attend beauty school earlier in life, but his burly size got in the way.
"I kept getting these job offers because of my size, and I took them because they paid a lot, but I always knew I'd go to beauty school someday," says the recent graduate of the Continental School of Beauty Culture.
Mike's usual job is preparing the customers for the cut, which includes shampooing and consultation.
"Mike's great with the customers. Women love him. He's really good with kids, too," says Jay Scire, owner of Heaven Hair Designs.
"By the time they get through with Mike, (the customers say), 'Do exactly what Mike said.' "
Scire and Fechter have been friends since childhood, when they used to pretend to cut friends' hair.
"As long as I've known him, he's always been dedicated to whatever he does," Scire says.
Fechter says he especially enjoys cutting children's hair. "They're easily fascinated. There's an innocence about them that I love."
But doesn't the sight of a scissors-wielding Incredible Hulk scare the youngsters?
"Sometimes they're scared at first," Fechter says, "but I talk to them and they come around. It's a novelty for them."
A native of Cheektowaga, Fechter says, "I was one of those kids who got sand kicked in his face all the time. When I started working out at (age) 18, I weighed 135 pounds. Now I weigh 250 pounds."
Fechter has several bodybuilding competitions under his belt, including the 1984 Mr. Great Lakes title and, he says, a former world bench-press record of 615 pounds. He is currently competing for the Mr. America title.
Fechter also met his fiancee, Cheryl, through "pumping up."
"She's a bodybuilder also," he says. "In fact, we met at a competition and I just saw her and immediately fell in love."
So why would a guy who can bench-press 615 pounds spend his time clipping hair?
"The women," he says jokingly. "No, really, it's just something I love to do. I love making people look good."
How long is this bodybuilding former truck driver going to cut hair?
"The rest of my life," he says.