Friday, November 23, 2012

Tattoo Story

A friend is going through a conversation with his 17 year old daughter about tattoos, she is a smart, reasonable kid and I think she is winning the argument.

That said, tattoos are pretty polarizing things, they conjure up thoughts of your WWII vet Uncle Jimmy with an anchor on his chest or the friend who got drunk on his first weekend pass in the Marine Corps and woke up with "Semper Fi" on his arm.

Or the guy you know who had his first wife's name tattooed inside of a heart and he had to change Marianne to Susan. Or bikers with tats all over their chests and arms or the nice looking neighbor lady who when she bends over you get a peek at her "tramp stamp".

Historically tattoos were a way to tell a story before there was any communication beyond people simply telling stories to each other around the campfire. If somebody killed a woolly mammoth and fed the tribe for a month, it was commemorated with a tat.It enhanced the tale of triumph and personal history. I suppose it's still the same today in some respects.

When I was going through my biker phase, I rode my Harley Springer to a weekend rally. In between the 3rd and 4th band of the night, I wandered into one of the tattoo tents, drunk. I was paging through the the books of available tats, I heard my old man's voice in my head. he was saying are you crazy?

When my dad was in high school, the janitor had gotten a "Learn the Art of Tattooing by Mail" starter kit. He proceeded to tattoo the boys in the school. This guy had set up shop in the furnace room. he tattooed my dad's nick name on the inside of the old man's left bicep. Dad carried "Hollywood" in shaky script for the rest of his life. He hated it. It looked awful and it was there for ever. Drunk as I was that night, I put down the design books and left the tent. Thanks Dad.

I'm not judgemental about tattoos, I have a grand daughter with one, a niece and a nephew with a tat. I guess if their grandpa or uncle had a tat as bad as Dad's, they might have had 2nd thoughts.

From time to time, I do think about getting a nice piece of white cake tattooed on my arm with "Cakes" written under it. Hmmm?

1 comment:

  1. Problem with tats is that over time your tastes change. Haircuts, suits, shoes you can change when you want to. Even most piercings will grow over, except maybe those ear lobe insert rings and weights. Then if you are old enough you may remember that tattooed woman or man who was a feature of the old carny sideshows.