Tattoo Or Not To Tattoo?

Is it just me, or does he look familiar to you too?  (Image from 6 abc dot com)
Math class is sooo boring!  Is that bell ever gonna ring? (Image from 6 abc dot com)

I saw this guy’s mug shot in the news a few months back.  He looked familiar to me.  I couldn’t imagine that I could have met a guy with all those tatts and not recalled him.  I figured that perhaps I knew him long ago, and tried to picture him sans artwork.  Even then, I couldn’t place him.  I gave up on trying to figure it out and resumed my humdrum life of working for a living and writing blog posts for the amusement of my seventeen loyal followers.

A few days ago, my wife and I were trying to clean some junk out of the basement.  After fifteen minutes though, we were hopelessly frozen in our pursuits, as we had each become stuck looking at crap artifacts from our past.  Throwing stuff away is tough when there’s even a glimmer of emotional attachment.  I pulled out a spiral bound notebook of one of my grown children from what might have been 5th or 6th grade.  I didn’t bother flipping it open to see the scribbled notes, but stared instead at the mural of doodles on the cover.

In a flash, it hit me.  The tattooed mugshot was not of anyone I knew, but his artwork bore a striking similarity to the notebook covers of middle-schoolers everywhere.  Old timers like me may also find a certain resemblance to the walls adjacent to payphones in college dorms of the late 70’s and early 80’s.

As I just admitted, I’m no spring chicken.  Back in the halcyon days of my youth, tattoos were for guys in the Navy and Hell’s Angels.  I suppose prison inmates had them too, but I lead a sheltered life back then, which limited my exposure to only the tattoos of sailors and bikers.

Obviously times have changed.  The future has arrived, and it’s not entirely pretty.  We have wristwatch phones and cars that park themselves.  We also have morbidly obese exhibitionists twerking on YouTube and scores of people who flaunt their God-given right to cover themselves with as many tattoos as they desire.

That's either Darth Vader or a very poor representation of a black pug in a rose bush.  (Image from geekology dot com)
That’s either Darth Vader or a very poor representation of a black pug in a rose bush.  By the way fella, you’re rockin’ that beard.  (Image from geekology dot com)

Back in my college days, I had an acquaintance who was going to get a tattoo of a lightning bolt on his hip. At the time, he was a freshman who played attack on the lacrosse team, and the image had a degree of legitimacy.  Of course, now he’s likely a pudgy investment banker in his mid-fifties, and the bolt may be over-shadowed by a nearby hip replacement scar.  Before going for the ink, he tried to get many of his teammates to join him.  I recalled considering it for a few seconds.  At that time in my life, I was lucky to be able to scrape together enough loose change for a six pack, so paying for a tattoo was out of the question.  Still, I considered what image I’d choose.  I politely declined, but the thought of the Zig Zag Man on my arm did stick in my head.

That's not a zit; Zig Zag Man's spleef is all sparked up.  (Image from hellnbak at deviantart dot com)
That’s not a zit; Zig Zag Man’s spliff is all sparked up. (Image from hellnbak at deviantart dot com)

A few years later, I put my fine arts degree to use tending bar.  One of my fellow mixologists was a Jewish kid from Cherry Hill, NJ.  I was under the impression that tattoos were against his religion, but he was crazy about inking himself up.  He had a bunch of body art and was constantly looking ahead to the next one.  Like the lacrosse player, he was always trying to convince people to join him.  Newly married to a woman who abhorred tattoos, I didn’t consider it for more than a fraction of a second.  I did think about what image I’d pick though, and briefly recalled the one I’d considered in college.  I shuddered at how horrible my former choice was, and said a silent prayer of thanks that I had avoided going through with it.

So I was in a tough place emotionally, you know?  I was frustrated with my inability to move up the corporate ladder and finally get out of the mailroom.  I just said, you know, what the hell, I'll get a picture of a big penis tattooed on the side of my face, and then, you know, to give it that special zing, I'll pierce my cheek.  So then Monday I show up to work and the supervisor tells me I don't have a job anymore.  I've put some resumes out, but I can't seem to get past the first interview.  I wonder if I need some breath mints of something.  (Image from moosiemoose dot tumblr dot com)
So I was in a tough place emotionally, you know? I was frustrated with my inability to move up the corporate ladder and finally get out of the mailroom. I just said, you know, what the hell, I’ll spend my rent money on getting a picture of a big penis tattooed on the side of my face.  Then, to give it that special zing, I’ll pierce my cheek. So Monday I show up to work and the supervisor tells me I don’t have a job anymore. I’ve put some resumes out, but I can’t seem to get past the first interview. I wonder if I need some breath mints of something. (Image from moosiemoose dot tumblr dot com)

The cycle has repeated itself every so often throughout my life, where I think of what tattoo I would get and where I would put it, but each time, I recall the images I’d considered the previous times and realize how awful and obsolete they’d look on my body in the present day.

I have tons of friends and colleagues now who have tattoos.  For the most part, their choices of tattoos strike me as somehow appropriate for each of them .  I don’t shake my head and wonder what they were thinking when they chose what they chose.  In my defense, I don’t have any friends with tattoos of Mickey Mouse, Captain Kirk or bedazzled shlongs on their faces.

Like most people, I tend to be far more critical of my own decisions than those of others.  Lord knows I’ve done my share of things which I realized were mistakes.  The prospect of living with my bad decisions is a fact of life, I don’t need illustrations.

Teddy Roosevelt Tweets Miley A New Tattoo !!!

Miley’s new ink is barely visible on her left arm, but more importantly, look at all that prime real estate with belly button-frontage! (Image from

I read a news story the other day about Miley Cyrus getting a new tattoo.  To be clear, I wouldn’t really call it a “news story”.  It was more like “30 seconds of my life which I’ll never, ever get back”, but for the sake of argument, we’ll call it a story.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, Miley got a new tattoo.  It seems to be a Tweet-sized portion of a speech which Theodore Roosevelt gave in France in 1910.

It reads: “So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

The portion of the speech the quote came from is: “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

For the record, I got both of those quotes from, your source for entertainment news and my source for historical quotes.

First impressions tell us that presidents sure did talk fancy-like back in 1910. My modern interpretation of the actual meaning of Teddy’s full quote is; “Yo! Give up mad props to the doers, and don’t pay no mind to the haters – kin I git a ‘oh-hellz-yee-ay-ah’?”  Or maybe it’s about the dirty little gladiator who could – you decide.

My interpretation of Miley’s chosen snippet is “Those who can’t do, should get jobs at Chipotle and stop working as, like, critics and stuff”.

The new ink is strategically located on the volar aspect of Miley’s left forearm.  That’s the part you can’t see unless she holds her arm out and goes palm up (Volar is an anatomical term which I threw in because I’m tired of looking petty and stupid – instead I’ll appear petty and smart).  The location prevents prying eyes from getting a good gander at it, and she can sneak peaks at it in her lap during mid-term exams, if she decides to take history classes at Hollywood Community College or Yale or wherever.

It stands to reason that even pop-stars can’t go covering their bodies with entire 12 page speeches by turn-of-the-century politicians.

Look, tattoo artist dude, I can’t have cracked parchment so close to my ass crack. Just give me a few meaningful words in fancy script and we’ll leave it at that” (Image from

It’s far easier to just take a little snippet which suits you.  This way, you get the intellectual credit for quoting someone famous, without all those pesky “four score’s” and “hitherto’s” making your sexy tramp-stamp look like some historical document on that funny, yellow parchment paper.

In an effort to endear myself to the young, beautiful, famous set, I’ve gone and found a cool presidential quote, and it’s just chock full of great stuff, plus it’s more recent than 1910, so there’s no need to edit out all that flowery, antique lingo.

Here are a few potential snippets (If it will help, try to visualize them in fancy script with piercings nearby):

I want you to listen – What recording artist wouldn’t want this one, and it’s from a President!

To say one thing – This speaks of honesty and simplicity, a single message – so deep, so pure.  Put it on your index finger to help drive home the point of “one”.

Say this again I did – I love this!  It feels like Dr. Seuss meets Yoda, but it’s from a man who was leader of the free world!  This one would great in Old English script across the hairless, defined pecs of any rapper!

I need to go back – Ah, the love of a simpler time – when men were men and women were barefoot, pregnant and without fancy hair extensions!  It can go on your back, but if that’s too literal, put it on your leg or something – go crazy, you’re a star, ferchissakes!!

Back to work – Pull yourselves up by your bootstraps America!  Let’s go build Chryslers!  Put this ink right where your gym-body muscles show!

For the American people – That’s right! It’s all for you America!  Now go see my latest movie and disregard that stuff you saw in the tabloids about my alleged relations with underage boys on my vacation to Thailand.

Have sexual relations with that woman, Miss – Supporting gay marriage is sooo last year, this tattoo says “Go hook up with that girl over there in the sensible shoes” President’s orders!  So naughty, but so nice!

To lie not a single time – Who among us hasn’t strived for honesty?  Put this one across your heart, and make sure it’s above your bra line for the paparazzi!

You’ve likely figured out the original quote, but here it is anyway:

”I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people.

—Bill Clinton, Jan. 26, 1998   (Quote from

Coming up next week, we’ll look at tribal tattoos and decide if those A-List stars really meant to advocate female circumcision in New Guinea and monkey sacrifices in the Amazon Basin, or if they just thought the designs were cool looking.


The search is on for a male porn star who is wanted for murder.  While the thought of murder is far from amusing, the idea of a man-hunt for a male porn star is.  Interpol (that’s an actual law organization, not the name of a male porn star) has asked for the public’s help in capturing this alleged killer.  “Man-hunt”, on the other hand is both an official term and the name of a series of movies.

Here are a few possibilities as to what he may be doing as he attempts to avoid capture:

  • delivering pizza with an empty pizza box
  • cleaning a pool
  • working as a plumber without plumbing tools
  • doing construction in a house without any evidence of any construction work in progress
  • cutting the grass in Daisy Dukes and a skin tight shirt without any illegal immigrants helping him

Law enforcement officials also want the public to be aware of other clues which may tip them off.  These include:

  • poorly fitting 70’s porn-star mustache disguise
  • “chicka-chicka-chow-chow” sound track follows him everywhere
  • devoid of back or butt hair
  • his clothes won’t stay on, but if he’s trying to look amateur, he’ll leave his socks on
  • seldom uses words greater than 1 syllable
  • the drapes don’t match the carpet
  • ass tan
  • illegible tattoo on upper arm

Law enforcement officials warn against approaching the fugitive if you see him, as he is assumed to be armed and dangerous.  Literally, his screen name was actually “Armand Dangerouz” for a few years.

Inspirational Poster Proposals for Facebook

After writing my post about the over-use of inspirational posters on Facebook, I decided to come up with a few of my own.  I had a ton of old digital photos including some from a vacation to the Pacific Northwest.  After a little time screwing around with my computer, I was able to put some inspirational words of wisdom on the images.

Without much more of my pesky dialogue, here are some more of them.  I’m hoping to put them next to myself on Facebook.  In the event you have no taste (you’re already reading my blog), I want to make them available to you, my faithful readers to put next to your names on Facebook if you so desire.  Since I took the photos and came up with the quotes, there’s no need for copyright concerns.  If you somehow missed the previous post, click this link – Cheap Sentiments.

A case for record stores

A recent post of mine included several references to a TV series which aired before many of you were born.  Now I’m going to write about record stores?  What the hell am I doing?  Is this a sad attempt to corner the “old fart” market in the world of blogs?

Not exactly.

It’s not what you’re thinking.  I’ve accepted the idea of buying my music in the form of downloads or entire CD’s from Amazon.  Do I miss the hours spent flipping through bins of vinyl, and later through bins of impossible to open CD’s?  Of course!  Who wouldn’t?  Do I pine for the days when you could kill an afternoon trying to find some old blues record while listening to whatever hideous crap the people who worked there wanted to hear?  I’m getting misty eyed just thinking about it.  Does the loss of the visual splendor known as “album art” make me sad?  It does, but times have changed and I am OK with it (or at least I’m trying to be).

What people don’t realize is that the long lost record store was more than just a place to buy records and hear the latest Sex Pistols bootleg.  The record store was where “those people” worked.  Even back in the day, there were those with fluorescent Mohawks, odd piercings, and conspicuous tattoos of questionable content.  You’d see them as you walked to class in college as they were probably heading over to the buildings which housed the art department.  You would turn to your friends and smirk, and agree in unspoken understanding that whatever that person’s deal was, one thing was certain: they probably worked at the record shop.  The record shop was the one place, aside possibly from the ceramics studio, where these people could fit in.  The freaky non-conformist was custom made to work in a record shop, restocking the new “Toto” album and keeping the volume loud.  In fact, if you went to the record shop and the clerk was some freshly scrubbed, Izod-wearing frat boy, you’d immediately know that the store could not possibly be worth a damn.

Today, record stores have pretty much gone the way of home dairy delivery and the ice man.  There might be a few left out there, but you’d have to work hard to find them.  Even if you did locate one, my suspicions are that the ambiance would more closely resemble a specialty antique shop, with employees who looked more like bookstore intellectuals than true fringe-type record store employees.

Contrary to the obvious, the most telling sign of the demise of record stores is not the glaring lack of record stores.  It’s the increasing sightings of record store employees everywhere else in our culture.

I’ll give you a perfect example.  I go to the upscale grocery store weekly.  I’m something of a foodie and certainly no stranger to the dinner table.  I like to walk through the aisles like I’m a contestant on Top Chef, trying to find the perfect ingredients.  There’s one of those record store type people working there.  Apparently he was not satisfied with merely piercing his ears, and instead inserted increasingly larger spacers into his ear lobes.  The store may have dictated that he not wear his spacers or it may have been his own choice.  Regardless, he’s there in the gourmet cheese section, with these giant loops of loose flesh swaying beneath his ears.  I know I already sound like a crotchety old geezer, but those fleshy ear handles don’t do much for my appetite for brie.

I really feel bad for these folks.  A couple of decades ago, they could have been happily employed in record stores, but now they are working at my doctor’s office, their sleeves of tattoo work sneaking out from beneath their scrub jackets and their body piercings leaving strange shapes beneath their clothes.  They are selling us our shoes, with the tell-tale lisp of the tongue piercing.

“We don’t shtock thosh loafersh in a chize chwelve, chir.”

Lately, I’ve been bombarded with tattooed, pierced, mutilated weird looking folks in virtually every aspect of my life.  While I have yet to see a corporate lawyer or bank vice president with a neck tatt of a serpent wrapped around the collar of his  Brooks Brothers pin-point oxford shirt, I have to admit that it may be due to how few bank executives and lawyers I see on a daily basis.

I’m starting to wonder whether or not there could possibly be enough record stores for all of these people to work in, even if there were record stores.  It’s hard not to wonder if I’m sinking into the minority.  Maybe I’m turning into the oddity.

I can’t help but wonder what these people say when they get home to their tattooed, pierced significant others at night.

“Hi honey! How was your day at the gourmet cheese counter?”

“Aw you know honey, same chevre, different day” he’d reply. (cheese humor – only gets riper with age – read this again next month and see if it’s funnier)

“Did you see any interesting people today”

“Well, there was this one weird looking dude” he’d say, “You should’ve seen this freak!  He was older, had his hair cut at about 3/32 of an inch, and I swear, he didn’t have a single extra hole in him or a drop of ink on him!”

“Really?!” she’d cry, amazed that her husband could have seen such a freakish oddity out in public.  “Where do you suppose people who look like that work?!”