Tit for tat: Keep your ink to yourself

So you’ve recently gotten a tattoo, huh?

Congratulations! You seem real proud of it, showing it to all of your co-workers, unsolicited and all. Thank you for that. I think I speak for most of society when I say we all are deeply interested in examining deformities on your skin. Perhaps if you have a birthmark or ugly mole you’d be kind enough to let us have a gander at that, too.

And what a beautiful tattoo it is. A large, multicolored dragon. Nice. I used to like dragons, too. Then I turned 8.

What’s that? You have more than one tattoo? What a shocker. Yes, please. Of course I want to see them all. Be careful though. Once you get more than three tattoos, you’re required by law to become a stripper.

Ha! I’m joking, of course. Your tattoos happen to be classy and dignified. I noticed this yesterday when you bent down to change the copy machine toner.

Wow. There’s one with angels and wings and stuff. What’s that all about? It has “deep personal significance and getting it was very spiritual,” you say? Of course. As any theologian will tell you, spiritual experiences usually end up with you handing your debit card over to a guy in a wife-beater named “Bucky.”

Personally I like those on your arm. It’s good to get your kids tattooed on your biceps, just in case you forget their names. And please don’t get all hung by a couple of tiny mistakes. The important thing is that the tattoo artist spelled most of them correctly.

No, no. I’m not judging. I don’t care what you do to your own body, I’m just curious why you got all those. What’s that? You’re expressing “your individuality?” I understand. You can really stand out from the crowd by doing something 98 percent of the population has already done.

What is that mysterious-looking one there on your neck? It’s the Chinese symbol for “Strength?” Are you sure? Maybe the tattoo artist was just messing with you. Maybe it’s actually the Chinese symbol for “Foot Odor.” I’d go home and Google it if I were you.

I noticed you have a couple of these Chinese symbols on you. You obviously possess a deep, profound, lifelong appreciation for Chinese culture. Or maybe Asian clip art was 20 percent off that day.

I kid around, but if tattoos make you happy, go for it. Just don’t think the rest of us are impressed by them. And please don’t ask if we want to see them, because it’ll be awkward. You’ll show them off to us while we sit there with our fake smiles, nodding insincerely, not knowing what to say. Kind of like when someone shows you an odd-looking baby.

Again, I’m not making fun of you. I’m in the tattoo club, too.

It was a Saturday afternoon during my junior year of college. A bunch of us succumbed to peer pressure and went to get our fraternity letters inked on our ankle. The fact I was pretty hesitant should have told me something. You know it’s bad when even a drunk 20-year-old guy thinks it’s a stupid idea.

So we drove down to a place on East Colfax in Denver. Yes, I know. That section of town gets a bad rap, but all the pimps and crack dealers we happened to run into were very nice. Plus this particular business was a classy tattoo parlor, by which I mean they wiped off the needles in between every third or fourth use.

Anyway, we all nervously watched as each guy sat down for his tattoo. During the process, one of the guys screamed, then starting crying like a little girl. He was pretty pathetic. What’s that? Well … actually, yes. It was me. That’s not the point.

The point is you don’t want to see my tattoo, and we don’t want to see yours. Yes, you’re very proud of it.

We get it. But it’s just ink on your skin. You didn’t cure cancer.

So let’s all agree to keep our tattoos to ourselves. Button your pants back up and straighten out your shirt.

And please, try to do something about that foot odor.

E-mail suggestions for Steve Beauregard’s next tattoo to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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