Thursday, April 14, 2016


Before I begin today's post, I have sent letters to the A-to-Z “School” explaining the current absence of letters “G” and “H”. Some drunk took a whack at the intersection of Nebraska and Floribraska (tis the season, because this happened last year, a bit earlier and 2 years ago around this time) and managed to take out the neighborhood's electricity. Also, I have requests to two of my association neighbors regarding our community “F”arms and our “H”istorical buildings and they haven't replied yet. If they don't respond by Friday, I'm just going to make shit up whole cloth and let them deal with the fall out.

Letter “I” is for Ink, as in tattoos and there are many around here of vastly differing qualities, just like the people. We have folks who sport winged steeds on their biceps. Pictures of their loved ones are a big hit, especially if the loved one is deceased. This tends to make me cringe, because portraits of a live (now, dead) person seldom do that person justice. They tend to look rather melty, or kind of unreal, as if they know they're not really supposed to be there.

It's the thought that counts. Right? Right?

When I was homeless, most of the women had tattoos everywhere, calves, thighs, backs, butt cracks and breasts and I'm not sure if they were part of a biker gang at some point, or just what the deal was. In certain circles, it's really popular for a woman to have her child's name tattoo'ed somewhere on her body. I'm not sure if this is in the kid's honor, or if this is just so she can remember his name. Although, some of the names are downright hard to forget and I am not making these up: Quandarious; I bet he's got a brother named Dillemius, Summer; which wouldn't have been so bad, except “Summer” was a guy doing 20 upstate. Knowledge and Beauty Fingers, who used to come and visit Mama in the shelter. They were twins, weighed 700 pounds between the two of them, and were dumb as posts. So, tattoo'ing your kid's name on your ass, or wherever is probably a harbinger of bad things to come.   

Someone actually paid money for this and I'm not sure which parent. This just opens up a whole new line of questioning: was the parent who didn't get or pay for the tattoo pissed? Were they happy with their purchase? What is this poor child going to think when she grows up and brings home a date and Dad busts this out? When Dad walks her down the aisle, will he be wearing a sleeveless Tux, so everyone can see how she turned from a hideous tattoo, into an okay-looking human being? My head is a-whirl.

Then we had the do-it-your-selfers. Most of these came straight from prison or at least a jail cell and could be down-right unrecognizable and undecipherable, although, since it's been several years since I was in that situation, I discovered that prison art has developed to an extremely high form of art and some of it is incredible. The ex-cons I met in the shelter were some of the most interesting, forthright and funny people I met there.

There was one guy in our shelter we called "Crazy Bill" and he wasn't just a few pieces of coal shy a full hod. He only had some dust rattling around in his hod. He babbled worse than I do and made zero sense. I at least would eventually get to some point. I can't remember what kind of idiocy he'd committed to get him sent to prison, but it couldn't have been too bad, he was only there for a year. He got this charming tattoo of his dog and I can't for the life of me, remember the dog's name, so "Fido" will do. The ink-pen smear appeared to me to be more of a house-fly, rather than a house-pet, but we all admired Bill's tattoo and said, "Yup, that's one mighty swell tattoo. I think I can see an eye." Bill was determined to hook up with Tiger Wood's ex-wife. He thought that she would just swoon at the sight of him and they'd live happily ever after. I wonder how that's workin' out for ole' Bill.

They'd already lost everything and they were trying to put their lives back together. They owned up to all of their mistakes and would spend hours telling stories about their time inside and about what had gotten them sent to prison in the first place. But, their tattoos were hilarious and they knew it. There were the usual L-O-V-E and H-A-T-E on some ex-cons knuckles, but the other ex-cons thought that was just beyond trite. They usually had the name of some girl tattoo'ed on their arms, or an indecipherable blob that was their favorite pet. My very favorite one, was the guy who had a gal named “Polly” and the tattoo artist had inked “My <3 belongs to bolly!” Even he laughed at that.   

My mother had a tattoo, and my father, although he served in 2 wars, once in the Army in World War II and in Korea as an Air Force Captain, did not. I do not have a tattoo, although I thought about it seriously for quite a while and then decided not to. I have only one ear piercing on each ear and that is the extent of my body modifications. I'm fine with that. It is interesting though to see people who are in their 60s and 70s with tattoos they've had for 40 and 50 years and try to figure out just what in hell that is they have tattoo'ed on their neck.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That baby tattoo is horrible! Just think how much worse it will get with age.

Beth Lapin said...

Hope your posting problems are solved and you continue your blog.

Beth Lapin
Activities for a Good Life