Tat for Tit…Er, Ankle

By Lavender March 13, 2008

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So, there I was, faced with another birthday. The way I saw it, I had essentially three choices: (1) Celebrate; (2) Despair; or (3) Get a tattoo. I’ve gone the celebratory route before. What a disappointment! Who in their right mind would think cash is not an appropriate gift? Of course, it is touching to be told, “The world is a better place with you in it.” And, had anyone said that to me, rather than “If you don’t like chocolate Slim Fast, just exchange it for a case of vanilla,” the experience might actually have been pleasant.

Despair, on the other hand, is something I can do anytime. In fact, it really isn’t an option at all. I wake up. Drink some coffee. I despair. That’s hardly the makings for a special day.

So, having exhausted all logical possibilities, and enough Yukon Jack shooters to launch a space shuttle, it became clear that I had but one choice: Get a tattoo.

And why not? Tattoos have contributed significantly to our society. After all, were it not for this ancient art form: Cher might have been less compelled to make a music video onboard a US Navy vessel, wearing little more than a nonregulation leather cobweb; heavy metal rock bands would end up looking like just a bunch of scrawny guys with long hair, instead of a bunch of tattooed scrawny guys with long hair; and, perhaps most important of all, we may never have had the opportunity to see Britney Spears’s “tramp stamp” above her butt-crack.

But talk about pressure. First, you must select the tattoo. Not since that “Discover the Wonders of Spam: A Doorstop? An Entrée?” smorgasbord have I been so overwhelmed with such enticing choices. I considered several traditional tattoos: hideous bloody skulls (like I need a permanent reminder of how radiant I look in the morning); women with huge breasts (would anyone really believe it was a self-portrait?); or one of those razor-toothed, venom-spewing, or otherwise unlikable members of the animal kingdom (I have trouble enough making friends).

I asked my best friend, Jeff, how he’d feel about me getting a tattoo with his name and BFF etched underneath. He glanced over, tears in his eyes, and softly whispered, “I really think your ATM personal identification number would be a better choice.”

According to historical accounts, tattoos were once thought to possess magical powers. Even today, members of some cultures tattoo themselves to ward off evil. I suppose it would be worth a try, but I seriously doubt Bill O’Reilly would even notice.

In some countries, tattoos also have been used to designate people’s rank in society. As a proud owner of a 1976 Pacer, however, I think my status is self-evident.

Fortunately, my tattooer, Boots—yes, I thought about asking, but when someone’s holding a 120-volt needle, you tend to become significantly less inquisitive—helped me decide.

“Look, lady, I don’t have all day,” he said. “You get the daisies, or you get out.”

Placement was the next, and perhaps the most difficult, decision. Again, Boots gently guided me through this delicate process. “I need a smooth, firm surface,” he explained. “From what I can ascertain, that pretty much eliminates everything but the heel of your left foot.”

After signing several documents relieving him of all responsibility if my daisies ended up looking like one of your less attractive skin conditions, I persuaded Boots to give my left ankle a try.

The pain wasn’t nearly as bad as anticipated, and I appreciated Boots sharing his 12-pack with me. Admittedly, I did get a little nervous when he practically tore the place apart searching for White-Out, and I wondered why he kept asking, “You always wear socks, don’t you?”

I was afraid to look for a good two weeks, but I think my tattoo is, well, permanent.

And Boots? I was thrilled to learn he also does body piercings.

Lucky me. I was wondering how to celebrate my college graduation with despair.

Well, what the hell. Consider the source.

Bye for now.
Kiss, kiss.

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