Monday, November 15, 2010

does anyone counsel a girl before she gets a tramp stamp?

Team Testosterone and I enjoyed our overnight at the waterpark in the Dells--we went down every waterslide, played basketball, raced down the body flume (which I dominated due to my weight advantage) and rode the roller coaster (my back is still sore from all the jolting and jarring). Getting away like that was a great relief. Plus, it's fun to just hang out with my kids and not be nagging at them to do their homework or clean up their junk.

While there, I was again amused by the prolific amount of body art--particularly on twentysomething men who seem to slap tattoos on their bodies in the same way my sons paste temporary tattoos on themselves. It's so random. One guy had a knife sketched on his love handle, a bottle of beer on his opposite shoulder, a heart on one arm, a miscellaneous Chinese character on his other arm, bands around his lower legs and a cross on his chest. But they were all really cheap looking, no color, blurry lines, shapes out of proportion.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate good body art. We saw a couple while on vacation this summer--both had the most detailed and intricate designs covering their entire torsos--like turtlenecks. The colors were vibrant, the work clearly planned out in advance, the precision quite professional. They looked artistic--amazing, really. But there's a world of difference between "good body art" and really pathetic, bleeding, fading ink jobs. What I saw in the Dells was cheap, and it seems a shame to inject that much bad black ink into one's skin without proper thought and planning. I mean, that's a painful decision to correct or erase! If you're going to adorn yourself permanently, I think you should put a little quality and consideration into it.

But one guy had me howling. He sported a seagull flying over waves on his one arm (in black, but not really black, more like dark navy--no color added), the requisite Chinese symbol on his other, a knife impaled on his right shin, some writing on his left. I floated behind him and his girlfriend down the lazy river, noting his attempt at growing facial hair (patchy) and wondering how much a substandard tattoo costs these days. Then their inner tube turned around and I saw the tattoo taking over his entire back. In letters 4 inches high, all caps, Gothic font, he'd asked someone to write "Lone Wolf." Below was a drawing of a wolf.

Which made me think of this, of course:

And I started to giggle. Alan Garner from The Hangover.

Alan Garner: You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack... it grew by one. So there... there were two of us in the wolf pack... I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later. And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought, "Wait a second, could it be?" And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast!

I wondered if his tattoo was intended to be ironic.

But the hands-down winner of "Most Regrettable Tattoo" belonged to the 18-year-old lifeguard who'd had "Kim + Nate 4Ever" written in cursive on her lower back. Yeah. She'll be asking someone to change that in the next couple years.

And speaking of wolves ... did you know they're related to dogs?

But that's a story for tomorrow, maybe.

Spill it, reader. Your funniest tattoo sighting.


  1. This isn't a funny tattoo but my niece recently had a tattoo done that starts in front on one shoulder, goes all the way across her back and wraps around the other shoulder. It was very well done but the picture is of a huge crow wrapped around her body with dandelions (the white, past peak kind) losing their seeds all over her shoulders. I really didn't know what to say when I saw it because I can't stand crows or dandelions. I was trying to find some positive thing to point out but I was pretty much speechless!

  2. Hilarious post. Love the wolf illustration that clarifies "Lone Wolf."
    My funny tattoo story: I had a particularly obnoxious young male trauma patient who was throwing tantrums about having to have blood work done. We noticed that this "afraid of needles" patient had a tattoo. The doctor, who was Chinese, said, "Ah, I see you have a Chinese character tattoo." The patient grunted, "Yeah, it means 'brother.'" and the Chinese doctor said, "No it doesn't."

    I never asked what it DID mean.

  3. The girl across the street had a huge tat done the day she turned 18. It was angel wings with her boyfriend's name. She's now 21 and has married (and divorced) someone else.

    The worst thing I ever saw was a very elderly woman with tats on her hands. I don't know what they were and I don't know how old she was - she looked really rode hard & put up wet - but it was a big example about why NOT to have a tattoo.

  4. I hate tattoos...really really hate them

  5. My husband came with tattoos. I must say they look awesome on him and are very well done. There is one around his belly button. He deliberately chose this spot because it is the best incentive ever to refrain from growing a pot belly...

    He also has a moustache on the side of his left index finger. Whenever he is dealing with difficult people, he pulls out the moustache. Works like a charm!

  6. Most tattoos crack me up---really?!? So a college friend got a huge fairy tramp stamp one year during spring break...after 15 some odd years and a few kids later, I'm pretty sure it looks like a 4 year old's drawing of jabba the hutt ;)

  7. I was sitting in an IEP meeting with a mom who had many random tattoos on her overweight body. None looked good; basic outlines, nothing color or artistic looking. She wore a tube top and overalls - lots of her tats showed. Amongst the collection was a Thumper rabbit from Bambi. It was so out of place!

  8. I know a New York tattoo artist with scenes from the Ramayana all over him. It is AWESOME!

    My own tattoo is more of the fuzzy it-was-one-of-those-moments ones. But I love it. It reminds me of a completely irresponsible and mad time. It's a butterfly, which now symbolises, to me, an emerging from a cocoon kinda thing.

  9. Love the Wolfpack reference--it was what I had just thought of.

    I can't think of any specific bad tattoos, but you're right--bad ink is not good at all.

  10. I saw one at the gym, which is another good place to see tattoos. It did look nice on a guy's inside of his forearm in a nice script it said 'Grandma'. It made me wonder if there were issues with his mother that he got grandma.

  11. Hopey is assuming that you know a "tramp stamp" refers to a tattoo, ususally on ladies, positioned on the lower back area, seen riding just above the belt-line of the pants....? It refers to the area of the tattoo, not so much the tattoo itself. But y'all knew that. *heh*
    * ; )

    Sarah, wth are you contributing with that comment? If you hate tattoos, and this post is about tattoos, and you can't even think of one extra-stupid one to talk about, next time just keep the H8 to yourself. geez.

    I think the worst one I've seen was a unicorn with a penis on its head. Just a picture, not IRL.

    I'm also hard-pressed to find a facial tattoo that I really like...I find most of them very distracting, a la Mike Tyson. Ew!

    And can you imagine getting a "cosmetic" tattoo of eyebrows or eyeliner? SCARY!! !! It's your FACE!!

  12. TRIVIA: They call it a "tramp stamp" because when getting tattooed enjoyed a surge in popularity among the youngsters back in the 90's, that area (lower back) became a popular spot for chicks who 'just wanted a tattoo' to get inked, as their slutty, low-riding jeans and midriff-baring tops would easily show it off at the club...thus..."tramp stamp" became the slang term for it among those of us who spend a little more time and effort on our tattoos
    * ; )

    ~ tattoo PSA ~

  13. I saw an older woman with her entire arm done with colorful tattoos while at the Quilt Show. But upon closer inspection, it was just one of those tattoo sleeves you slip onto your arm.

    She must be a fun one.

    If I ever got one, I think I'd go with the mustache on the finger mentioned by Hanneke...genius! (If a tattoo can be considered genius...)

  14. I mostly dislike tattoos if they dominate someone's body, but I've seen a few that I really admire. I don't like to look at Kat VonD because I think she's really quite pretty but she's gone over the top with decorating her body.

    My daughter has a cute butterfly and my son has one on his shoulder that looks really nice. I sometimes think I'd get one and then I remember what a pansy I am and how much I dislike needles. LOL - that leaves good tattoos out for me!

    I had a patient once (back when I was doing physical therapy) who had a bumble bee on his penis. He said he'd had to get really, really drunk to have it done. I guess...

  15. Hm. I think the funnest (?) tattoo I've ever seen was on a guy at Bike Week a couple of years ago. He had a helmet tattooed on his bald head. It was one of those bowl-shaped helmets, not a real safety helmet, and it looked really cool.

    I like the celtic rope tattoos around men's biceps. I don't know why. I guess it just looks primal.

    Tattoos on women just don't make sense to me. I know it's sexist, but I'm not sure what the image they're going for is. Tough, beautiful, cool? And little ankle tattoos? Meh. Maybe I'm just not the demographic.

    Oh, but the worst ever was probably the Hefty Smurf tattoo I saw on a really big dude at the gym in the 80's. Yeahhhh.

  16. This post is hilarious! I can visualize all that crappy ink. But the Lone Wolf made me laugh out loud. Especially on the Lazy River!

    I can't think of any awful ink right now. Most of my people have good tattoos.

  17. My brother's example of ink-gone-wrong is a blurry, puffy little vehicle of some sort displayed on his arm--- more Tonka truck than muscle car. My favorite is one I've only heard about... Middle Child as a toddler blundered into the bathroom where my straight-laced father-in-law was showering only to report that, "Papa has a FLOWER on his butt!"

  18. funnnnnnnny. i have a small tattoo...luckily it's ot a trampstamp! haha


Spill it, reader.