I need a tattoo about as much as I want to get a root canal.
However, I’ve lately been obsessed by the prospect of getting inked.
Blame it on the suggestive power of reality TV.
The other day, a marathon of tattoo themed shows was on one of the cable channels.
One was modeled after the foodie show that features troubled restaurants. In this case, two tough Jersey boys go around rescuing tattoo shops in danger of folding.
Another had contestants vying to become the “Ink Master.” It’s sort of like “American Idol,” only the contestants are armed with tattoo needles. And instead of just one mean judge, all three are pretty militant.
The last show was a cautionary one in which sheepish customers show up at a shop where three tattoo artists billed as being among “the nation’s best” specialize in covering up embarrassing ink.
At first, I wondered why anyone would think that producing one show based on tattooing would be a good thing, much less three.
After a while, though, I found myself wondering what I would get. I even started looking up possibilities on the Internet.
For some people, motorcyclists for instance, the choices seem endless. But I don’t ride a bike. I’m a middle-aged, married man with two kids, a giant dog and a cat who’s so mean she scares me. Plus, I commute to work in a sensible four-door sedan.
In fact, the only motor with attitude I own is the one I make my son use to mow the lawn. Somehow, I don’t think getting a lawn mower tattooed on my left bicep and a matching weed-eater on the right strikes the proper tattoo tone.
I thought of getting one with a West Virginia theme.
The state flower, the rhododendron, came to mind. I could landscape my chest with an image of one.
I also thought about getting the state flag on my arm or a snarling cardinal with its wings spread wide on my back, ready to strike.
Or a pepperoni roll on my stomach. They end up there anyway, so why not?
I know what my wife would say, the same thing she said when I once threatened to get an ear pierced and enthused that perhaps a nostril stud would look awesome.
I let it drop after she told me I’m not hip enough.
That’s why I know better than to ask her about tattoos. So the other day I went to my straight-arrow 15-year-old son. He let me down too, saying I wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
In other words, NOT. HIP. ENOUGH.
If I can’t get a tattoo because I lack something other people with ink seem to have, at least I’ve proved tough enough to endure getting one.
Earlier this week, I watched my dentist get his drills and needles out and go to work inside my mouth.
I had to have a root canal.
While I may not be hip enough for a tattoo, at least I can get through THAT without flinching.
Well, not much anyway.