Here’s Looking At You, Kid
Getting tattooed, at least in Western cultures, used to be solely in the realm of sailors and cheap crooks. Not any more. These days millions of people get a little butterfly or whatever inked on their body usually in a location where only a lover or a doctor would ever see it. However, there are people who just don’t know when to say “Enough.”
The idea of getting facial tattoos still remains largely in the prison/criminal gang subculture. There are others who get facial “tats” who are not criminals. I would put them in the file drawer under “I didn’t know I could drink that much” or just plain “Nuts.”
In the course of my travels and fifteen years of living in the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco, I have known several non-inmates with various facial tattoos. Testing a theory of mine involved chatting with them for a while and then mentioning Parents and Family. Invariably, that would light their fuses. They would express anger and even hatred for their family members. Most of them had clashed with their parents over dangerous or illegal behaviors and left home vowing to never return.
In my layman’s interpretation of their stories I saw the facial tats as a way of saying, “You reject me? Well, I reject you. I reject everyone.” It was a way of running away from home and fragging off the Old Man on the way out the door.
In the criminal/gang world the tattoos are like a resume′ – your gang affiliation and criminal history. I would think that a wallet size ID card would be less trouble, but who am I to criticize?
Then there are those people who I’m sure woke up one morning after a really bad weekend of drinking and pharmaceutical abuse and looked in the mirror.
This picture I lifted from a News site. This chap is being sought by the police in California after he escaped from a prison work detail. If you are in the Stockton area and you see this lovely face – well, you know what to do.
I’d say that this Bozo’s chances of escaping detection are about Zero. He’d be easy to spot in a heavy fog, at night, in a coal mine. Some people don’t think ahead. I doubt if he thought at all – ever.
It’s a good thing that he is a criminal. What other line of work could he enter looking like that? All I can think of is he might find work as a Piñata.
A current fashion is for young women to get tattooed in the small of the back. These tats are colloquially known as “Tramp Stamps” and it has nothing to do with Hobos. I figure that if someone wants to carry around that badge for the next few decades – so be it.
But what kind of label gets pasted on someone with a facial tattoo? Criminal? Gang Banger? Circus Freak? Unmarried? What woman is going to look at these guys and say, “Hello there, Tall, Dark, and Illustrated?”
If I had a daughter and one of these jokers showed up at our front door asking for my little Princess I would want to give him a new tattoo called the “Daddy Stamp.” The next day my daughter would be off to the convent with the Little Sisters of the Nine O’clock Curfew.
I think I’ll skip the whole idea of getting a tattoo of any kind for myself. After all, how can you improve on perfection?