I have somehow neglected to get a tattoo. I'm not alone.
But the new extreme inking is by no means confined to the sporting set. Everywhere I look in Florida, I clock old geezers with hammocks and the word “Margaritaville” emblazoned across their burly sun-blasted torsos. Chicks, too: Today I saw a superannuated South Beach swinger boasting a tarantula on her right shoulder. Every time she hoisted her sippy cup to her lips the spider jiggled. And it’s no longer just a class thingy: I even saw tats at the legendarily WASP-y Bath and Tennis Club in Palm Beach. OK, so they were on the leg of the car-park valet, but just you wait. Next year, the old broads in the canasta salon will be sporting radical ink. Mark my words.
In the past there was one reason, and one reason only, to ink up: A tattoo confirmed your status as a scary outsider rebel carny outlaw sociopath. “Don’t mess with me because I am insane,” was the intended message. And it worked. Remember Robert Mitchum in Night of The Hunter? When he cuts Shelley Winters’ throat we are hardly surprised: We knew trouble was on the horizon as soon as we saw the words LOVE and HATE inked across his knuckles. Tattoos meant mayhem.
Cut to today: Having a tattoo has lost its original meaning. Having a tattoo now has no meaning. Having a tattoo means that you have a tattoo. [More]I prefer to think of it as "like-new" condition.
On a totally unrelated note: Anybody need a automatic talc dispenser? It is similarly new-in-box, and too big for our embarrassingly small model of seed tender. Will autograph. Make an offer.