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Thursday, August 6, 2009

And Tat's all There is to it

Heard an interesting piece on the news today about how tattoo removal is projected to become a multi-billion-a-year business in the US alone.

I don’t see how that’s possible. I mean, all you have to do is wait for a while and the tattoo just wears off, right? In fact, usually when I get a tattoo, I forget to hold the cold washcloth on it long enough and then when I peel the paper back my “Superman” tattoo ends up looking like a cross between a dead fish and a llama with dysentery.

I guess maybe they’re talking about more washcloths being needed to scrub the ugly llamas off?

What? You mean they’re talking about THE OTHER KIND of tattoos? And it turns out that it’s even more expensive to get one off than to put it on?

Does this all seem kind of weird to anyone but me? First of all, I have had sharp pointy things poked into me by people who were not my friends. They did it mostly for free. So as a rule I must admit I have no wish to pay a stranger to stick sharp pointy things into me, and leave behind permanent proof that he did it. But that’s just me.

Nonetheless, it does kill me the number of people that are getting “tats” all over at the age of 16 or 18, or even 20 or 22. At some point it stops being about a cool tat and starts being a social statement.

And what’s the statement? Probably something like “I want to be poor.”

See, a rock star can get away with tattoos. He’s rich, and in a field that promotes that kind of activity.

But the majority of us are going to end up wanting to be teachers or architects or doctors or things like that.

And believe me, nothing says “Hire me” to HR at a major law firm like a teardrop tat and “Born to Burn” emblazoned across the back of your head.

Having said all that, then, I guess it isn’t such a surprise that tattoo removal is getting ready for big numbers. At some point, most people realize they have to grow up (my wife is still waiting on me). That means paying the bills. And that usually goes hand in glove with LOOKING like someone who pays the bills.

Which, in turn, implies that tattoos may not be the “wicked cool” thing they’re generally perceived as by the people getting them. Rather, they are more likely “wicked cool today, wicked dumb tomorrow.”

And don’t even get me started on the people who look like they’re trying to turn their earlobes into basketball hoops.

I’d say more (like about the tattoos all the girls are getting on their backs – you know, the ones right above their tooshes – which I suspect are going to look rather odd as they age and the things stretch out to resemble silly putty faces), but I gotta go. I hear University of Phoenix has an online course in tattoo removal, and I want a piece of THAT pie.

10 comments:

Erika said...

LOL! John calls those tats "tramp stamps". The number one rule to smart tattooing is the T-shirt and jeans rule. If it can't be reasonably covered by a T-shirt and jeans, don't do it! :P
I have to say, though, if I ever got cancer and had to go through chemo and all my hair fell out, I'd get a wicked kewl tattoo on my skull. Because either I'd go into remission and my hair would grow all back, or I'd be on my way out, in which case I wouldn't be looking for a job anymore!

Michelle said...

where do you get those Llama Dysentary tats? I gotta get me one! yeah, I grew out of my I reeeeeelly need a tattoo phase when I was about 20. Now the only reason I want one is to shock my hubby and get one right on my "cheeks" (the pants ones) that reads...
"Bill loves my _________ (enter name of home based business) business." which he actually does not love, but truly resents the time and energy I put into my businesses. so, yeah, thinking I will not do that one either. But once at a Creative Memories convention I was nearly talked into it by my tattoo covered fellow creative Memories Consultant. how nice would that be?
gone for a week without Bill at a Creative Memories convention and come home with "Bill Loves my Creative Memories Business" on my backside. does that come off with a washcloth?

Amy said...

I have to say you hit the nail right on the head! I got my first tattoo at 18 on a my rear; which, if I was going to get one, was a smart place. After all, who sees that part of my body?

My second tattoo was an act of sheer idiocy. It was long before I joined the church in 2007, and I remember my mother telling me to not do it - I'd have to wear socks to the temple to see my children get married (notice how she knew I would join the church before *I* did?). Let's just say that there is a reason that I wear long skirts to church 95% of the time.

I have thought about getting my ring of flowers removed from my ankle but I'm not quite there yet. For me, it's a daily reminder of how far I have come. That and I don't look forward to having to pay more to get it removed than I did to get it in the first place!

My nieces and nephews enjoy giving me a hard time when I preach at them to not make the same mistake I did!

Jeremy Dodd said...

Stretching out with age? Expensive removal? This is why I forego tattoos and go straight to ritual scarification.

Michaelbrent said...

Love all the comments, but have to give highest points to Jeremy for being funny AND showing word economy (we all need to save in this financial environment).

Dan said...

I love tattoos. I dont see why everyone has problems with them. There is nothing better than seeing a fairy or a smurf... who am I kidding. My favorite scene from the new X-Men movie is the part where Wolverine says to Fred Dukes it looks like his girlfriend has put on 100 pounds.

monika said...

I advised my tattoo-happy nephew to use the "white shirt and tie" rule of thumb, as he may need to get a job as a bank teller to cover his bills until his garage band hits the big time. After the three tattoos for his mom, who begged him not to do it, I could tell he wasn't going to listen to "don't do it", so I came off as "cool", a plus I didn't care about. (I was also cool because I advised him to comb and condition his hair if he wasn't going to cut it.)
The trouble with getting a tat removed is that I don't think people realize how painful a removal is! They laser it off, a burning process, in a series of visits. OUCH. Then there is a scar to admire and show off.
I have a friend who got a tat at a "less than reputable" establishment (I have never seen a tattoo parlor that looked like you wouldn't pick something up just walking in, but maybe I frequent the wrong neighborhoods.) at the tender age of 16. His tiger looked so bad that he had new tattoo designed to cover and change it. Now he just looks like he has a mess on his bicep. VERY um, sexy, yeah. Makes me jealous every day.
My husband jokes about getting an angel Moroni on his shoulder, just to help him make the right decisions, ya know.
I am personally very fond of the lovely little tats that gals get just above their hip hugging bikini's. Those will look FAB after a child and stretch marks! My own abdomen looks like Freddy Krueger came after me, but I really shouldn't be bragging like this!

Oh, yeah, ever noticed the signs heading to Utah once you leave Vegas? The bill boards on the way down from St. George are for casinos, etc... the ones as you leave and head north are for tattoo removal and divorce attorneys. Someone should invest heavily in both arenas. They would make a killing.

Michaelbrent said...

Response to Dan: wow, most randommest comment ever.

So I liked it.

Matt "Free Lunch" said...

I would gladly contribute to the billion dollar a year fund by having my tramp-stamp removed from my lower back. It's "Jesus" in Chinese, but originally wanted it in Hebrew. Impatience got the best of me, and I settled for chinese. Hey! Maybe you can help me sand it off! LOL! No offense to the Saviour, of course.

Kendra said...

I agree with Dan! I have always known that i never want a tat for the vain reason that i know my bod is not going to remain in the same shape for lone! Ewwwwwww!

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