I must admit that I do no understand this tattoo craze. The only people that had tats when I was a boy were retired Navy Chief Bosun’s Mates and carnival workers. Now even the elderly are in the game, but I can understand their wanting to be young again. It is the already young I do not understand.
Why would anyone want to permanently scar himself or herself with some hideous looking apparition they adorned themselves with one night while their friends looked on? I know, I know. Some of the tats are cute; little hearts, little angels. My eldest has one that is not too cute and I have often thought of knocking him out with a baseball bat and taking my pocketknife and scraping it off.
Last week at the grocery store, I was in line behind a very obese young Caucasian lady. As she waited in line with enough calories piled in her buggy to fatten Pharaoh’s army, I noticed a tattoo on her left arm that appeared to have been bleached, scraped and rubbed with a pencil eraser as if to get rid of it, though to no avail. It still said in bright, though scabbed and raw looking red letters, “Yours Forever, Ray!” The “yours forever” part was on top of a heart and the “Ray” part on bottom.
I noticed the man she was with and he did not look like a Ray to me. In fact he appeared the very epitome of the one I think of when I see a tequila commercial. Yep, Jose Quervo!
The young lady noticed me looking at her raw place and tried to pull her sleeve down to hide it but her arm was too big. The too small sleeve acted like a tourniquet, thus making the tattoo stand out even more as the red letters were now on a background of blue. She hissed at me through her tooth, gave a menacing stare and said, “He ain’t Ray!”
Well, you know me. I smiled broadly and turned to the man who, by the way, was a foot shorter than the lady and weighed in at a good hundred fifty pounds less and said, “How you doing, Ray.”
Not Ray looked at me and smiled back and said, “Me not Ray.”
“You not Ray,” I said, more as a statement than a question.
“Si,” not Ray said.
‘Well, how you doin’ not Ray,” I asked.
“He don’t speak no English,” the lady hissed.
Not Ray smiled and I began to speak in Spanish, whereupon he began a torrent of words that were Greek to me as I am in infancy Spanish class.
A can of guacamole sauce hit me in the chest and as I looked up, startled, I saw the tattooed lady storm out the double doors. Not Ray gave me a puzzled look, shrugged his shoulders with palms up and dutifully followed her out.
Future growth industry: Home Tattoo Removal Kit. Where is Billy Mays when you need him?
I can't believe how much I enjoy Mr. Vickers' columns. I appreciate that he does speak up and express his opinions!! Our country would be a better place if others followed his example. And to think he gets paid to express these opinions!!