Tattoo phew

Reason No. 237 to be self-employed: You can wear as many tattoos as you like.

Number of tattoos worn by this self-employed writer: Zero.

Number of tattoos planned for the future: What's less than zero?

Tattoos have been on my mind lately, partly because a friend (who's a year older than me) announced he was getting one. He even invited his pals to make suggestions as to what the tattoo should say or depict. My proposal: "I've lost my mind. If you find it, please call (his number)."

I know tattoos are "body art" and a valuable tool for self-expression and completely safe (hah!) and a matter of personal choice and blah, blah, blah. I never would criticize your decision to get a tattoo. But they're not for me.

The popularity of tattoos exploded in the 1990s, and these days it seems they're sported by everybody and his sister. A survey by the "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology" found that 24 percent of Americans between 18 and 50 have at least one tattoo. That's up from two 2003 surveys that found between 15 and 16 percent tattooed.

Among those aged 18 to 29, a whopping 36 percent had a tattoo, the new survey found.

This, despite the fact that some employers hate them. A recent study by Marketwatch.com found that job interviewers rate tattoos as the fifth biggest turnoff, after poor grooming, inappropriate attire, a weak handshake and piercings. If you get a tattoo that can't easily be hidden by clothing, you're taking the risk of inking yourself out of the job market.

Which brings me back to self-employment. People like me, who work at home and rarely meet customers in person, can decorate themselves from head to toe, if they like. But you won't catch me with a tattooed menagerie or a bone through my nose.

Why? Because I'm a big chicken.

I have many, many fears -- snakes, crowds, prison, public humiliation, teen-agers, guys named Floyd, all things medical -- but no phobia's bigger than my fear of needles. I'm a full grown man, but I must close my eyes and bite my lip to take a shot at the doctor's office. At the movies, I can watch people get blown up all day long, but show a needle injecting skin and I have to put my hands over my eyes.

The ultimate scary movie for me would be: "Snakes on a Plane Full of Teen-Aged Doctors With Hypodermics."

But even we chickens think about tattoos and what ours would say or show, if we could get one while, say, unconscious or dead. So I've got some ideas. Feel free to have these slogans inked on your own body, but if you work outside the home, put them where your employer won't see. (I have suggestions for where, but I'll leave that to your imagination.)

Some Possible Tattoos:

--This Side Up
--Born to be Mild
--Live Fast, Die Young and Leave a Decorated Corpse
--If you can read this, you're too close.
--I'm With Stupid (with arrow)
--No Lawn Mowers (with hula girl)
--Paid in Full
--My parents went to Europe, and all I got was this lousy tattoo.
--Open Other End
--No Riders
--Out of Order
--Wet Paint
--Please Attend Your Baggage
--Continued on Other Side
--Death to the Infidel!
--Mission Accomplished!
--Read It and Weep
--I'd Rather Be Flinching
--Insert Hepatitis Virus Here
--Kiss me, I'm Boorish.
--Please ignore this tattoo and hire me. Please.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Hmmm....Guess I will continue to buy Cracker Jacks, hoping for the ones with tattoo sheets.