A few years ago a writer claimed tattoos are the new cigarettes.  I thought she was full of baloney.  She claimed smoking was a sign of individualism.  When it became frowned upon, she postulated, tattoos became the sign of individuality.

my dad got a wolf tattoo on one bicep, a skull and bones on one hand and his name on a forearm

I think she was smoking wacky weed.  When a lot of people puffed cigarettes there wasn’t anything but herd behavior.  There was a Frank Sinatra movie on TV from 1958, which I watched Saturday.  Everybody in the picture smoked.  About the same time the movie was made my dad got a wolf tattoo on one bicep, a skull and bones on one hand and his name on a forearm.  Tattoos were, at the time, generally worn by servicemen and bikers.  These were very much individual markers, although.  They often signified membership in a small tribe or organization.  Much like the history you see with warriors on Pacific islands.

The other day I saw a photograph of a woman with a tattooed bicep.  Someone told me it was a member of our state legislature (a woman I find to be very pleasant).  Judging by the conservative personalities among even Idaho Democrats, she’s very much an independent spirit.

I’ve got no tattoos or nose rings or body piercings.  For a couple of reasons.  What if I change my mind 5 years after the alteration?  And there’s an old notion among some Israelites.  It’s that a tattoo would block passage to heaven.  For me, it appears vanity.

By the way, I had to chuckle at this story.  It’s about colossal failures with some tattoos.  It’s not like you can get an eraser out and simply rub them away!