When I am King: Tattle Tale

When I am King...

Tattoos will be more realistic.

I spent the day at a waterpark, which wasn’t so much about body surfing as it was about body art. There were tattoos everywhere. I haven’t seen so much ink since my daughter figured out that felt-tip pens work really well on walls and furniture.

You can say that I’m not a hipster (No, really: say that I’m not a hipster. Please.). But I spent far too much of my Navy-brat childhood looking at sailor tattoos that probably used to look good years ago (at least before the sailor passed out in the tattoo parlor and woke up the next morning).

That delicate and beautiful dragon you've just covered your torso in will one day look like a butterfly drawn by a drunk toddler. In bile.

These things just don’t age well. You can tell me about the artistry (No, really: Don’t tell me about the artistry. Please). You can say that the technology is better now. You can say it’s a living art piece, whose changes you’ll always appreciate. But when your skin sags, or the surgery sews things shut in just the wrong way, or when those beautiful dark greens fade to the color of 1950s dinnerware, you might start wearing shirts again. And pants. And maybe body casts. Because that shit isn’t ever going to look better.

When I am King, tattoos will be drawn realistically. First, the artist will take a green Sharpie pen (the large-tipped one, the one that puts a stain on your dining room table that you’ll never stop noticing. That one). Then the tip will be mashed so that the felt is shattered and splayed out in several directions. Then the original, detailed design will be drawn with that pen onto your skin while the artist is blindfolded. And high. And suspended upside-down. You will then wear that design for a week and, if you still want it, you will be allowed to get that tattoo permanently (inked into the exact shape created by the mashed Sharpie, of course).

If you want something to remember, take a picture. If you want something to regret, get a tattoo.

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