The Day I’ll Tattoo My Ass

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… ink, pieces, skin art, tats, work, tramp stamp…

Ubiquitous. Universal. Inescapable.

Everywhere I look, everywhere I go… TATTOOS

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have none… yet.

When I cook a meal for guests I like to make the presentation of the fare over-the-top beautiful. Lots of garnish and exotic flare like colourful Bhangra dancers.

Sure, it’s delightful when my Rogan Josh or Chicken Cacciatore looks sumptuously appealing, but the down-deep real reason I want it to look appetizing is … well… my culinary flavour creations don’t always connect… make the grade… you know, taste good.

But if my food looks sensuously ravishing, there’s a small chance, a wee opportunity, that it will fool the unsuspecting nosher into thinking I’m an amazing chef.

Smoke and mirrors a là sous-chef.

Many of us get taken in by smoke and mirrors all the time. I do.

The whole concept of buyer’s remorse is based on a clever marketer convincing us that something is better, more useful, tastier than it really is. When was the last time you ate a Big Mac or Olive Garden entree that looked like the one in the TV commercial?

So I’m thinking along the same lines when I consider the notion of having my ass tattooed (this has absolutely nothing to do with flavour!).

It’s about cheeky smoke and mirrors.

superman tattoo

My friend Sam says she’d never get a tattoo because, in her words, “who in the world would put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?”

But I’m getting older and my “bumpers” are less solid and stolid than they were when I was a young pup, despite the innumerable squats, deadlifts and lunges I ply my way through in the gym … my vintage gluteal folds are beginning to fold in on themselves like an origami crane.

Yes, my once Ferrari-hot ass (some prefer to describe it as a VW Beetle) is aging alongside me.

I need more concealing smoke in my mirror.

The thought of having some ink art on my backside royal real estate could be just the thing to restore the curb appeal to this sagging classic.

Idea… I could return some long-lost lustre to the old castle cheek-turrets: how about a nice long Martin guitar neck sloped diagonally from my upper thigh across my butt cheek to my lower back, some Nashville harmony in my rearview mirror… or perhaps an Ironman logo with a playful water splash atop a Tour de France-style cyclist would add a robust perkiness to my backside, do you think?

guitar tattoo

All of this is a possibly creepy aside to a discussion my wife and I had the other day about tattoos and the lack of creativity our society exercises with the potential uses of body art. When you think about it, we squander some great tattooing Idea Sex possibilities.

Just a few thoughts that cropped up about the potential of tattoos – and please feel free to add your own inventive thoughts to this – were:

  1. Transplant Tattoo – tattoo removal is growing in popularity at the same time that tattoo production is flourishing. Why remove and lose that amazing art when tattoo skin grafts could be lifted and shifted from one person to another. When Jennie splits with Mark, why not have the romantic blossoming rose emblazoned with Jennie’s name surgically excised away from Mark’s bicep and delicately moved on to her new “forever” man Arjit’s torso.
  2. Funeral Tattoo – when we draw our final breath and no longer need the physical shell that sustained us, should the art that adorned and decorated, the craftwork that colourfully spoke of who we were, just decompose or go up in smoke along with the rest of our epithelial wrinkles? Of course not… Michelangelo’s been gone for centuries and still we droolingly visit Florence to admire his artistic power (and maybe the pasta and gelato!). Why shouldn’t we memorialize ourselves in perpetuity by removing the artwork of our outer rind, cure it like a buffalo hide, frame it decorously in memoriam and voilà … we live on shining with the stars that grace the evening skies long after we’ve departed.
  3. Baby – Micro Tattoo – this is really a no-brainer and long overdue. Many new parents have their infant’s ears pierced in the hospital nursery before excitedly heading home with their precious bundle. It’s a statement about their culture and belief system that brought the child into the world. So why not infant tattoos? It surely can’t be more traumatic than a circumcision, and it provides you the parent with an unequalled opportunity to give the wee bairn the tattoo YOU wanted to have but never grew the balls to adorn your own outer surface. BONUS OPTION: you choose the tattoo that YOU want THEM to have. Beware of teen angst in coming years!

Good ideas, don’t you agree?

But ultimately, I think I’ve decided against having my buttocks bruised with needles.

In the end, it may be my buttoned-down upbringing – the Protestant ethos “To keep my body in temperance, soberness, and chastity” – that holds sway.

Or, while I like to consider myself an amateur artist, or at least having an artistic bent, my artistic leanings are less visual and more in the musical and written end of the artistic spectrum.

For the time being, I’ll avoid making an ass of myself and forestall any skin colour stylings with my sleek (ahem) Ferrari physique.


old man tattoo.jpg

Psst … C’mere … Wanna Tattoo?

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For God’s sake, just say NO.

The other day I asked my friend Pamela if she has any tattoos.

This is a little game I play with women … many women with tattoos have them in secretive but intriguing places, and so they have to show me their “taboo” tattoo – on the slope of the breast or at the nape of their curvaceous bum crack – they want to show it to people, but are nervous to “bring it out” unless asked.

Anyway, Pam said,

Would you put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?”

Great answer. She’s right. Ferrari Tattoo I’ll be honest – I sometimes see a tattoo that I think is attractive, but it’s invariably small and not easily spotted – usually on the shoulder, near the hip bone, or at the ankle.

But I think Pam is in the minority opinion these days from what I see out and about.

There are a ton of metaphorical non-Ferrari Jettas and Corollas roaming our streets, “bumper stickers” hung out like full-size colour billboards on the highway.

It’s difficult to look at tattoos branded on the arms of Holocaust survivors and think of the positive aspects of permanently inking our bodies.

But, self-expression is an important feature of the human race and, like a book chapter, each tattoo worn tells a story of the individual – some of the stories are intentional and filled with passion, others are deeper-rooted and less obviously intended.


And to my keen observing eye, body art is growing into a huge phenomenon with no signs of slowing down.

According to my high-tech info bible Wikipedia:

In January 2008, a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive estimated that 14% of all adults in the United States have a tattoo, just slightly down from 2003, when 16% had a tattoo. The highest incidence of tattoos was found among the gay, lesbian and bisexual population (25%) and people living in the West (20%). Among age groups, 9% of those ages 18–24, 32% of those 25-29, 25% of those 30-39 and 12% of those 40-49 have tattoos, as do 8% of those 50-64. Men are just slightly more likely to have a tattoo than women (15% versus 13%).

When I attend a lunchtime hot yoga class in Kelowna that is filled mainly with pretty, toned, 20-somethings, of a class group of about 20 persons, my companion Kara and I are close to being the only ones with no visible tattoos.

Isn’t it enough to not blend in because of our ages, but then to snap out further as body art-compromised too? How can I, Mr. conservative, be the freak?

Yoga tattoo

When I was younger, I would come across a tattoed person occasionally, usually a guy who had been in the armed forces, with an anchor on his upper arm, or a biker dude with MOM angled over top of a bright red heart.

“Dare” tattoos layered on at night while out liquored up with the buddies.

Tattoo parlors were dingy little shops in seedy areas of the inner city, scary places where you weren’t sure you would escape alive, or at least with all of your facial features unarranged, and minus unwanted infections.

And then one day it changed.

Tattoo parlors sprouted like spring daffodils, broadcast seeding the city streets with a rainbow-tinted assortment of human art studios.

What used to be back-alley naughty stuff has become mainstream for both men and women … so what’s going on here?

Are we becoming Maoris needing to symbolize our family heritage and marriage status?


I’m perplexed and need to know. Try these thoughts on for size and tell me if I’m heading in the right direction…

Every generation, every decade, has its theme that we reminisce about 20 years later.

The 1950’s had bobby socks and Buddy Holly and hanging out at the local drive-in eating burgers and fries while really it was all about hooking up with cute girls and guys.

Then the 1960’s came along and the Beatles and the Vietnam War, hallucinogenic drugs, and prominent assassinations were all the craze – literally. Protests sprung up in a bunch of cities and university campuses, but it was really about hooking up with cute girls and guys.

The ’70’s had bell-bottom pants, disco and lava lamps, pet rocks and James Taylor, the Bee Gees, Queen,  and Supertramp, but it was really about hooking up with cute girls and guys.

And on and on we go…

Are you detecting a theme here?

Maybe, just maybe, tattoos are the fashion of the early 2010’s, a hair style or clothing trend that makes us more sexy, more appealing and more likely to have sex on a Sudbury Saturday night.

The sight of an undulating snake on the arm of the Adam Levine look-alike is the deal clincher that will bring on the O-face for that Woo Hoo girl looking for her Bad Boy.

Yes, tattoos are about belonging, like sharing a cigarette in front of your high school with the cool gang. Could you possibly be a Hell’s Angel member and not carry the skin-art marks of acceptance?

When your best friend is prematurely cut down in the prime of their life, what is a more soothing tribute than having their name etched into your ankle with a group of friends?

A few years back, I was thrust from between my mother’s legs art-free. It’s true.


This is just a temporary tattoo I had drawn onto my shaved chest on a conference bet that I … WON!


Since then, I’ve had occasional little daydreams of throwing my conservative nature to the wind and popping a half-pint of colour onto my ankle or chest. But in the end, I suspect I’ll exit this world in the same natural state that I was born.

Temporary could be the way to go:  Indian culture has henna tattoos, kids have their tattoo stickers … why not inked “compression sleeves” that can be changed like your hair colour or the outfit-of-the-day?

Me? I’ll never own a Ferrari nor will I boast a bumper sticker on this practical Honda Civic that is me.

kid tattoo