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CHEWING THE FAT: A tattoo? Would it be emotionally scarring?

Columnist says his inkling to get inked is a pride thing; 'I want to look young again,' laments Rusty Draper
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(stock photo)

Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about tattoos lately. After I step out of the shower in the morning, I immediately look in the mirror. Folks, it’s not a pretty sight.

As I examined my old body in the bathroom mirror the other day, I tried to picture in my mind what an eagle in flight would look like on my upper arm and shoulder with the bird’s head proudly extended half way up my neck.

When you have a body the size of mine, you have a lot of area to cover in decorative fine ink. I always tell people that, “I don’t really have a weight problem, but rather a skin problem … too much of it.”

Since my wife Pat has been the love of my life for over these 53 years, I feel it would only be appropriate, and rightfully deserved, that she have a place of prominence on my fine physique.

Since I’ve always referred to Pat as “Missy,” where do I place that special work of art on my body. I could place the tattoo “Missy” over my heart, but that would interfere with my thoughts of putting the eagle there.

With the eagle full winged over my shoulder and its head zooming up my neck and pecking on my ear lobe, it would look too much like the eagle was giving birth to “Missy” underneath.

One must always take perception into account in situations like this. I guess the old bird will have to change its flight pattern and take position on my right shoulder.

It seems to me that most men who served in the Navy have a tattoo on their forearm of an anchor and a ship’s wheel. I don’t believe that being a frequent passenger on the steamship Seguin qualifies me to wear such a tattoo.

Another thought that needs creative consideration is a tattoo on my stomach. I realize this will take much ink to cover it all, but I was hoping for something just to cover my abs. I’ve been working extremely hard in getting those six abs in shape. So far, I only have one ab, but it’s a start!

My wife, the encourager, insists that it is not an ab; she refers to it as a “pot belly.” This, my friends, really hurt. It has scarred me emotionally. She should know by now how sensitive my feelings are.

I finally caved in to the “in house” pressure. No tattoos for me. Although I decided not to be inked, I believe I was born with tattoos, but my doctor, like Pat, just calls them stretch marks.

There must be some benefits to being tattooed. I have noticed on many occasions that those bearing this body art, must be equipped with an internal temperature thermometer.

In the spring of the year, even before the ice is out of the lake, they start wearing short sleeved shirts. The same applies in the fall of the year. Even long after the first fall of snow, while I’m wearing earmuffs and a cozy winter coat, these tattooed people seem to have the ability to navigate wearing no more than a T-shirt and Bermuda shorts. It’s mind boggling to say the least.

In my case, I really have need to confess that my problem is simply a pride thing. I want to look young again. Don’t laugh! Although I’ve said no to the ink artwork, I still want to look young. This time I’m considering putting “braces” on my dentures.

In closing, I’ll say this: If you want to improve your golf game, don't get tattooed. I’m sure there’s something in the ink that prevents a golfer from excelling. If you take time, I challenge you to watch a professional golf game (PGA). It seems 99% of these players have no (visual) tattoos.

Rusty Draper is well-known by many as the long-time morning man at local radio station CFOR, as a pastor and raconteur who never misses an opportunity to chew the fat.