for tattooed people, and those who want to be

The good, the bad, and the downright fugly


Judge Judy Sheindlin

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OK, I have to confess that I am a Judge Judy aficionado.  There is just nothing more entertaining than watching her give some fool the talking-to that was decades overdue.  You can tell that a huge number of the people standing before her have NEVER been talked to like that, and that’s half the fun.

Yesterday, though, was unusual in that every case involved people with really bad tattoos.  I mean, of the do it yourself with soot and a guitar string variety (or these fools paid an artist to do the equivalent).  One even had blobs of black ink all over his face and admitted to “tattooing his friends.”  One would hope that the friends were dead drunk at the time and have very poor eyesight and no mirrors in their abodes.  Yuck.

And last night, one of the local TV stations did yet another installment in the sweeps-month tabloid-style interview with the exceedingly well-inked hottie that that idiot Jesse James was sleeping with.  Even she admits she doesn’t like all that ink any more, but there’s no real way to get rid of it now.  They haven’t done too many closeups of her tattoos, but the ones I could see were mediocre (and having blue ink on her face was not a beauty treatment).

Much as I appreciate body art, sometimes all I can do is ask “What were they thinking?”  Why would people want to deface themseves (pun intended) like that?  What message are they trying to convey other than “I don’t give a crap”?  I know we all firmly believe we’re not going to get any older (I’m not, but I still want to be Lwaxana Troi when I grow up) and our outlook on the world is never going to change, but truthfully, what kind of life are these young men going to have when they’re pushing 60 like I am and still have black blobs all over their arms, necks, and faces?  They didn’t look like they’d be able to earn enough money for laser removal.

Heck, when I was 16 all I wanted was a flower doodle on my left ankle, in green ink.  I drew it on my skin myself and wished I could get it put there permanently.  If I’d been able to get my wish (fat chance of that in an armpit Nebraska town in the mid 1960s) I suppose I would have managed to live with it in later years, but I would have been showing it off as “Here’s what I did when I was too young to know better.”

Have you ever encountered people who seriously mess up the whole concept of tattoos and body art?  Not just the gangsters, whose ugly tattoos are there for an actual reason, but people who’ve got junk on their skin they’ll never be able to fix?  Do you think those people give the rest of us with our tasteful tattoos a bad name?

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  1. My favorite point of this post was writing about something that has been writen a million times, but in another way. I was thinking about it but not implementing it.

  2. There are many good reasons why the laser tattoo removal business is thriving. 🙂

    I sometimes think about having the less than perfect Eye of Horus removed from my ankle tattoo, but I can’t afford to do it yet.

  3. I am amazed that there are not more comments on your post. I own a Laser Tattoo Removal business and see some really bad tattoos every day. I got interested in laser tattoo removal partially because in my 20’s I had the devil head tattooed on my right breast, it was the size of a quarter. Deciding that I did not like the devil I let two more artists loose on my skin to try and cover it up, the last artist traced the circumference of a 32oz Gatorade bottle put it on my skin and colored the circle half black and half tie die. I am in the painful process of removing that mistake now. Thanks for the article.

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