Posted by: dodgrblu | August 18, 2010

Tatt’le Tale

Another post that is only tangentially related to baseball, but in which I reveal something that may be shocking. (It may also be a little test to see which of my friends and family don’t read my blog. Let’s have some fun, ‘kay?)

So, I’m currently entertaining the idea of getting a tattoo.

(Cue the dramatic chipmunk music: “Dunnh-dunnn-dunnnnnh!”)

If you know me, this is pretty shocking.

You are probably saying, “You DO know there are needles involved with tattoos, right?”

Yes, yes, I do.

“And, ummm…correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you hate needles?”

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.

(And if you’re reading this and saying, “Don’t be such a drama queen. If you want to get inked, go do it,” you clearly don’t know me at all. And to you I say, welcome, stranger! Thanks for checkin’ out my blog: I truly appreciate your time. In the words of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Ph.D., “Thank you! Come again!” Oh, and please consider following me on Twitter–@msdodgrblu. Thanks!)

I’ve said before that I would consider getting a tattoo when someone develops a permanent method that doesn’t involve needles.

But after my first real experience with bodily injury over the last few weeks, I’m thinking, hey, what’s a little more pain, right? And maybe, just maybe, willingly having needles poked into my skin will help me get over my aversion to blood draws, which is a leading reason why I don’t go to doctors more often. (Aside from all those sick people and nasty germs hanging around in a doctor’s office.) Getting over being such a baby about blood draws would probably be a very good thing, since my disinterest in visiting doctors will probably be the end of me at some point.

I’ve been thinking about the tattoo thing for a few weeks now. I hadn’t mentioned it to anybody until last week. Mr. Vamp and I were lying around in bed, doing the things that people with small children do late at night in bed: catching up on e-mail and surfing the Web. Mr. Vamp was deeply engrossed in his work e-mail when I sprung it on him: ”So, I’m thinking of getting a tattoo.”

To his credit, he was paying attention. He took this sudden announcement very well. His response was something like, “Wow. First, Facebook. Then, Twitter. Now a tattoo. This is pretty different for you.”

(Cue AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.”)

We then talked about it for a while. He mentioned the needles, and I noted that maybe it would get me over my aversion to needles. To which he replied, “Or make it worse.” Yeah, thought of that, too.

And we talked about the big questions—what and where, the same questions I’ve been kicking around myself. Mr. Vamp’s first suggestion was pretty odd, but also pretty funny. “Hey, you could get David Wright tattooed on you’re a-…”. He got only as far as “a” before I stopped him, so I’m just going to ummm…assume he was going to say ANKLE. (Now, I ask you: how many husbands do you know who would suggest to his wife that she  get a tattoo of her favorite baseball player? His favorite, maybe, but hers? What a guy!)

Whatever I would get would have to be pretty small and simple, so it’s over quickly—you know, before the absinthe wears off.  🙂

My ideas include a star, a baseball (would the stitches take too long?), a bat (like the flying creature—something cartoony like Icebat the Uglydoll), or the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon prism (probably too intricate). Sports team logos would be excellent (can you just see me with a badass Raiders tattoo?), but would probably be more intricate than I’m willing to go. Also, I have yet to research whether there are trademark infringement issues with tattoo art.

But Mr. Vamp’s suggestion got me thinking: what about a number tattoo?

It struck me as kind of a dumb idea at first. It reminds me too much of the story that John Kruk told on David Letterman (lo, these many years ago) about the number 28 and Mitch Williams. It went something like this: Mitch Williams came to the Phillies, and wanted to wear number 28, because his wife had a bunch of jewelry with that number. (Or maybe she had a tattoo of 28!) Kruk had the number 28 and ended up selling it to Williams for two cases of beer. Kruk’s punchline to the story was that Williams subsequently got divorced and he switched to the number 99, but the two cases of beer were already gone.

Thinking about it, a number might be an interesting way to go. Some possible choices:

13: I’ve long considered 13 my lucky number.

42: Good on a couple of levels. First, it’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything! How cool is that? It’s also Jackie Robinson’s number, retired now throughout major league baseball, so that’s pretty okey-dokey.

What about a baseball-related number? Hey, I could go with 762* (asterisk definitely intended). That’ll be relevant for a few more years, until A-rod replaces it with a new number equally deserving of an asterisk.

I could go with a variant of Mr. Vamp’s rebuffed David Wright suggestion, and get a 5. (And the number 5 has other significance in my life, wholly unrelated to baseball, but I’m not getting into that here.)

Ah, but tattoos are forever. How well would a tattoo based on a baseball player’s jersey number stand the test of time? It’s a valid question. So, I asked myself this: if I’d gotten a tattoo of 31 (Mike Piazza) or 11 (Edgar Martinez) 15 years ago, how would I feel about it today, now that they have retired from baseball?

Surprisingly, I’d still be pretty happy with 31 or 11. Piazza is a future hall of famer, and The Edgar should be. (But what if Piazza’s name had turned up in the Mitchell Report? Hmm. Next question.)

I could go with a whole equation of favorite players: 5 (Wright) + 11 (The Edgar) = 16 (Andre Ethier). Except 5  + 11 would result in something much greater than 16–some kind of super third baseman with extraordinary doubles‑hitting prowess and below-average defensive skills. 😉

Okay, I’m getting off on a tangent here. And a number tattoo may be a little bland, though, so I’m not sold on it.

Moving on, there’s the ” where.” I’m disinclined to choose a site with too much bone, as I’ve heard that’s more painful. That’s a strike against my first choice (ankle) and probably also eliminates my shoulder. It goes almost without saying that I’m far too shy to go for any really personal areas. Tramp stamp? Puh-leeze: too ubiquitous. Not sure what that leaves.

Anyway, I’m putting way more thought into this than it deserves. I don’t often show off a lot of skin, so it’s very likely the only people who would ever see my tattoo (besides the tattoo artist) are Mr. Vamp and me. (But mention this blog entry, and I’ll show you if you ask nicely.)

At any rate, I’m unlikely to act on this anytime soon. I may be crazy, but I’m not that far gone (yet). It’s quite possible that once I’m able to leave the house at will, my brain will right itself, and this whole idea will pass into oblivion. I may look at this post in a couple of months; say, “Wow, did I write this? What the hell was I thinking?” There is precedent for that: it’s pretty much how I wrote my Master’s thesis. (Master of Arts in International Studies, University of Washington, 1995, if you must know. Go Huskies!)

The bottom line here is this: if it took me two weeks to mention this to anyone, you better believe I’m not going to do this on a whim.

After all, with apologies to John Kruk, “ Wives and beer come and go, but tattoos are forever.”

Thoughts? Suggestions? Leave me a comment. 1. Should I get a tattoo? 2. What should it be? 3. Where should I put it? I reserve the right to not approve any inappropriate comments.



  1. Seriously? A tatt? I’m pretty sure you have a family member- a nephew maybe – that designs tattoo art in his spare time.
    That being said, I would seriously recommend the “LA” symbol- it’s pretty simple, recognizable, reproducable. When it comes to copyrights, most tatt artists don’t care because they’re reproducing it for personal use- and seriously, who couldn’t put something like that logo together (it’s very simple in itself). It’s significant to you. You could augment it with a number in a complementary color, if you so so desired (leaving room for more over time, if you wanted them added to the tatt).
    I’d stay away from a baseball if you’re considering going with color because the white ink doesn’t take very well to most people.
    If you wanted to go with a Floyd symbol, I’d suggest a flying pig instead of the prism (especially for a first timer).
    As far as positioning goes, it’s cool to make it concealable, but just occasionally you’ll want to whip it out to show people. The means you will probably want to be able to do so without getting arrested, finding a gender-neutral bathroom, or getting heckled by construction workers.
    I recommend your upper arm/shoulder/shoulder blade, back of the neck or ankle. Of those places, believe it or not , the back of the neck and upper arm hurt the least. The ankle and shoulder blade are both on bone, which hurts like a *&$%#@… I mean, hurts a lot- as I understand it. Money-wise, that shouldnt’ be more than $125, and tip your artist about 20%.

    • Cool, thanks! 🙂 Good info to have. Still not sure I’m doing it, but haven’t ruled it out either. And I thought about having you design me something, but I figure anything as simple as I’m thinking of would be a waste of your skills.

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