July 21, 2008

Advice for Young Ladies

Some of you might know this, but for those who donít, my employer has switched my schedule to four-10 hour days per week, meaning I now have Fridays off. Which means I now have a day where I can go and do things, such as get my hair cut. Which is exactly what I did first thing Friday morning past, (with Boy in tow, since he needed shearing as well).

We hied ourselves to the foot of Talladega Hill, across the tracks and over the mighty Pinchgut Creek, to the HeadStart over close to Target. Being that it was 10:00 a.m., there was no one but the three staff members awaiting there.

We were ushered back immediately, and I took my place in the chair operated by an attractive young woman of decidedly Rubenesque proportions, and removed my spectacles so she could have unhindered access to my noggin.

Being thus blind, at first I could not be sure of what flashed before my eyes as she drew the drape around my neck, but after several more such preparatory tonsorial flourishes, I could no longer deny that the dewy plumpness of her upper right arm contained quite an extensive bit of tattoo ink.

Now, I am of a certain age, and I still associate such markings with convicts, sailors, and women of the camp. However, I am also quite aware that fashion has overtaken my staid blue-nosed preconceptions, and have come to know that even respectable people such as rap singers and hair care professionals now deem permanent epidermal artwork to be quite desirable. Yet, after my haircut was done and Iíd retrieved my glasses and had a moment at the cash register to carefully examine her choice of embellishment, I still find myself compelled to offer some unsolicited advice, most especially for the young ladies in the reading audience who wish to delve into this sort of everlasting identification.

First, I know you all want to project the carefree, stylish, devil-may-care attitude of a certain late-1960s Dunaway-Beatty pairing, but letís face itóBonnie and Clyde arenít choice role-models. So, you know, actually taking the time to etch their names into your upper arm is probably not really a good idea if you have aspirations in life for a job that has stuff like a retirement plan and health insurance.

Second, if youíre dead set on the glamorization of the lifestyle of those who wind up lead-perforated, at least try to find yourself a really, really good tattooist. Nothing ruins a perfectly good countercultural jab at The Man than to get a tat that looks as if it was done by a fourth-grader who forgot to take his Ritalin. Although I realize no one teaches good penmanship and handwriting in school anymore, it would really be a good idea to find someone who has had some classes in such things before letting him practice on you.

This admonition to seek a professional also goes for Piece of Advice #3, namely, if you believe your Bonnie and Clyde calligraphy must contain an emblem of crossed submachine guns, for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE get someone who actually knows what one looks like. The use of a crudely drawn something-or-other that looks like it was traced from a Beetle Bailey comic strip simply ruins the entire effect youíre going for.

Remember, young ladies, not all of your fellow citizens will squeal with delight in your choice of body decoration and may, in fact, look askance at it. But if you simply cannot resist the lure, never ever scrimp on quality. Either that, or practice with Sharpies first.

And by the way, the haircut looks just fine.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 21, 2008 10:15 AM

With all that free time on your hands, the public demands weekly non-blogging publications.

As for the tattoos, one other thing that many never seem to consider is that what might look (to them) cute, sexy or hip on taut youthful skin, has a way of looking not at all cute, sexy or hip on aging, wrinkly skin. Even those manly WWII tattos didn't look nearly so good on 70 year olds.

Posted by: Jordana at July 21, 2008 01:32 PM

Demands? Well, we'll see.

As for your second statement, it can be empirically confirmed. Do not click here.

You were warned.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 21, 2008 02:08 PM

Eeeew! It's a tattooed elf!

Posted by: Jordana at July 21, 2008 02:10 PM

Remember kids--this could be you someday.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 21, 2008 02:30 PM

I think a very lucrative area of study will be tat removal. Just for the reasons Jordana has stated. FSM knows mine look awful now and they'll only get worse.

Posted by: Chef Tony at July 21, 2008 05:30 PM

Well, judging by the doughy youth I saw in the mechanic's shop a couple of weeks ago when I took the Focus in for a new starter, the use of lasers to zap old tattoos is not really a great way to get rid of unwanted ink. Unless you just really like looking like you were sewn together out of other people's discarded skin.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 21, 2008 05:57 PM

Wow. You got some funky-lookin' Rabbis down South, doncha?

I think the best appellation for those skin disfigurements is "tramp stamp." Though I do get a kick out of watching Miami Ink sometimes.

Posted by: skinnydan at July 22, 2008 08:35 AM

Dan, I have a feeling he might not be a rabbi.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 22, 2008 08:59 AM

What makes you say that?

Posted by: skinnydan at July 22, 2008 11:43 AM

What makes me say that? Oh, you know, the usual--the voices in my head.

That, and the kosher fried catfish he was selling at the carnival last week had a certification letter handwritten on the back of a piece of cardboard torn from a Bud Light carton.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 22, 2008 12:01 PM

Smart thinking then. The only acceptable supervision for Kosher Catfish (fried or not) is torn from a Sam Adams carton.

Posted by: skinnydan at July 23, 2008 08:41 AM

That's probably why the catfish tasted funny.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 23, 2008 10:39 AM

Did the boy's haircut turn out OK too? Was he also depilated by a tattooed shearer? I'm curious to hear if you brought up the subject of tattoo artistry and acquisition on the drive home.

I'll be bolder than Ms. Jordana and advocate a weekly "blitter" session on Fridays. It would be part blog, part twitter, where all of our old AoW buddies can participate and comment away. You could kick it off with an erudite and intriguing post, and we'd follow up with our usual clever quips.

[Has anyone tried that twitter thing? It seems kind of creepy to me, like IM'ing on steroids.]

Posted by: Marc V at July 23, 2008 12:10 PM

Oh, of course HIS hair turned out fine--he's a cute kid. But no, his clipperist was unadorned. At least visibly so.

And yes, we did have a short talk about my stylist's life choices. We agreed she was cute, but prone to make poor decisions, and thus of a type to be treated circumspectly should he ever encounter one in the wild.

As for Fridays, I must make no promises. Even though I'm off from work, I still have junk to do at the house, which has always proven to be quite a deterrent to both quality and quantity of words.

But hey, you never know. Although I steadfastly refuse to Twitter, being that it's what birds do. I might Hiss, or Faint, or Urp, which are all more appropriate for a possum.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 23, 2008 01:35 PM

I agree with Jordana on the weekly posts! It's the least you can do.

Short of that, I've been thinking I should ask if your blogging software offers some sort of email notification of new posts. I feel like a fool dropping by every day or so, only to find the most recent post is 3 weeks old!

Posted by: Bill Williams at July 23, 2008 04:54 PM

Well, I have always been interesting in doing the least I can...

As for email notifications, this site does have some sort of XML syndication something-or-other, accessible via http://possumblog.mu.nu/index.rdf I have no idea what that does or anything, but there is a link at the bottom of the sidebar for it.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 23, 2008 05:05 PM

Who knew Darwin had so many tattoos? He did spend a lot of time at sea.

Posted by: skillzy at July 24, 2008 06:54 AM

Hmm. I never thought about that. If that's the case, maybe they aren't tattoos at all, but physiological adaptations in skin coloration that allowed him to blend in with his surroundings.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 24, 2008 09:36 AM

That would assume Darwin's surroundings were a biker bar.

Bill, you can subscribe to all (or very little) possumy goodness by using a Feedreader. I think both Firefox & IE have a built in reader feature (check the "latest news" link on Firefox), but I use Feedreader (http://www.feedreader.com/)

Posted by: skinnydan at July 25, 2008 08:39 AM

Royal Naval vessels, biker bars, hair salons, synagogues--just some of the places where you can apparently find really cool body art!

And thanks for the Feedreader tip. One of these days, I will be comfortable with your modern human devices.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 25, 2008 09:01 AM