You see them all too frequently these days. Until recently tattoos were mostly confined to old sailors and circus freaks. Now, it seems everyone, including very young teens, is getting covered with those gross, ink-stained skin scratchings.
OK, I confess. I didn’t always hate tattoos. I joined the Navy during World War 2 on my 18th birthday. Following boot camp, I was in a San Francisco Navy base awaiting assignment to a ship. Loaded down with my huge $55 a month pay, I joined other teen sailors seeking all the pleasures in the city by the Golden Gate.
Serving with older tattooed swabbies, we teens wanted to look like seasoned sailors. First, in bars with our fake ID cards, we built up our courage by getting drunk. Then we headed for one of the many tattoo parlors in San Francisco.
As I boozily watched other teen sailors get the needles, something suddenly occurred to me. Why the hell did I want to look like a saggy smeared-skin old sailor? I managed to make excuses, leave the shop and keep my skin as nature created it. I never went back.
Today, when I see large obnoxious tattoos on people, especially young women, my respect for them immediately drops at least 90 percent. Old guy advice: Avoid becoming an ugly skin pin cushion now while you’re young and stupid. Then you won’t regret it when you’re older and maybe a bit smarter!