On Tattoos

I do not sport a tattoo, and by force of habit will never put an arm or chest under the needle. Why? I had a Merchant Marine father who wore a large one on his right arm and firmly discouraged tattoos. Once again, you ask, Why? According to my father, tattoos were used by police to identify suspects. And being so many people either have unique designs that are easy to spot, ” it has the names and dates of the last Rolling Stones Concerts.” Or have the same dozen designs, ” he had a big Harley-Davidson tattoo on his right arm.” You become easy to either identify or misidentify.

From his history as a seaman visiting hundreds of ports, my father believed that police were reductionists; you have that tattoo; therefore, you did the crime. While disagreeing with my father on many issues, I had a high opinion of any statement he made regarding seamen and life at sea. The Carreras clan has always been salty and wet, and our oral tradition on things maritime is strong.

I do not object to tattoos for others; they can take their chances being pulled in by the police in Samoa as suspected pedophiles, thieves, or drug-addled purveyors of disputed political platforms. But until they enact legislation banning the darned things, it’s an individual choice.

As you can see, I have no strong opinion on the matter at all.

5 Replies to “On Tattoos”

  1. I love ink and have a dozen tattoos in various and sundry ‘locations’ on myself. I gave my daughter a tattoo for her 17th birthday (the nuns were livid; her friends thought I was the coolest mom ever). Daughter went on to get several more but is now in the process of having them removed–both painful and expensive. The only tat that will stay is her 17th birthday remembrance.

    1. Ok, if we ever meet, I’ll be able to recognize you at the airport…But seriously, this piece was meant very tongue-in-cheek and not meant to insult people with tattoos.

  2. I think Grandfathers, my dada and various Uncles all told me thee same thing about tats and the police – not one of them sported ink, and neither do I! Every once in a while I think about it, draw-up a design or print out a picture of a tat I think would like, I then put it away and when I find it 6-12 months later, I think to myself, “Man am I glad I did put that permanently on my body”.

  3. There are many reasons for tatts and there ought to be just as many cautions, because indeed, they are meant to be lifelong and are not easily removed! I’m thinking some of my posts might be my visible *tatts* but overall, heck, yeah, I’m with Lou on not making it easier for the police to ID suspected miscreants, lol!

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