Water World: Where your bad tattoos take on a new meaning
I have bad tattoos. Okay, they aren't all bad -- only about 33 percent of them are, if I break it down by specific tattoo artist. Also, since I didn't get my first tattoos (almost all came in pairs) until I was 24, they are strategically placed, meaning that, for the most part, they can't be seen if I'm wearing my everyday modest attire. But while wandering the dirty Band-Aid lands of Water World yesterday, parading my sick tats for all to see, I found myself staring at strangers' tattoos, too (and their bacne, rat tails, wet hair extensions and creepy tan lines. Oh, and their dermal piercings, the thought of which still makes me throw up fake sea water in my mouth).
Getting my Liz Phair, er, Horace Greeley, er, Pet Shop Boys tattoo in Tempe, Arizona.
I didn't have the ovaries to pull out my camera phone and brazenly document these tattoos, as my Westword cohort Cory Lamz did last year, but I did have time to ponder the meaning of inked life while waiting 45 minutes for a turn to ride a backwash-water-filled tube through a dinosaur's stomach. And I wondered, "Do people think about what their tattoos will mean when they are standing in public undressed, without the context of their own personality-defining clothing?"
I'm guessing the fully tattooed dude nodding off on the Cimarron River ride with a swastika on his leg didn't think about it. But then again, he has a SWASTIKA TATTOOED ON HIS LEG. I can't imagine he thinks much about anything.
If only tattoos could be so glittery.
And what about the lady with the words "dance like nobody's watching" tattooed in a swirl of stars and nondescript swirly stuff on her torso? Was I the only person to see that and think, "Wow, that woman liked her Walmart home decor purchase so much that instead of just hanging the plaque above her toilet, she had to get it permanently inked in Lucida Calligraphy handwriting font on her body?" Maybe she was really a Mark Twain fan, and I was just being judgmental.
I was definitely judgmental of the gentleman with a chest piece that, in barely readable script, said, "Better to be dead and cool than alive and uncool." Wait. Wasn't this guy alive? Doesn't that negate the statement? Whatever. I enjoyed reading the IMDB for what sounds like one of the finer films of the twentieth century, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, the movie that this quote was taken from.