Help Cabbages Get Inked!

Tomorrow's my annual adventure to the local amusement park, Kennywood. Where wooden roller coasters still clack onward... And Potato Patch fries are slathered in a delightful day-glo orange cheese that was only once vaguely acquainted with a cow.

How I love it!

But our discussion today will not entail just how many chili cheese dogs it's possible to eat before extending them in altered form to the coaster population as a whole...

Or about taking bets on how long the kid in the Garfield costume can stand 80% humidity before smothering in a pile of sweat, faux fur and chickenwire...

Or even predicting the Rorschach pattern of bruises I'll have after three rounds of jouncing around on the Exterminator. (Once I got an excellent seatbelt buckle-shaped bruise on my butt!... It kinda looked like Spongebob.)

But nope. Today, I want to talk to you about tattoos.

See, the one thing I've come to notice, as I wend my way through Kennywood's mouse-maze of ride queues, is that somehow I have come to be the only person in the entire tri-state region who isn't inked.

Grandmas sporting the barbed wire... Teens unveiling the disembodied heads of the Jonas Brothers... Hog-riders flapping Harley wings... Infants showing off that edgy Gerber logo, symbolizing their induction into those tough pre-school gangs...

Yes, one and all, they are branded with their interests... wearing their image on their sleeve. Or 48-inch waist. Or whatnot.

And then there's me.

But, see, the thing about tattoos is, they're pretty much forever. I'd want to really be certain about anything I put on myself until the end of time. I mean, I haven't even had the same shade of hair for more than six weeks sequentially...

How can I commit to something likely to hang around so much longer than that Spongebob seat buckle butt bruise?

So here's where you folks can help. If I were to get a tattoo and blend in with my fellow amusement enthusiasts, what should I choose?

Here are some of the things I was thinking about:

The Monroeville Zombies logo.

It says local. It says undead. And anyone who sees how pale I am would find it entirely believable. Plus, y'know, nobody wants to mess with someone who might, potentially, try to nibble your arm. I imagine I could get through those long concession and ride lines much quicker!

Old King Cole Slaw.

Marketing promotion meets body art! And it would end up being such a conversation piece!

Stranger: "So-- what's with the crown-wearing lettuce?"

Me: (sniff) Lettuce?! It's so clearly a cabbage! And what's with your Woody Woodpecker? I mean, he hardly had the charisma and talent of Bugs Bunny, did he?

See? I'd be destined to make all sorts of new friends!

The only drawback? Old King Cole Slaw becoming famous like this... well, he'd be likely to develop a big head. He'd be charging me for appearances here... Copping an attitude about the temperature in the crisper drawer... I don't know. I see trouble ahead.

Some Kind of Symbol I May Or May Not Know What It Means.

So often I see people with Chinese or Japanese characters, or swirls or Celtic knots, and I think it's so amazing and impressive how well-versed everyone seems to be in all these other cultures and languages.

I mean, how else could you guarantee that in Japanese it didn't say something like, "I'm an overweight, Japanese-illiterate American. Kick me"?

Now, me, unfortunately, I don't know Japanese or Chinese, or as much as I should about Celtic knots and ancient runes. So, to ensure the symbol I chose actually meant something-- even if I didn't know what it was-- I thought I would tap into the greatest, most extensive symbolic repository I knew--

The Wingdings font I have in Word.

There just seem to be so many options! I'm leaning toward one of those curlicue squigglies, or perhaps the file folder symbol. Either one of them could totally say "me."

What do you think?

Well, I'm anxious to hear your opinions. I suppose if I don't make a decision in time for tomorrow's amusement park outing, I can always save it for next year...

Sure, I'll be the only woman under 50 without a giant Tweety-bird on my boob. But good art takes time.

Hmmm... I wonder how I'd look with a cartoon sheep?....



Chaotically Calm said...

OMG...don't do it Jenn....OK this is sort of like the pot calling the kettle black since I have like four tatts but I will tell you that one of them was the worse mistake of my life. A stupid stupid mistake at the tender age of 17 getting a panda bear on my left arm. Why did my mother allow me to manipulate her into this whole thing...not sure maybe she was compensating for something.

Anywho if you must join the tattoed club I say get the Japanese script that you can't understand that way you'll have tons of conversation starters.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chaotically Calm- (shhh) Don't tell anyone here, but I'm actually just kidding about the whole thing...

Well, EXCEPT the part about being about the only person in the whole theme park without one.

Instead, I plan to be wearing cheese sauce down the front of my shirt. :)

PS- I don't see you as the panda type-- bet THAT's a conversation starter.

CatLadyLarew said...

How about just getting a tat of your name and address. That way when you're old and senile, they'll be able to point you in the right direction... after they make you mop up all those chili cheese dogs.

Jenn Thorson said...

CatLady- Now that's not only artistic, it's functional!

I would wonder, initially, about all of these strangers addressing me by name, or stopping by unannounced.

But I'd always know how to get home.

Melanie said...

I have two words for you: temporary tattoo. You know like those ones little kids get at the carnival. Or henna. Then you can change as often as your mood changes and you're not commited to anything.

You are not alone, my pale whiteness sports no tats either. Yes, I have some commitment issues.

Jenn Thorson said...

Melanie- Heh, I really WAS kidding, I wasn't planning to get any sort of a tattoo-- I was just being silly.

A file folder icon or cabbage or Japanese character I can't even read probably wouldn't suit me. :)

Daisy said...

☠ How about this cool skull and crossbones? Not really. I just wanted to see how it would look when I pasted it here. Too small for a tattoo I think.

Jenn Thorson said...

Daisy- That would be pretty cost-efficient if an artist charged by the square inch! :)

"Look, look what I had done!-- Wait, here's a magnifying glass..." :)

DeadRooster said...

I would never get a tattoo either, Jenn. Way too permanent.

If I had gotten tattoos throughout my life I'm sure I'd have things like, Buggs Bunny, The Three Stooges, Jimmy Paige of Led Zepplin, Spongebob Squarepants (yes, I too am a big fan) and the entire cast of the Simpsons.

Jenn Thorson said...

Rooster- See, that's where I'd have gone wrong, too. Except I probably would have come up with something I thought was really deep and profound-- only to discover later it wasn't as philosophical and clever as I thought it was.

Order Meds said...

You shouldn't do it. Especially if have an officer for a father who can cruise down to the shop, spot you in the window with your hip bared to the artist, go in and drag you away from the shop, and drive you home in the cruiser. Trust me. It's not an experience you would want.

ReformingGeek said...

You and me, Jenn: inkless. Oh well.

Like you, I would have no idea what to get if I wanted one.

Jenn Thorson said...

This sounds like someone is speaking from experience. :)

Reforming Geek- Yepper, but I think I WILL have fun seeing what cartoon characters and things people are sporting tomorrow at the amusement park. I always get a chuckle when I see something like Speedy Gonzales or Tweetybird...

Not even first-string Warner Brothers characters. :)

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

As anybody who reads my blog knows--and I thank all three of you--I'm a huge hockey fan. So I vote for the Monroeville Zombies logo. Also, you like Zombies, Jenn, so the choice seems obvious to me.

Remember, though, tattoos are permanent. I still regret the ones I got in prison after I killed that guy in Houston. Yes, I love my mom a lot, but do I want everybody to know that just by reading my forehead? No, I do not.

Jenn Thorson said...

Mike- Okay, note to self-- "No forehead"-- gotcha! :) Important tip!

The Mother said...

While I have yet to assent to unlimited pinpricks as an art form, I have promised to myself (and several friends) that if I ever get in shape again I'm going to treat myself to a belly button piercing.

At the tender age of 50, I'm thinking this isn't going to happrn.

Jenn Thorson said...

Mother- Well, ya never know. But actually, belly button piercings can get infected pretty easily. It's one of the more common piercing infections. I would be concerned for you.

JD at I Do Things said...

My first reaction was "Zombies. Always pick zombies." But then I saw the mailbox dingbat and fell in love. As awesome as it'd be to have old King Slaw on your bicep, I can see the problem with people mistaking it for lettuce.

How about a nice sleeping cat?

ettarose said...

I too have no tats at all and plan to stay that way. I feel for the young people I know who have tatted up themselves in places that cannot be hid. I did talk one guy into NOT tattooing his hands.I made him realize you are not covering those up. I think it is the age thing for us I mean.

Nothinglikeit said...

If you feel you MUST tatoo then definitely zombies! Things droop over time and a zombie will always look like a zombie. Tweetie Bird on the other hand has a good chance of becoming the Road Runner; if you know what I mean. ;-)


Jenn Thorson said...

JD- The sleeping cat is lovely, but I think it just says, um, you more than me. :) Subliminal advertising maybe?

Yeah, that mailbox icon is SHARP. Very stylin'. Definitely a consideration. :) (snicker)

EttaRose- It's true. I see a lot of younger folks with them and I wonder whether it will be a problem for them in the workforce or not. Perhaps things have changed and it's less of a problem. But I think you did that guy a favor by dissuading him from tattooing his hands. Plus, I hear that hurts a LOT.

NothingLikeIt- "A zombie will always look like a zombie"-- that absolutely cracked me up. I always wonder what the fascination is with middle-aged women and Tweetybird. I see more ladies of 55 sporting that bird on tattoos and sweatshirts than anything else...

Maybe it's a cult. :)

Skye said...

No tatts on this chickee-poo either! The way I see it is, one I can't commit to much of anything and two, would I really like the way it looks after my skin is all saggy when I'm old? You see, I've seen some people who's tatt's must have looked good when they got them in their teens or early 20's or whenever. But now that they were old, you couldn't tell what the picture was actually supposed to be of, sad but true!

The closest I ever come to getting a tatt is doing the Henna tatt thing. If I do it, it happens in spring, that way I tan around it and as it fades my tan becomes darker than the tatt was and the "tatt" is there that much longer. Besides, there's no pain this way, I'm such a

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

I think you should get Unfinished Rambler's Manboobs tatooed across your whole back! Whoo!

jay said...

Aaaah .. I so nearly got a tattoo last year. So nearly. I walked into the tattoo parlour and everything, but ... see, I'm allergic to all kinds of stuff, and they couldn't guarantee I wouldn't react to the ink. Then I googled 'allergy tattoo' and it came up with this story about a guy who became allergic to his tattoo FIFTEEN YEARS later - and the thing about that is that you can't then have them removed by laser because that just vapourises the ink and from an allergy POV, that's even worse.

So I chickened out.

But if I DID have one? It would be a lower back, discreet design, involving my husbands name. Or a tiny greyhound head.

Everyone say 'Aaaah!'

Jenn Thorson said...

Skye- I usually have henna left over when I henna my hair, but I haven't ended up using it for anything else. I know henna artists can do some beautiful artistic patterns with it.

Lisa- While I like your brother, Lisa, I think I will forgo that suggestion. Your bro should be here any moment to object to your idea... on SO many levels.

Jay- What-- you mean NO Johnny Depp tribute? I can't believe it!

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Am I too late? Did you already go? I was going to suggest that you slap a self portrait of your face on your palm. Then when people piss you off, you can just throw it out and say, "Talk to the hand"! Make sure your face is making a face, though. It'll render them weak for any argument.

Jenn Thorson said...

Nanny Goats- Aw, heck-- if only I'd had this idea before going to the park on Saturday!

Ah, well. I ended up going tattoo-free once again.

Instead, in a clever attempt to fit in, I made sure I wore a white top with a black bra under it and ensured my bra straps were completely showing. I also wore things two sizes too small.