The fine line between KOOL and a FOOL


Rule One:


Just as it's a good idea to think before you text and drive, and especilly before you vote, best to think extra hard (especially you Millennials) before letting that ink-injecting Picasso express his/her indelible art on your body— indelible, as in "hard to remove." And by art, are we talking Renaissance Old Master's stuff or body as billboard?


Seriously love that joe:


The profound (?) argument for defacing your bodies, ladies

Cheap way to join the crowd


A cautionary tale...

Remember that hippy-chick girlfriend you had way back in the Sixties (as if you are that old)? What a hottie, huh? Imagine how heavy you thought it would have been if she got that Iron Butterfly tat, er, tramp stamp?

Of course, Iron Butterfly was a one-hit wonder. But what a hit it was! Remember their seminal psychedelic-to-heavy-metal transition anthem, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida? Back then it seemed that it somehow said it all — about life and love and sex and, well — everything!

Hear all 17 glorious, pounding minutes of it!

WARNING: Best experienced in an altered state (probably not Virginia).

Of course, back in the Sixties the 80 bucks that ink artist wanted for that Iron Butterfly tat was equivalent to a month's rent, or 5 or 6 trips to the grocery store, or about 20 fill-ups at the gas station. But while you were doing the math, your fickle girlfriend split. So, like, nevermind, dude.

A few years later, in the Seventies, that Iron Butterfly tat would have been like totally passé anyway. Then you run into your former girlfriend again. Now she's taken up with a slick commodities broker, and she's sporting this flashy Rolling Stones tongue and lips right on her... That's gotta be hip forever, right?

Suck it, Mick Jagger!



Rule Two:

Beware of anything you can't read...

That place you went for spring break was so freaking romantic, so exotic, so memorable, you had to commemorate it bigtime, right?


Rule Three: Tattoo Remorse

Haven't bumped up against the inevitable yet? You're still young, right?

Costly and painful 1

Costly and painful 2


That really great job you flunked the interview for because of your "jobstopper" visuals would certainly have helped with the payments. But forget the questionable aesthetics, what did your tat(s) say about your judgment?


How 'bout an even better idea?

Considerin' the political climate of Amerika, what about a Trump stamp?

F R E E B I R D (hear it here)!

Let's not get too hasty about judging the guys in Lynyard Skynyard, who started distancing themselves from the Rebel flag.


See and hear the good ol' boys rockin' it live in their flag-flyin' days!



Rule Four:

Sure you wanna trust that tattoo "artist"?

For starters, unless you're sure you're some kind of art expert yourself, maybe don't trust your own judgment in selecting the person who will mark your skin for life. Sure, artists have this mystique about them, but their magical creations, as with any other human endeavor, can be good or bad — or a whole slew of things between.

There used to be this rather vocal character (not a tattoo artist) in Ghent who would tell you that, because he was a self-proclaimed artist, anything he did was art — no matter how questionble it might look to anyone else. Inadequacy issues? In other words, if you didn't appreciate his "art," what did you know?

Now consider tattoo artists. In the case of most other kinds of artists, if their work sucks, they can simply throw it away, try again, or just move on. Even people who are really good at things sometimes do stuff that sucks. Who has never made a mistake? But tattoo artists are willing to leave their first-try indelible mark on a person's skin for life — and, of course, for money. Consider, too, that most of their clients are young, inexperienced, and often gullible individuals. Consider the aesthetic and the ethical implications.

But back in the forbidden days of tattoos, Norfolk did have its standouts:

"Cap" Coleman and Paul Rogers





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