I've been thinking for the last year about getting the mistersugar pig tattooed on my arm, although recently I did wonder if the tamtam illustration would be better.
Now, I'm not so sure.
At John Carroll University early in my freshman year (this was 1988), I walked to the nearby May Company department store in University Heights, Ohio. I usually started downstairs in the small electronics area. I'd peer in the glass cases at the Walkman cassette players and the CD boom boxes. This one day, I then walked over the elevator to go upstairs to the men's clothing section on the second floor. The elevator stopped on one, and an older woman stepped in. As the doors closed, I glanced over and noticed a number tattooed on her arm.
I instantly knew what the number meant. While JCU is a Jesuit (read Roman Catholic) institution, University Heights is heavily Jewish (hence the delicious bagels I wrote about in June). I'd recently read Exodus, by Leon Uris, and I was trying to learn more about the Holocaust. Later during college, I'd go to Washington and visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum, which has a detailed webpage explaining the tattoos the Nazis put on their Jewish and Roma prisoners at the Auschwitz camp.
My Italian grandpa, Louis Sisco, also had a tattoo on his arm. It was a horseshoe he chose to put there when he was in his teens. He often told me that he regretted it, and urged me never to get a tattoo myself.
Here's a photo my mother recently sent me, showing grandma and grandpa holding my daughter, Anna. You can see grandpa's tattoo, and also his wristwatch, which he wore every single day.
When I lived in Hawaii, I saw some amazing Polynesian tattoos, especially on the Samoan men. I didn't get a tattoo then, but I did get my ear pierced, and I wore a hoop for 10 years.
Now, I think I've decided not to get a permanent tattoo, for no specific reason or strong feeling.
But I did just order temporary tattoos of the mistersugar purple pig.