A friend told me recently that he's getting a tattoo. Why do so many people tell me that they're getting a tattoo?
Do they want to shock a priest? Are they wanting me to talk them out of it?
Maybe there's just a lot of people getting tattoos.
At a dignified event in Brisbane, I once found myself in a spirited debate with a bishop about tattoos.
The bishop was saying it was a sin to get a tattoo and I was saying that it wasn't.
The bishop argued that in the Bible, Leviticus 19:28 states: "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord."
I argued that would seem to include earrings, and that Pacific Islanders, for example, have been tattooing themselves for centuries.
The bishop argued that tattoos were part of their culture. I argued that they're now part of ours.
He later contacted me saying he no longer thinks it's a sin to get a tattoo.
Pity. After him quoting the Bible, I was starting to convert.
Forty years from now, thousands of elderly women will be walking around with tattoos.
I'm musing this will be like putting on a pair of flared trousers back in the 1970s, but never being able to take them off.
Or still walking around in 2019 with a perm you got in the 80s.
I once met an old man who, in the 1940s, got a huge tattoo of a naked woman on his forearm.
By the time that I saw it 60 years later, the ink lines had so badly bled into each other that his once-naked woman now looked like a pious nun wearing her full habit.
Medical tattoos on the wrist sound like a good idea.
Unless a barista with a conscience would deny me my cappuccino with three sugars when they saw tattooed on my wrist "I am a diabetic".
I recently heard of a man who got a tattoo on his chest that says "Do not resuscitate".
I once met an old man who, in the 1940s, got a huge tattoo of a naked woman on his forearm. By the time that I saw it 60 years later, the ink lines had so badly bled into each other that his once-naked woman now looked like a pious nun wearing her full habit.
I imagine that if he has a heart attack when he's an old man, his tattoo will be so faded and smudged that the paramedics seeing it will say: "We better resuscitate this dude fast! His chest is already starting to turn blue!" Talk about the Streisand effect!
My advice to my friend thinking of inking up was to think about it for awhile.
Because — and I ain't saying it's right — some people will look at you differently, even children, and they might even be a little scared of you.
He's a beefcake of muscle, and I thought he might even bite my head off.
But he responded: "Yeah, that's what I want!". Hmmmm.
I think the old saying "clothes don't make the man" became a cliché because many think they do say a lot about us.
Muse on the not-so-humble tie. A tie is a seemingly pointless fashion accessory — doing your tie in the morning takes up precious time. They get in the way during the day.
And yet, to this day, many of the world's most powerful people still wear one.
We say a tie doesn't mean anything, and yet it clearly does.
By the same token, it appears the not-so-humble tattoo is still considered a statement.
This was reaffirmed only last week when Western Australia's police commissioner Chris Dawson stood by a policy that bans officers from having face, neck or hand tattoos, stating that WA Police "needs to have a standard".
The policy has been a pain in the neck for Annie Hosking of Kalgoorlie, who recently had her application to join the force rejected because of her arm tattoos.
And that's after she spent eight painful months and $3000 getting a flower tatt removed from her neck.
There are a lot of good people out there with tatts.
There are a lot of bad people without them, and vice versa.
Though Jesus said "do not judge lest you be judged", perhaps we have to face the fact that we still do.