Getting to the Stories behind Funny Tattoos

in Entertaining nonsense and profound thought

How a seemingly laughable bingo-and-Muppet tat can have more going for it

Every so often I think about getting a tattoo but whenever I get close I can hear my mother saying “If a greater power wanted you to have a tattoo you would have been born with one.” Of course she also used to say “If God wanted you to have extra holes in your body he would have put them there,” and I got my ears pierced anyway. I’ve seen lots of tattoos that I thought were beautiful, but the thought of a botched job has held me back. A woman I know had her now ex-husband’s name tattooed low on her belly and the cover up job was not attractive. I can’t imagine having *John’s* inked on my body and then wanting to get intimate with Frank!

Not that I would tattoo anyone’s name on my body. No, I’d be like Ted S. from Shenandoah, PA and have something meaningful inked on me. Not that you’d realize Ted’s tattoo is meaningful from looking at it – A bingo card with Fozzie Bear standing behind it. Ted will tell you the tattoo is his way of expressing his love for his grandmother. “When I was younger,” he said, “she would take me to play bingo with her. I gave her a plastic Fozzie Bear figurine as a good luck charm, and she would put it on the table in front of her cards.”
The story behind Ted’s tattoo is but one of many examples of how a person uses body art to express something he or she very obviously holds dear. If anything, these tales teach us that behind some ostensibly baffling tats are stories worth telling. Ted’s tattoo tale that recalls bingo sessions with his grandma is one. Another could be that of a tattoo of Sonic the Hedgehog which indicates the wearer’s childhood tinged with Sega fanboyism and ‘90s attitude excess (nerd-worthy as that may be). A person could even have himself inked with BingoGodz’ mascot Zantos which, for all we know, is actually backed by an incident that tells of how multiple game sessions featuring the portly and jolly character actually gave him a better perspective on life. Now isn’t that a story you’d want to know more about.

Someone might even choose to use iconic faces such as Kronos, the mythical Titan who features not only in the movie Wrath of the Titans but also in a featured game on Bubble Bonus Bingo. Kronos, being the youngest of the Titans, is known for having deposed his father, Uranus, before he was overthrown by his own son, Zeus. The story is certainly rife with possibilities and those choosing a tattoo of Kronos could be alluding to their own struggles against their fathers or paternal figures.

Ironically, Ted’s story also got me thinking about my grandmother. She’s been gone a year and a half now but it seems like yesterday I was sitting on her bed while she entertained me with stories of her life. Hilda Lynch lived her life with spunk and good humor, and she never stopped flirting with the boys. Well, they were men by the time I knew grandma. She told me once she had to fetch a switch for her own lickin’ because she disobeyed her mama and went to hang out with the boys after school. Grandma called herself a party girl and she was always laughing. I’m not sure what I could have inked that would capture her spirit, but it would have to be playful and quick. A sprite of some kind maybe?

Not that it really matters, when it comes down to it I’m chicken.


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