Off-Beat Challenge – Piercings And/Or Tattoos?

Tattoo

The son’s tattoo – all designed and ready to go, but not installed.

I have never got a tattoo because I have absolutely no imagination – and I got my ear pierced for exactly the same reason.

I have not wanted to be part of the madding crowd, but I never wanted to be too far away, for protective camouflage. I don’t want to be one of the flock, but I don’t mind grazing in the same meadow.  Any wolves are more likely to take down a fat young sheep, than a grumpy old goat like me.

I’ve worn cowboy-type boots for almost 50 years, since I found a pair on sale at K-Mart, the first year we were married. In the 1980s, when I was having my mid-life crisis, I didn’t buy a red sports car.  I got the first of a series of second-hand motorcycles, and a black leather jacket to go with it.

The wife and son and I went to an evening movie when there were still theaters downtown. When we came out and headed home, we were confronted with a gaggle of 6 or 8 Goths with a blaring boom-box the size of a VW van, randomly sprawled across the sidewalk.

The wife said later that she was a bit worried about this bunch. Then she looked at me on one side, with my motorcycle boots and leather jacket. On the other side was 6’-2”, hairy, Grizzly Adams-like son, wearing a sort-of sombrero, an ankle-length oilskin duster out of a spaghetti western, and steel-toed work boots.

When it became obvious that we weren’t going to step out into the street to go around this puddle of anti-societal slush, legs and feet were quickly withdrawn into standing or lotus positions.

I went with a co-worker after an 11 PM shift-end, to an upscale roadhouse/bar. The fussy little hostess wanted me to remove my jacket before he’d seat us.  When I asked why, he replied that it looked very much like a motorcycle jacket.  “What a coincidence!  My bike is parked right outside.”  Well, some of the other patrons might feel intimidated, and would I please take it off.

During my change-of–life rebellious period, even before I got my bike and jacket, I thought that I might like to get a tattoo and/or an ear stud. I recently saw a photo of a pretty, young female custom-cake maker in New York, sporting two forearms covered in tattoos.  Back in the ‘80s, tattoos were transgressive and subversive.  She’d have been a professional wrestler, a biker chick, or a stripper.  They have gone from being questionable, to de rigueur.

I had a gold, eagle necklace pendant. Did I want an eagle tattoo??  I had a sweatshirt, a slab of slate, hand-painted by the daughter, and a light switch plate with wolves on them.  Did I want a wolf??  I didn’t want to be identified as either a Star Trek, or a Star Wars nerd.  What else?  What else??!

I’d like to claim that I had decision paralysis, where I couldn’t choose among so many options, but the sad truth is that I just wanted to seem to be a bad boy, but didn’t have enough imagination to know how.

During a discussion while I was composing this post, the loving son helpfully suggested that I have D N R (do not resuscitate) tattooed across my chest.  Like a dead child, dark humor never grows old.

A younger female co-worker asked me if I would give her a ride home, and stop at a nearby mall, so that she could quickly pick up a couple of things. On the drive, she told me that she’d got her second tattoo, but she couldn’t show it to me – right then – because it was inside her bikini line.

Poor tattoo artists. They see it all – even if they don’t want to.  They wear rubber gloves while they work, to prevent infection in either direction, but I’ll bet that a lot of them wish that they could wear a blindfold sometimes, while they work.

As we went from one store to another, she told me that she intended to add a piercing. She didn’t volunteer the location, and I valiantly refrained from asking, or even showing any interest.  I mentioned that, along with the absent tattoo, I’d often thought about getting my ear pierced.  Suddenly, she literally grabbed me by the earlobe, swung me around, and pushed me toward a jewelry store whose window ad read, “Ears Pierced – $10.”

Within a minute – ZAP – I had a cheap piece of glass-chip and plated wire installed in the side of my head.  I objected that, since I only got one piercing and one stud, the price should only be $5.  The clerk insisted that there were no reductions….but she did add the other one as a third stud in my friend’s left ear.

Surprisingly, the wife didn’t make a fuss about it – although she did insist that we visit a reputable jeweller as soon as was convenient, and swapped it out for a $80 gold and sapphire (my birthstone) version.

I wore it proudly, and rebelliously, for over 20 years, until one day I stopped in to see the daughter. She had acquired a frisky young, female German shepherd, who insisted that I kneel or bend down so that she could lick my entire face.

One day, as she put a paw up on my shoulder, she must have caught it with a toenail. Fortunately, she only popped the back off, and didn’t rip it from my earlobe.  Assuming that it was still there, I went about a week before I noticed that it was missing.  By then, it was too late to search for it, and the hole had started to heal closed.

Society, and its norms, has greatly changed since the ‘80s. Neither tattoos nor piercings have the cachet they did back then.  At 73, I don’t plan to add either.  It’s just as well.  With all the old folks medical procedures I’ve had, and presumably will have – the clinics and the hospitals have signs that insist that ALL jewelry and piercings must be removed or treatment will not be given.   😳

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Capital Idea

House of Parliament

So another year has come and gone, and once again it was time to drive to Ottawa, to visit the grandson and fiancé for a couple of days – a Capital idea.

We hitched up the team, and loaded the buckboard sport-brute.  Grandma and her minions had made another batch of dill pickles.  There were his and hers presents for birthdays that bracket my recent one.  Included were a home-made spelt-flour, chocolate-mayonnaise cake, and special ginger cookies from a local Dutch market.  His always-thinking-ahead mother had even sent Christmas presents, since they won’t be able to get away then.

SDC11073

SDC11072

Biggest and heaviest among the freight, was a large steel cage for a recently-acquired, white (but not albino) ferret. She is so friendly and playful!!  I took along the digital camera, but the only photos I took were the ferret ones above.  I used it to prove that I had finally mounted on the wall, the rapier that he gave me for Fathers’ Day, two years ago, because I haven’t got around to publishing the Procrastination post yet.  You guys will have to wait another week or two to see that shot.

All in all, a very interesting and satisfying trip. Food of all types, including a Mexican restaurant named ‘Ahora’, where the nachos came with a language lesson.  The word ahora (Spanish a = in/at/to – hora = time) means Now, in English.

We visited two knife shops, and two second-hand bookstores which reminded me of Charles Dickens ‘Old Curiosity Shop’, stuff piled upon stuff in no great amount of order. We went to the Byward Market, a 4-block-square area, right downtown, full of kitschy little shops, eager to separate visitors from their money before the Government got it as taxes.

Just outside, between the Market area and the Houses of Parliament, stands the American Embassy, as big as a Trump hotel, but with all the architectural flair of a shoebox. Just half a block inside the Market, a mere drunken stagger back to the Embassy, is a ‘Gentlemen’s Club.’  Coincidence??  I think not!  Around the corner was a big century-house, turned into another Embassy, not Russian, but with a sign in Cyrillic lettering – Ukraine?  Uzbekistan?  Perhaps the English sign was on another street.

We went back at night to see the Parliament Building all lit up. No-one was passing any stupid legislation, but we saw where they had installed vents to release all the hot air.

I chose a different motel than last year, this one a mile closer to the grandson’s apartment, and $90/night, instead of $130, enabling us to afford to stay two nights instead of one. It was a family-owned independent, and like the Mexican restaurant, came with a lesson, this one a history lesson, rather than language.

Always curious, and looking for blog-fodder, I approached the day-shift male room-clerk. He reminded me of the wife’s ex-doctor. He could throw a pill or a potion or a medical test at a problem, but couldn’t deal with patients.  I believe that the clerk was on the autism spectrum.  He was happy to supply an extra pillow, or an ice-bucket, but not conversation and trivia.  “Qantas. Definitely Qantas.”

I asked, “How old is this place?”
“I don’t know.  I wasn’t here when it was built.”
“Neither was I, but I’m curious.  Have you never asked?”
“It wasn’t on my job application.  I have a customer.  You’ll have to leave.”
“He’s still getting out of his car.  He won’t be here for 5 minutes.  When does the night-shift come on?”
“I have a customer!  Please leave!”

I returned later to talk to the night-clerk, who was both sociable and knowledgeable.

It all started with a mineral hot-spring. The Indians used to soak in it, and believed in its healing properties.  They told the white men, who also used it, and appropriated it.  Around 1900, a white businessman erected a building around it, and turned it into a spa where monied and powerful people came, ‘to take the waters.’

It was quite a way out in the country from little then-Ottawa. In 1928 another businessman built a restaurant nearby, so that the elite had a place to dine after their treatments.  In 1931, when cars were still balky and unreliable, he built a couple of cabins where folks could stay overnight, before returning home in the morning.  Later, he added a couple more, and then another couple.

In 1932 he joined them together into one of the first row motels. In 1956 he added a second, matching row, and in 1973, his son added a third, two-story structure which we stayed in, for a total of 80 units.  The restaurant is still there, although now it’s leased out to chefs whose pretentious menu includes $15 hamburgers and poutine made with French fries cooked in duck fat.

The Federal Government is responsible for the well-being of Indigenous Peoples. Some are brought to Ottawa for medical treatment.  This now includes tests, drugs, surgery and physiotherapy, but many of them still believe in the healing powers of the Manitou’s hot springs.  When we were there, there were 16 units housing Cree and Inuit from as far away as Nunavut, in the Northwest Territories.

Even including an hour each way in the worst traffic in Canada, in Toronto, it was well worth the trip, which totalled 1200 Km/825 Mi. over three days. The grandson who does not own a car, and his magic smart-phone, skillfully guided us around the town.  I’m sure we’ll go again next fall, if not before.

What A Cut-up

Scalpel

Four surgeons were taking a coffee break and were
discussing their work.

The first one said, ‘I think accountants are the
easiest to operate on. Everything inside is numbered.’

‘I think librarians are the easiest,’ said the
second surgeon. ‘When you open them up all their
organs are alphabetically ordered.’

The third surgeon said, ‘I prefer to operate on
electricians. All their organs are color coded.’

The fourth one said, ‘I like to operate on
lawyers. They’re heartless, spineless, gutless,
and their head and ass are interchangeable.’

***

The little boy was 8 yrs. old when his parents
decided to have him circumcised (looking
different than dad, other kids, etc.).

After a few days of recovery, the boy went back
to school. After about an hour, the pain was
really starting to bother him so he asked if he
could see the school nurse.

He went to see her but was too embarrassed to
tell her what the problem was.

She suggested that he call his Mom and see if
she could come and get him.

The nurse waited in the other room while the call
was made. After a few minutes the little boy came
out and started walking back to class, but the
nurse noticed that his penis was hanging out of
his pants. She said ‘Johnny, what are you doing?
You can’t walk around like that.’

He replied, ‘Well I told my Mom how much I hurt
and she said that if I could just stick it out
till lunchtime she would come pick me up then.’

***

What’s the problem with jogging during Mardi Gras?
The ice falls out of your drinks!
 

Mardi Gras is the only acceptable time to wear body glitter without being mistaken for a stripper. 

***

 

I Don’t Know

You know those shows where people call in and
vote on different issues? Did you ever notice
there’s always like 16% “I don’t know”!

It costs 90 cents to call up and vote… They’re
voting “I don’t know!” – “Honey, I feel very
strongly about this. Give me the phone.” (Into
phone) “I don’t know!” (hangs up, looking proud)
“Sometimes you have to stand up for what you
believe you are not sure about!”

This guy probably calls up phone sex girls at
$2.95 a minute. (into phone) “I’m not in the mood!”

***

Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes!

***

Why do so many women fake orgasm?
Because so many men fake foreplay.

***

Virginity is not like a bank account.
If you save it, it doesn’t draw any interest.

***

A guy receives a free ticket to the Super Bowl
from his company. Unfortunately, when he arrives
at the stadium, he realizes the seat is in the
upper corner of the stadium; he’s closer to the
Goodyear Blimp than the field. About halfway
through the first quarter he sees through his
binoculars an empty seat 10 rows off the field,
right on the 50 yard line. He decides to take a
chance and makes his way through the stadium and
around the security guards to the empty seat.

As he sits down he asks the gentleman sitting next
to him, “Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?” The
man says no. Now, very excited to be in such a
great seat for the game, he again inquires of the
man next to him, “This is incredible! Who in their
right mind would have a seat like this at the
Super Bowl and not use it?!”

The man replies, “Well, actually, the seat
belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife,
but she passed away. This is the first Super Bowl
we haven’t been together at, since we got married.

“Well, that’s really sad, but still, you couldn’t
find anyone to take the seat? A friend or close
relative?”

“No,” the man replies, “They’re all at the funeral.”

***

Women’s Advice to Men 

The reason why our bras don’t always match our
underwear is because WE actually change our
underwear.

The next time you and your buddies joke about
armed women in combat, take a poll to see which of
you successfully aim at the toilet rim.

If the truth hurts, ask us those ego-sensitive
questions on your payday.

Don’t fret if you find out that the milkman
delivers more than once a day.

Lay off the beans several hours before bedtime.

Our bedtime headaches are inversely proportional
to the number of baths you take.

The next time you joke about female drivers,
research the number of accidents caused by
rubber-necking mini-skirts.

If only women gossip, how do you and your friends
keep track of “who’s easy”?

Stop telling us most male strippers are gay:
we don’t care.

Start parting and combing your hair to one side
early in life – you’ll never see the ‘island’ coming.

Your contributions to your child should go above
and beyond that Y chromosome you unselfishly
sacrificed.

Eye contact is best established above our
shoulder-level.

Your balding is a good thing – it subsidizes our
hair care expenses.