SEPT. 18, 2007
After three full days of slogging through the dirt, sweat, noise, and smell of Austin City Limits, you’re probably experiencing a touch of “acute anxiety” just like Meg White. You might feel extremely anxious about going outside again. In fact, you might just want to stay in the shower all day scrubbing yourself vigorously with a loofah sponge – not just because you spent last weekend lathered in other people’s sweat, but because you need to remove the remaining dead sunburned skin so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a bikini even when you’re not. When you take your top off you should get credit for it, and not just from the people who are close enough to tuck dollars into your G-string. Besides, if you wanted a permanent design you would have gotten a tattoo, right? Maybe one of those cool armband tats that look like the headgear Jesus sported on his power walk up to Calvary. Or, you could go with the sure-to-please “tramp stamp,” which is like a St. Louis arch over your ass crack, a visually alluring gateway to the dirty South. You don’t want to cheap it on the tramp stamp. It should be something ornate and elaborate – something that shows potential lovers that you’re not opposed to spending a considerable amount of time on your stomach enduring pain. Hawt. Most of all, a tattoo should say something about you. Well, actually all tattoos do that in a sort of general, stereotypical way, but a good tattoo says something specific … personal. For instance, if you’re a sailor, you might want to get a tattoo of a boat anchor or maybe a Polynesian girl in a grass skirt – a totally unique design that sets you apart from all the nonsailors. If you’re into Lord of the Rings, you could tattoo something in Elvish on your alabaster chest. Try something playful like “T.C.B” or “Mama, fry me up a banana sammich.” If you insist on getting a name tattoo, try to stick with blood relatives. That way your painful divorce won’t include the agony of removing “Alexandra” or “Bartholomew” from the heart on your chest. Of course, those are just general guidelines that you’ll probably be too drunk to remember when you get your first tattoo. That’s OK, the key to getting any tattoo is not to overthink it. Like our president, you don’t want your steadfast resolve clouded by indecision. After the deed is done, you’ll have a lifetime to come up with a brilliant rationalization of your decision. If you’re one of those people who are still on the fence regarding tattoos, you can do some further investigation this weekend at the Austin Convention Center. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday illustrators and the illustrated will converge for Inkfest, a whole convention dedicated to body art. Check out live tattooing and piercing plus contests for “Best Ink of the Day,” “Best Ink of the Weekend,” “Best Body Art,” and Ms. Inkfest 2007. Oh yeah, and there’s live music too. Best of all, it’s indoors and air-conditioned, so even if there are many scary-looking people like there were at ACL, at least they won’t sweat on you.