Since the flickerings of seven-inch, black-and-white TVs, I’ve always enjoyed watching sports. In those days, I was a fan of Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Pete Rose, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali.
I don’t believe many of them ever visited a tattoo parlor. Today, it seems most pro and college jocks spend too many hours serving as pin cushions while their skin is pricked and dyed into human tapestries. And think of what their sagging skin will look like when they get to be my age!
My introduction to tattoos happened way back in 1943 after completing Navy boot camp in Newport, Rhode Island. Several months later I was at a San Francisco base awaiting orders for sea duty. In the barracks among our teenage sailors were veterans to be reassigned to new ships.
Many older sailors had colorful tattoos. Some had sailed to China before the war, and experts there did very artistic work. Seeing the tattoos on the veterans inspired younger sailors to get tattooed so they’d look like colorful old salts.
That was then, when even the most grizzled sailor had just two or three tattoos. Today’s grossly overpaid jocks and rockstars with obscene amounts of spending money are way too much into tattoos. Seeing them on TV with necks, backs, arms, legs and what else illustrated, reminds me of the grafitti on walls of public restrooms.
I have nothing against tattoo artists. They need to make a living, as do cosmetic surgeons, morticians, coroners, witch doctors and others in similar professions. I just don’t understand why rich young sports and show biz guys need to waste their hard-earned money on tattoos, when it can be spent more wisely on Las Vegas hookers, paternity lawsuits, Lamborghinis, booze and drugs.