I’m trying to think of a cool tattoo. I really want to have one done, but I’m never able to think of anything cool enough. If I do think of something cool, I usually wind up thinking it’s cool only for maybe an hour or so, and I’ll get really hyped up about it, but the excitement eventually wears off, and I’m left with just a vague feeling that I had something great somewhere in my head but now I’ve lost it. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I’ll never be happy with a tattoo idea because I’m constantly over-thinking it. A while ago I had this plan. The plan was that the next time I found myself really excited about a tattoo idea, I told myself that I would just seize the moment and run off to a tattoo parlor that second and have it tattooed immediately. Maybe just going for it, just actually going out and getting it done would prevent the inevitable diminishment of excitement. Maybe about a week or two later, I had it, a really great idea, and so I ran out the door. But I got stuck in heavy, heavy traffic on the way there, and while I was stopped at a light, a little voice popped inside my head somewhere and whispered, “Rob, is your idea really that cool?” And that was all it took to send my enthusiasm into a death spiral of self-doubt and eventual apathy.
A few years ago I decided that I would have my whole body tattooed. But it wouldn’t be a design or anything, it would just be a tattoo of a single color, and that color would be the color of a perfect tan. This wasn’t concept art or anything like that. I wasn’t really trying to make a statement either. My reasons were practical. Like many men of my generation, I found myself spending way too much time and money on spray tanning. Obviously committed to having a great natural looking tan all year round, I figured it would make a ton of sense to tattoo myself with a permanent spray tan.
The tattoo artist was skeptical, but at the same time really didn’t give a shit what I did to my body, and so she started on my back. But after an hour she had only completed an area about the size of a baseball. I didn’t anticipate it taking this long and I felt myself getting pretty bored. I started complaining and asking how much longer it would take until we’d be finished. She told me it would probably take several sessions over the course of a couple of months. “What?” I asked. “That’s totally crazy.” And then I asked how much all of these sessions might cost. And she told me how much, and I realized that I didn’t even have enough money to cover the session that I was currently in the middle of. So I did what I always do in situations like that: I faked a seizure until somebody called 911 and an ambulance came to take me away.
When I got to the hospital, I played dumb. The doctor checked me out and, obviously, couldn’t find anything wrong with me. “Except,” he said, “I’m a little concerned about a patch of skin on your back. I think we should perform a biopsy to make sure everything is OK.” And I started freaking out. Skin cancer? But I’m always so good about staying out of the sun. I told him that I spray tanned instead of real tanned and that’s when I realized that he must have been talking about my unfinished tan tattoo on my back. I started laughing and told him all about my permanent tattoo tan. He listened politely and then told me to abandon the plan, that he couldn’t in good conscience recommend me having every square inch of my body tattooed. I told him not to worry, that it wasn’t going to happen anyway, because I realized too late that I couldn’t afford the time or money necessary to complete the project. Then some hospital staff member came over, asking me to fill out some forms and to let him see my insurance card. “Insurance?” I said, “I don’t have any health insurance.” And the staff member said, “OK, well, we need your information so we can send you a bill.” And I said, “Bill?” So I did what I always do in situations like this and I faked another seizure. But nobody called an ambulance this time, because I forgot that I was already in a hospital, surrounded by doctors. They immediately grabbed my flailing limbs and belted me onto a stretcher.
“This is perfect timing,” I heard one doctor say, “Let’s run some tests while he’s having this seizure. We should be able to get to the bottom of it.” And I knew that I should have stopped at that moment, the flailing around, the making spit bubbles come out of my mouth, the urinating my pants, but I couldn’t think of a way out of the situation that didn’t involve a seizure within a seizure. They ran the tests and found out pretty quickly that I was faking the whole thing. I just kept denying everything. While I was faking the second seizure, they must have grabbed my wallet to notify my next of kin. They found my address and filled out all of the forms for me. Now tons of bills keep piling up on my door. My wages are being automatically garnished by the state. God damn big government. There’s also something about a fraud charge, but I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going on with that.
I just had a great idea for a tattoo. It would be around my bicep. From a distance, it would look like a red ring around my arm, but if you moved in and took a closer look, it wouldn’t be a ring at all; it would be The Flash running supersonic laps around my arm. Excuse me for the abrupt ending, but I have to get to the tattoo parlor.