Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.


Sleepy Dave and the upstanding hoodlums at Anthem Tattoo have come through for me once again, helping me ensure my life remains wholly surreal and absurd:


Nice bruising, huh? That part of my arm is as pale, delicate and juicy as fresh mozzarella cheese. Good thing the rest of me is double-tough and manly! As far as you know.

Some no-fun-havin' pee-hole asked me, "Is that band actually that big an influence in your life that you got a tattoo of them?"

It took me a minute to come up with an answer, in part because I was trying to sort through the stupid Zen-koan-ass logical problem embedded in the question, but also because I never really thought of Life Influence as being a natural predicate to tattoo design. So in response, I explained how I hate symbolism and meaning, and generally in life instead favor things that are funny and awesome.

I guess this separates me from the clientele featured on shows such as L.A. Ink and Miami Ink (and I do enjoy both programs just fine). Every goddamn tattoo you see on those shows is so fraught with meaning I expect the skin holding 'em up to implode under the metaphorical load. It's always, "This tied-up naked lady represents female empowerment," or, "In Mayan culture a one-eyed frog with bat wings symbolizes wisdom," or, "This way whenever I look at my tattoo I'll always remember my dead baby." Holy shit, are you really in that much danger of forgetting your dead baby? I mean, I'm pretty sure I'd do a fine job of remembering Devo without my (totally sweet) new tattoo.

I think the prevalence of this attitude is a detriment to the tattoo industry as well. It's just putting too much pressure on people. If you don't have a dead baby to remember, you just can't compete. I can't tell you how many times people from all walks of life have told me, "I'd love to get a tattoo, but I could never decide on a permanent design." There are two important aspects to getting tattoos these folks overlook:

1. You're allowed to get more than one.
2. You should just pick something on the spur of the moment* and get on with your life. Decide quickly and live with the consequences, like the fabled samurai warriors of yore.

You want to be like the fabled samurai, don't you? They knew how to have a good time, back in the days of yore.

*Unless it is a "tribal" wad of ugly lines arranged into an armband or scribbled all over your lower back.

What else? Well, thanks to everyone buying books and leaving such nice reviews. I'm not real good with sincerity and feelings and all that horseshit, but I do appreciate it. And like I said before I'll be doing my first reading and book signing dealie Saturday 4 PM at Criminal Records in Atlanta, where metal band Withered will also play. I'm also not real good in front of people, so you should show up just to see what happens. Will I get the vapors and faint? Totally freak out and go nuts? Wet myself? All three? Life offers nothing but possibilities, my friends.

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