Through miracles of modern technology,† we are time travelling two weeks into the past‡ to visit a Very Special Time in a boy's life.§
The day his big sister buys him his first tattoo.¶
[SUMMARY: Quoting the Boy Scout Handbook.]
I got my first tattoo when I was 24.# Sometime thereafter, I offered to buy Brother his first tattoo at such time as he chose to get one.
He was a theatre major in those days and opted to hold off, thinking perhaps there would be roles for which he would be overlooked if they^ had to worry about covering a tattoo.††
[SUMMARY: Those who don't know the history are doomed to have me it repeat it to them.]
So last December, he said, "Hey, have you gotten me a Christmas present yet?"
"The time has come."
Of course, all you have to do is look at the date above to realise the time hadn't FULLY come.‡‡
[SUMMARY: The suspense continues.]
He knew he wanted penguins, both for our magical time% in the Antarctic§§ and because daddy penguins are as involved in the brooding and raising of penguin chicks as mommy penguins are and he felt that symbolic of his own life.¶¶
So I got him a penguin calendar## to give him inspiration and it took him most of a year, but we finally got the boy inked up.
good grief, we're a pasty family
As needled by Alisha at Lifetime of Sol. We like Alisha because
- She does outstanding work and marvelous colour,
- she's friendly,
- she pimped Brother early and often by calling his choice of ink "cute"††† and "squishy,"‡‡‡ and
- she said it was OK to take pictures and post them on the Innernets.§§§
It does this sister's heart good to know that the inky penguins and all they represent will always have a link to me,¶¶¶ as much as if Brother had tattooed my name on his arm.###
†FOOTNOTE (crossed): i.e. -- the camera won't upload itself.
‡FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I have mental TARDIS, which sounds like twelve kinds of politically incorrect, but makes me giggle.
§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Isn't this what they told you boys about when they separated us in the sixth grade and told us girls we were going to smell bad?
¶FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): What? That entry wasn't in your baby book?
#FOOTNOTE (pounded): September 24, 1991 (a Tuesday), notably before every weenie on the planet decided Japanese symbols and northwestern tribal art needed to be on their shoulders (I believe that happened the following Thursday). I'm only fashion-forward in limited quantities. It's crucial to note what those are or you may miss them entirely.
^FOOTNOTE (careted): Not the usual US Dept. of Them, but the mythical cadre of wily and mercurial producers and directors that hold each young actor's fate in their thorny claws.
††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I do not wish to speculate what sort of naked theatre he was planning on performing.
‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I hear you giggling, Kim.
%FOOTNOTE (percented): Much of the magic for me came from finally getting to use my first year Spanish (Los pinguinos en la cocina bailan) and telling fairy tales to Adélie penguins.
§§FOOTNOTE (herbies! (and if you get that, you've been to The Ice): A magical time they DON'T tell you about in sixth grade health class.
¶¶FOOTNOTE (like two Adélie penguins): Though if you've seen March of the Penguins, you may wish to note penguin daddies still prepare more meals than Brother typically does.
##FOOTNOTE (two pounds of penguin in a five-pound bag): Which he had to carry down Colfax (exactly the sort of street that hosts tattoo parlours) for the pimps and Crips to see.
†††FOOTNOTE (tattoo guns... pow! pow! pow!): Keep in mind that the driving force behind his getting inked was gym envy -- all the cool, buff guys at the gym have ink.
‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (penguin feathers): Awww... wookat da cheeks on da baby penguin.
§§§FOOTNOTE (intricacies of modern etiquette): I *always* ask permission when I start waving my camera around. Not only is it good manners, but most of the time the subjects think I'm kidding when I say, "It'll probably end up on the Internet" and I get to feel all proper and righteous because I told them so.
¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (triple dip): Awwwww...
###FOOTNOTE (oh, the pounding of my heart): Which, let's face it, would be weird.
p.s. -- Don't tell Brother, but his tattoo just took on fascinating new dimensions.