Tattoo You

For most of the last 20 years or so, my kids would ask me about tattoos. My grandpa had a prison homemade one, my brother has several. I would always tell them I was not a big fan of them getting tattoos – as my children, they were perfect as is.

HOWEVER, if they decided to get inked, think about a few things:

  • Don’t do sports teams, unless you were part of them. Fan loyalties sometimes change. Penn State happened. Or, like my brother, the season after you get your NFL team, they change the logo.
  • Don’t do schools, unless you have a degree from there.
  • Don’t do spouses, BFs/GFs. Breakups happen.

Basically, don’t do anything that can be taken away. Kids are ok – they are forever.  I used to think my biker gang fraternity was OK for a tattoo too. Getting one now, thirty+ years after my initiation, seems a little forced, but once I consecrated the bond of obedience and assumed the position pledged allegiance to the frat and received my Delta Tau Chi name…

I was in like Flynn.  Part of the family. A member.


Yeah, theoretically I could be expelled, but National never seemed to give enough of a shit about us, outside of dues payments.  I never fucked up, as far as they know, and we were never on double secret probation.

Fast forward to today. The fraternity tattoo idea seems pretty fucking stupid and naive.

My fraternity hasn’t expelled me. [Ed.: Not yet anyway, Mr. Chatty.] It has simply sacrificed its cardinal principles in order to save a few “brothers” from answering for their acts. And startling failures to act. And their inexcusable failures and refusals to educate themselves about the treasures they were charged with guarding, in order that they might do the job credibly.

The particulars of this abdication is another story. The point today is that a social fraternity is on the list as something inappropriate for a tattoo. It is something that can be taken away. It is something that can abandon me. I wouldn’t have believed it.

Crip? We’re brothers. TC? Gingerman? Padlock? Pretty Boy? Vance? Sure. I am a brother of my chapter. National can go fuck itself.

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