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There was a time when I was going to get a blue star tattooed on my ear lobe.
I was 17, and my running mate and I had gone ashore in Valetta, Malta, to get tattooed.
We caught the first liberty launch over that morning to visit the most famous tattoo artist in the Mediterranean, the “fat man behind the Green Door.”
To make a long story short, he went first, and I backed out.
It’s probably a good thing, because I would have ended up cutting off that ear lobe to mix in proper society.
Back in the early 1960s, hardly anyone had tattoos but sailors, prisoners, the Yakuza (Japanese mafia), and maybe some cargo cult members in New Guinea or the Maori in New Zealand.
It’s certainly not true today.
Over the years, I’ve watched tattoos go mainstream; in fact, I read the other day that 36% of Americans between the age of 18 and 29 have tattoos.
I suppose some were motivated to be “different.”
Now, you almost stand out more if you don’t have one.
A recent trend is ambigram or “flipped” tattoos.
Once the tattoo has been flipped or inverted, it means something entirely different.
For example, “Love” becomes ‘Hate” or vice versa.
It seems to me that one would have to be a contortionist to get the full personal benefit of such art work.