Girls and Tattoos

by Regis Boff

Tarrytown may vote to relieve an ordinance prohibiting the opening of a tattoo parlor near its Main Street. Because my daughter is safely in college, I have decided to come clean about tattoos and my experiences with them. Nellie wanted one very badly, and I refused to let her get it.
I had just fought a land war against her ear piercings that lasted two days longer than the resistance to Hitler’s blitzkrieg during The Battle of France in 1940. Both France and I left that struggle scarred and a little bewildered how we could have lost so quickly and utterly. Of course, in my defense, France lost its entire army and its sovereignty while I suffered the indignity of three holes in my daughter’s ears, but then again, I was a first-time father, and the French had been doing the same thing for centuries.
I also had my wife’s double-crossing treachery to deal with. She claimed to be in complete solidarity against these drillings, while at the same time shopping for earrings with my daughter at the Westchester Mall.
Nell’s crusade over a tattoo may have been just a high temperature, feverish misunderstanding. For all I really knew, she simply wanted a small, barely noticeable tattoo of “Dad” and that would have been difficult, ( although not improbable) to argue against. Nevertheless, from the first mention, I cast her request as a fifties remake of the movie “Godzilla,” where my daughter was played by a 75-foot Queequeg, the prophetically tattooed South Sea Islander from Moby Dick.
Being a dad is like being a boy with his girlfriend at an amusement park, he had better win that girl a stuffed animal if he wants true love. Saying to your child, “No,” is a show of strength she will understand, in time, as love. That her ears are drooping like a bloodhound’s from the weight of fake diamonds helps too.
I hope Tarrytown allows the tattoo parlor ( its owner is from Irvington, I think). Tattooing is an art, ( although I will never admit it publicly). A tattoo parlor kind of fits the Dodge City atmosphere of our neighbor in the wild northern frontiers. Few painters, ( except maybe portrait artists of royalty, who occasionally had their heads cut off) work under more pressure.
My wife is threatening to get one, a gold nugget and a shovel, here we go again.