It's been 16 years since I've gotten any new ink on my body.  I've been tattooed five times, but I've only got three tattoos. When you're 20 years old & party with a tattoo artist there's gonna be some covering up done.

Growing up, my mom swore that only criminals and deviants had tattoos.  She was mortified when my dad drunkenly got a tattoo of his Air Force squadron's mascot on his butt cheek during a going-away party.  Still, I was a little rocker (in my mind) and couldn't wait for my first tattoo.

That tattoo came illegally in the state of Oklahoma.  Something interesting you may not know about the "ok" state is that when I got my tattoo at 18-years-old, tattoos were illegal in the state while cock fighting was perfectly legal.  It's flip-flopped since in regards to those laws, but what a place!

The outline is DONE. Photo by me.

My tattoo is meant to signify something during my time in the RUF/NEKS in college.  I got it done in a dude's bedroom, and thanks to my mom's constant berating of the "tattoo crowd" I was convinced I was going to be knifed or contract Hepatitis.  Neither, of course, happened.  All I got was a tattoo that my brother lovingly (I guess) calls my graffitti tattoo.

My next two tattoos were what one could call a mistake.  I was living in Mississippi at 19-years-old, working my first full-time radio gig, living in a trailer with my older brother and was generally behaving like a buffoon.  On two different occasions I found myself waking up with tattoos I didn't remember getting, and once I woke up with a belly button ring I couldn't remember getting.

Yes, get the laughs out of your system.  Me.  Fat... me.  I got a belly button ring with a turquoise bedazzle-ish jewel on it.  It looked like an ancient treasure at the end of a long, hairy cave.  The truly sad part about waking up with a belly button ring you don't remember is making the decision to leave it in for a couple weeks to see if it grew on me.  It did not.

Call me slim shaded. Photo by me.

I got two of the lamest tattoos in the history of lame tattoos.  Short of tramp stamps and Chinese words that aren't verified for accuracy, my tribal band on my right arm and my sun on my left shoulder were dreadful.  The tribal band sucked because he must have gotten too bored to go all the way around the arm.  It also sucked because it's a tribal band.

The sun on the left shoulder was just a "why?" tattoo.  Why a sun?  Why that color?  Why there on my shoulder?   Unanswered questions to this day.  On a side note, I think we've discovered where my ability to turn off the "party" switch and stop drinking before I get myself in trouble was probably formed shortly after this time.

The good news during this time of hanging out with the tattoo artist and BELLY BUTTON RING PIERCER was that I never paid for the work.  That was also the bad news.  It encouraged me to keep doing it on a whim.  Had I been forced to spend what little money I had in small town Mississippi on the tattoos I was getting, I probably would have stopped after the tribal band.

All finished up and it's back to work I go. Photo by Manda May

Very soon after my move from Mississippi to Texas I decided to take advantage of a fan's offer to cover up the tattoos I had complained about on my radio show.  The shop was in an old roadside gas station that had been converted.  Unfortunately, there wasn't much that could be done to cover them up.  We decided to just go all-in on the tribal arm band and expand it further around the arm and "toughen" it up a bit.  The same, essentially, was done to the sun on the left shoulder.

They weren't great, but they were better than the originals AND they would no longer remind me of that terrible period of my life in small town Mississippi.  That was 16 years ago, and despite wanting my next tattoo all along the way, kids and such tend to take priority over such things.  I combined my birthday gift from my wife with my Father's Day gift that I would otherwise (hopefully, but not guaranteed to) receive in June to get my new tattoo.

The tattoo is Salvador Dali's "Melting Clocks", and the clocks are "set" to the times my sons, Tyler and Logan, were born.  Manda May at Kingpin Tattoos is somebody that's come highly recommended.  She's got a waiting list a month or two long, and I had to reschedule my first appointment with her in early April.  I'm not sure why I did it when I rescheduled, but I ended up booked for 1pm instead of the previous 6pm appointment time I'd had in April

Unfortunately, I didn't read the text I'd received the week prior notifying me of my appointment closely enough.  I was at home putting the dogs inside and about to come back to work when I got a call telling me I was 15 minutes late for my tattoo appointment.  I had two choices:  Beg for forgiveness for being late and drive real fast to get there, or reschedule for another two months out.  I drove real fast.  What did you have for lunch today?  I had some ink.