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GAMBLE: End coming to tattoo buyer's remorse in D.C.

Opinion column

T. Gamble

T. Gamble

There are those among us who believe that the city government of Washington, D.C., has not accomplished much in the last 30 years … except elect convicted crack-cocaine-using former Mayor Marion Barry to the City Council.

This heartwarming act of forgiveness and forgetting explains pretty much all you need to know about D.C. voters. But do not despair. The brain trust that is the City Council of D.C. has now sprung into action by considering the passage of a law that will require a 24-hour waiting period.

You may ask 24 hours waiting for what? The right to buy a firearm? Oh, no, D.C. has been trying to totally ban that for years. Twenty-four hour wait before getting an abortion? Of course not, everyone knows a woman has the right to decisions about her body and to require waiting is an infringement upon this God-given — well, actually Supreme Court given — right.

No, we are talking about issues far more serious than these. Twenty-four hour waiting before one can get a tattoo is the proposed ordinance.

I must say it is about time someone stepped in or before you know it the world will be full of 65-year-old grandmas with tramp stamps on their backside that say, “Born to be wild” or, better yet, “Sam forever” when, in fact, it turned out to be about 16 months before Sam left with Cindy, the girl who worked at the tattoo parlor where she got the thing in the first place.

My esteemed retired partner, Jim Collier, has imparted to me with many fine words of wisdom over the years, but none more dead-on than when he explained that a tattoo is “a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.” And nothing is more temporary than the feeling one has after about eight tequila shots. I’d venture to guess that Panama City tattoo business would be cut in half if there were a 24-hour waiting period or a requirement that one pass a breathalyzer test prior to being permanently marked.

I heard on a local radio station the other day where a teacher called in and said a student had a tattoo of the Route 66 sign placed on his shoulder. The only problem is the artist spelled it Root 66. I don’t think a 24-hour waiting period will solve stupid and I doubt it will improve the quality of tattoo choices.

Just think. If this law had been in effect 20 years ago, Charles Manson might not now be saddled with a swastika above his forehead and — who knows? — might be out on parole for good behavior.

Angelie Jolie may never have had Billy Bob Thornton’s name tattooed on her body. Can you imagine how many times she has had to hear Brad Pitt throw that one up in her face? “It’s bad enough you had to carry a vile of his blood around your neck and then you go and have his name tattooed … well, you know where.”

While they are at it, I suggest they add a few more waiting periods.

How about 24 hours before you marry? My wife suggests 24 months.

How about a woman wait 24 hours before getting a new hair style that she will immediately hate?

How about 24 hours before anyone over 40 can buy a motorcycle?

Twenty-four hours before an info commercial order can be processed?

I could go on forever, but I’m just glad D.C. is tackling the dreaded tattoo buyer’s remorse that has swept the country.

Email T. Gamble at wtg@colliergamble.com.