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That ain’t right

Okay, so this is Johnny Depp’s “Jack Sparrow” tattoo, in honor his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie and his own son Jack, born the year before.

Problem is? That’s not a sparrow. It’s a swallow.

“Jack Swallow” may not be the most prepossessing moniker, but at least the swallow has a long history starring in nautical tattoos. Supposedly, you were entitled to a swallow for every 5,000 nautical miles traveled.

No sniggering in the back there.

Only, Prof. Keith Simpson‘s Forensic Medicine says a swallow tattoo was once used as a discreet signal of homosexuality.

You don’t need to think about that one too hard. The lesson is, don’t let people doodle permanent pictures on your skin, ‘K?

Tomorrow – 6pm WBT – new Dead Pool. Be here.


Comment from Oceania
Time: January 26, 2012, 11:51 pm

Tattoos are a warning sign that their wearer is sometimes not all there. Just like alcoholics, drug abusers and the mentally unwell, tattoo wearers are in the same group.
Be warned. You can identify them.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 26, 2012, 11:54 pm

Actually, Jack Swallow sounds like a screen name in…… Oh, forget it, you get the point.

Anyway, my friends kid sister keeps wanting a tattoo and a tongue piercing. I keep trying to talk her out of the piercing because of the health risks, but she doesn’t seem to care.

Oh Well….

Comment from Mitchell TAFKAEY
Time: January 27, 2012, 12:03 am

Off topic, but Juan Epstien has gone to the great Principal’s Office in the sky: http://www.imdb.com/news/ni21749114

Comment from Alice
Time: January 27, 2012, 12:11 am

Scuba: It’s no use telling the young and immortal about health issues. Remind her fashions are guaranteed to change – that’s why they are called “fashion”. Try showing the kid pictures of “cool kids” of the 70’s — big hair afros, wide lapels, platform shoes, the blue eye shadow. Tell her “this was considered really really attractive then. But there is difference between those fashion choices and a tattoo/tongue piercing is you can cut your hair and change your clothes.

Or… Maybe suggest she save up the money for the cost of tattoo removal and surgery to close the hole in her tongue before she commits any money to getting them in the first place. Always good to have a contingency plan even if (or especially if?) it is for a plan you shouldn’t be executing in the first place.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: January 27, 2012, 12:11 am

It’s all very queer.

Comment from Redd
Time: January 27, 2012, 12:12 am

Ha! When I lived in SF there was a bar in my neighborhood called the “White Swallow.” My friend had to explain it to me.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 27, 2012, 12:38 am

This is not good news.

It means we have to walk into a shop sometime soon and say ‘Have you any dicks, please?’

Either that or sneak them into the basket and try to look surprised when half a dozen packs appear on the conveyor belt.

The 12 bottles of own-brand vodka, two dozen cans of cat food and… err… not a lot else, we can usually get away with.

‘Oh! We buy all the rest at ‘Ye organic farm shoppes, don’tchaknow’ (koff!)

Comment from mojo
Time: January 27, 2012, 2:19 am

Who died?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 27, 2012, 2:43 am

I have a theory that kids have to do something to shock their parents. It used to be enough to listen to Elvis. By my generation (I’m told but don’t remember 🙂 ) that you had to grow long hair and use drugs. Then it was piercings. Now it’s tattoo’s but I believe that ear stretching is the next big thing. After that?

Poor kids. It’s getting harder and harder to shock your parents without doing permanent damage to yourself.

By the way anybody know if that’s an African swallow or European swallow?

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 27, 2012, 3:50 am

Some Veg – I don’t KnAHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Comment from Nina
Time: January 27, 2012, 3:51 am

I remember many years ago reading a short story about a culture that made themselves ugly because it was the style. The story was about a beautiful woman who didn’t want to do anything permanent to herself so she hired a makeup artist to fake it. I scoffed at the story, thinking that nobody in a civilized society would make themselves ugly to fit in.

How wrong I was.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 27, 2012, 3:54 am

BTW, Roger Hegyes from Welcome Back Kotter died, so no picking him tommorrow….

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 27, 2012, 4:23 am

@Scubafreak – “Jack Swallow sounds like a screen name…”

I believe you’re thinking of Jack’s brother Richard.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: January 27, 2012, 4:33 am

“The 12 bottles of own-brand vodka, two dozen cans of cat food and… err… not a lot else, we can usually get away with.”

Take a single box of tampons and the largest jar of peanut butter in the store to the checkout . . .

Comment from Mike C.
Time: January 27, 2012, 9:52 am

I find myself in agreement with Oceania – obviously the End Times have arrived. Guess there’s no point in paying the bills this month.

Comment from sandman says : nothing to see here
Time: January 27, 2012, 2:44 pm

I must admit that the trending over the last number of years toward ever larger and more egregiously ugly, nay appalling tattoos has me mystified. My brother has been a biker for over thirty years and still has only four of the accursed things. As an artist and painter, myself, I can see a tattoo only as a permanent statement. As in having “Molon Labe” or The Gadsden Flag motif tattooed, but even then only in theory. Why not just get a colorful tee- shirt and sleep around? More fun, less permanent as long as you use “precautions” and the only thing stretched is one’s credibility. Tattoos, most especially on a female, are trashy, cheap, gaudy and bespeak a mindset of “Hey! Over Here! Look at me! I am different!” Yep different,just like all the other permanently maimed twits who look like this. Nothing stupider, sleazier or more visually unappealing than a woman with a lovely chest or tush, covered with some dullard’s scribblings like a junior high bulletin board.
I won’t even take body modification, splitting tongues and other parts, or the grotesquery of so many facial piercings a person looks as if they fell in a box of fishing tackle. You’d pay to have a fishhook removed at the ER, why would you pay to have one jammed through your face in the first place? Eat a fishhook and save yourself some coin, I’d say.

Other than that I have no opinion on the matter. I was never a Kotter fan, per se, but did like the grumpy principal and the Epstein character. The rest of it sucked beans.

Sandman, nothing to see here.

Comment from sandman says : nothing to see here
Time: January 27, 2012, 2:56 pm



Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: January 27, 2012, 4:38 pm

Oddly enough, my friend Miss Linda was glancing at the TLC series “NY Ink” last night. Several very attractive ladies are featured in the latest “reality” show about a tattoo parlor in NYC. Very attractive . . . but somehow they look vaguely dirty, as if they haven’t bathed in a while.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: January 27, 2012, 4:46 pm

Permanently maimed twit here.

But at least I’m not a lawyer ;p

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: January 27, 2012, 5:36 pm

Ack! I didn’t close the italic tag and then compounded the felony by not previewing! Ack!

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 27, 2012, 10:21 pm

Feynman groupie-

Your twit? THAT must have hurt….

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 28, 2012, 12:15 am

Feynmangroupie–pay no attention to him. He’s just jealous because you thought of bragging about not being a lawyer /first/.

Mind you, I always find the whole piercings debate fascinating, having had–since my teen years in the 60s–the basic double piercing women in America undergo early. Both of which sort of disappeared in the first part of this century, when I stopped wearing earrings on a regular basis. Oh, /MAN/ did it hurt when I started wearing them again and broke through the skin that had formed over the holes. I’m not sure there is a message there. . .but I do giggle a lot about the angst over piercings and tattoos. We all abuse our bodies in youth, and never believe what the results will be in age. . .and the abuse takes a myriad forms.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: January 28, 2012, 12:41 am

Some Veg,

Enough ego stroking dulls the pain. I was the dullard who came up with the designs. It made me feel like a special individual raging against the machine in my own very unique and empowering way. Plus, I was in the Army at the time, and it pissed my father off to no end.

Can’t Hark,

I had double-pierced ears as well, and am going to have to make same decision you did. I used to get all righteously indignant about face/body piercings, branding, scarification, etc. and then I realized that I was being a prig and a hypocrite and decided that I didn’t give a shit what other people did as long as they were consenting adults and took responsibility for their actions.

Personally, I’m fond of my tats because they remind me of my time in the service. Same goes for The Husband.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: January 28, 2012, 1:39 am

and then I realized that I was being a prig and a hypocrite and decided that I didn’t give a shit what other people did as long as they were consenting adults and took responsibility for their actions

Couldn’t have said it better if I’d studied on it. My only caveat being that each of my ears was pierced only once. I just pretty much lost interest in the whole concept of jewelry sometime in my forties, and I haven’t really ever regained traction on that one, although every so often I’ll wonder if the opposite gender might take notice if I had stuff stuck in my earlobess.

Nope. So then I start forgetting to stick stuff in my earlobes. I kinda have the feeling that I’m not really grasping the underlying concept here, but. . . well, I can deal with the results.

Comment from sandman says nothing to see here
Time: January 28, 2012, 3:51 am

Sorry if I offend with that line but tattoos on a woman just don’t seem right to me. We men are cruder and less refined and tats fall into that end of the spectrum to me. That said, the whole body mod/piercing thing baffles me. Not my cup of tea. Also ex deputy, not lawyer either.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: January 28, 2012, 5:32 pm


I’m not offended at all 🙂 There are lots of things that I find unattractive on people. I must admit that I find your description of men as “cruder and less-refined” rather amusing. As I know of many men who are both more refined in their lifestyle and pursuits than I am, and much less crude. Be that as it may, I do not disdain the finer things in life, although The Husband is far more of an aesthete than I am.
I have a habit of unintentionally defying all stereotypes. It vexes my family to no end.

Comment from TehSchlipp
Time: February 16, 2012, 10:26 pm

I made a statement by not getting any. I’m afraid I don’t think I know of a single friend and good portion of my relatives that don’t have tats and/or piercings. So my statement by not having any. Rare blank sheet here.

Really, it’s just because I hate needles.

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