I’ll Have A Tattoo, Please

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tattoo….You?.”

During the winter of 1956 I decided I wanted a tattoo. Air Force regulation forbid tattoos, classifying them as destruction of government property. Should my commanding officer catch wind of it, and feel the need for a scape goat, he could initiate Article 15 proceedings – a paperwork reprimand, and probably lose a stripe, or worse yet, a full-blown court-martial. The choice was his. I was on the fence. Was it worth the chance?

I’d been drinking scotch most of the evening and night, and with a snoot-full the threat of legal action was no longer my prime concern. Before heading back to Keesler AFB, I decided to swing by an all-night tattoo parlor located above a rowdy club called The Green Door – so named after a dated song, What’s Behind the Green Door, or something along those lines.

After making my way up the stairway, I found an able seaman occupying the chair, and having the Battleship Missouri tattooed across his chest. After a few minutes checking examples on the wall I decided I wanted a large B-52 Bomber across my chest. The bigger the better.

There was a host of detail on the USS Missouri. It took time. I don’t remember how much, but long enough that some of the scotch was wearing off, and I began entertaining second thoughts.

The tattooer beckoned for me to take the sailor’s place. Before the sailor could pull on his shirt I had a quick good look at the distorted mass of colors across his chest. It certainly didn’t look like any battle ship I’d ever seen. The tattoo no longer seemed like a great idea.

Rising from my chair, I retraced my back down the stairs and caught the next city bus back to the base.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/tattoo-you/”>Tattoo….You?</a&gt;


4 thoughts on “I’ll Have A Tattoo, Please

  1. As I read your comments about fearing an article 15, it brought back memories of my First Sargent in Germany discouraging our unit from getting tattoos. He explained we all were government property and your have to receive authorizations to get a tattoo.

    There were several military members who got a tattoo with our units number and base number. It is a shame since neither exist any more. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

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