“I’m No Drunken, Sailor” by Chris Zito

Years ago while doing a Q and A for a radio station I worked at I was asked, “If you got a tattoo, it would be “blank.
I answered, ” A miracle.”

Take this to the chief steward. And after he’s hammered get him some new ink.”

Things change. Our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple I decided to take the plunge. I went into to this tattoo parlor and told the little boy, I mean tattoo artist, that I wanted my new wife’s name inked onto my shoulder.
“Whoa, Dude. Kiss of death,” he told me earnestly.
“How much?” I asked, determined not to take relationship advice from a twelve-year-old.

I’ve just been certified to do permanent damage.

Turned out the kid was in his late twenties with plenty of experience. After we picked some simple block letters, my guy went to work. Turned out the one thing everyone had told me about getting a tattoo was true. It hurt like hell.

Oh boy. Maybe some candy in a heart-shaped box…

I was hoping to surprise her but she felt the bandage on my shoulder that night in bed. (Remember, we were newlyweds at the time. I could get a tattoo on my ass today and she might not notice for months.) Even though she saw it a few days early, she love it.
That year.
Even though the tattoo is permanent, every Valentine’s Day brings a new challenge. How do I show her I love more than anybody without any further self-mutilation? There’s a few days left. I’m open to suggestions.

One thing’s for sure. At least her name isn’t going anywhere.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


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