I've never understood the whole "tattoo" thing.
From the time I was a kid when a tattoo (or set of tattoos) pretty much meant you were either a) a social outcast, b) in some sort of fratenrity, or c) in the service), the concept of drilling yourself with a painful needle for several hours to adorn your body with a permanent souvenir made no sense to me.
Tattoos are much more prevalent and mainstream now, and guess what? I still don't get it.
Never mind that a tattoo has off the charts "I may regret this, and possibly look stupid at age 65 with this" potential. Oftentimes, tattoos have some sort of meaning that is, at best, time sensitive and, at worst, almost temporary.
For example, take this ridiculous "LeBron James' face" tattoo that some guy named "Nathan Blackhall" (according to his Twitter account, @AyYoNateOh) recently affixed to his leg, seen above.
A few observations on this tattoo.
1. Let's start with the obvious -- unless it is a dead relative or close friend (and even then, I'd never do it, but I won't judge tributes that come from grieving), putting a picture of another human being's face anywhere on your body permanently is not acceptable. It's barely acceptable to wear t-shirts with another person's face on the front, tattoos of faces are not even in the same universe as "normal." (They do however reside comfortably on the planet of "Stalker.")
2. Let's take this to a more micro level and discuss the permanence of a tattoo of LeBron's face. By my count, a tattoo of an NBA player can be disgraced in a number of ways, including (but not limited to):
-- Saying something stupid. If LeBron James all of a sudden drops a bunch of homophobic or racial slurs, you've now got a tattoo of Tim Hardaway meets Jimmy the Greek.
-- Committing a hideous crime. Can you imagine how many shamed O.J. Simpson tattoo wearers we would have if face tattoos were the rage in, like, 1973?
-- He gets injured and becomes an afterthought, or worse, a laughingstock. Is it so crazy to think in 2003 that an Orlando Magic fan would paint up his or her leg with a Tracy McGrady tattoo? In the midst of a two-year run as a spectacular league scoring champion? Well, fast forward. If you did that back then, you'd now have a tattoo of a playoff-winless, injury-riddled, veteran minimum shell of his former All-Star self. I won't wish injury on LeBron, but hearing the explanation of "Tracy McGrady Tattoo 2.0" to people in 2018 would be pretty funny.
3. It's LeBron. While we can speculate all we want about what may happen to him, this we do know -- he is a spectacular player who shrinks at the worst possible times and who follows said shrinkage with a press conference where he tells us how awesome his life is and how terrible our lives are.
4. When I went to Twitter to see @AyYoNateOh's home page, Twitter recommended @MrzSwaggtastic as the Twitter user most similar to @AyYoNateOh. Sounds about right.
So the LeBron tattoo is a bad idea on many levels, but Nate can at least take solace in the fact that it's not the worst celebrity face tattoo out there. Not even close. Here are five that are much worse (along with my guess on who decided to get them):
1. Alan Alda Best guess on recipient: TV buff, probably the dude from Seinfeld who used to collect TV Guides and stalked Elaine Benes.
2. Oprah Winfrey Best guess on recipient: Gayle King. Easily.
3. Tony Danza Best guess on recipient: The actor who played the son on Who's the Boss.
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4. Clay Aiken Best guess on recipient: Also, the actor who played the son on Who's the Boss.
5. Chuck Norris Best guess on recipient: Someone who fell for the cliche that Chuck Norris that "Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open" or "Chuck Norris' birthday is October 32nd" and thought "Oh shit, Chuck Norris is going to beat the shit out of me!"
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game and on Sirius 94/XM 208 from noon to 3PM Central Time weekdays, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.