Saturday, August 11, 2012

Retirement Tools — Tattoos for Retirees

A number of media outlets have done features on the tattoos spotted on Olympic athletes. As would be expected, the most common are the Olympic rings, followed by variations on flags and olive wreaths. There are also stylized renditions of the bearer’s event (pole vaulting, for example), key times (especially world records), and occasionally the Olympic motto (“Faster, Higher, Stronger”).

Also seen, but not related to the Olympics, are names of the athlete’s mom or girlfriend, butterflies, and here and there, a tiger or an eagle. You can also find motivational phrases and Biblical quotes. One unfortunate soul had a tat that was supposed to read “Olympic torch bearer;” sadly, the artist inked “Oylmpic.”

This array of designs set me to searching for equally interesting tats to offer retirees. I quickly realized that this would not be an easy task. The body parts and muscles displaying the art on the athletes are all toned and buffed. Even the body with Olympic misspelled provided a clearly legible canvas (perhaps to the dismay of the torch bearer).

For those of you thinking about a tat, but squeamish about body mutilation, you might consider a temporary or removable one. Some of these look quite realistic, but are easy to get off when you wake up sober the next morning. If you’re feeling brave and adventurous, and you’re still basking in the afterglow of the Olympics, read on.

Finding appropriate works of art for people our age provides unique challenges. First, they need to fit on an area that will not be prone to wrinkling. Second, the design must be one into which the artist can easily integrate liver spots without it looking like a mistake. Obviously, both of these needs vary with the individual. Before you select your design, stand naked in front of a full-length mirror and assess your body for suitable landing sites.

One popular theme for retirees’ tattoos is to have the grandchildren’s names lined up on an arm or leg. This can become a problem if your progeny are prolific. Be prepared to continue the list on another limb if you run out of room, and select your starting limb accordingly.

Several useful tattoos I found were emergency phone numbers (far more helpful than a world record), and a tat of your car (so you can match to it in a parking lot). In a similar vein (but hopefully not on a vein), you match the tattoo of a tiny icon of a pill (along with the dosage and the time of day you’re supposed to take it) to the actual pill. This is especially helpful if you take several types of meds and on different schedules.

Other ink that is clearly targeted to an older audience are walkers, canes and a scooter that looks like a generic rendering of a Hoveround. (A removable version includes the phrase “Born To Ride”.) I assumed that these were to remind the bearer to take the walker or cane and bring the keys to the scooter. Then I saw the version with numbers next to them. Turns out they were the wearer’s times in the 25 yard “dash” for each event.

I especially like the tattoo I found of a set of false teeth with the inscription “Bite me!” But my favorite hands down is the inscription that was clearly inspired by the Olympic motto. The variation for retirees reads: “Louder, Slower, Later.” I think that says it all.

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