Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Have a Tiny Caveman in My Pants

That right there is a working title I should have spent a little more time on. Perhaps it will aid in drawing a new and exciting demographic to my little corner of the interweb. Grab a blanket and get cozy new friends. Just don’t sit on my side of the couch.

While stumbling through my 34th summer on this planet I came to the conclusion that something was missing from my life. This realization came in the form of an often repeated argument with The Little Italian. We have long enjoyed a sort of Mexican stand-off in our home directly related to the somewhat bizarre cycling tradition of male leg shaving. I don’t suppose it is truly fitting to identify this particular stand-off as Mexican seeing that she is Italian and I am a mish mash of pasty, light skinned people from the continent but for lack of better terminology that is where I have landed. You see, dear readers, I have shaved my legs on many occasions in the past. Most of the time, the removal of my leg hair was timed specifically for a race that I deemed to be important. Most of the time. But every time without fail I have been met with the same threat from my beloved. I have been warned time and time again that I can shave my legs as often as I want but as soon as I do The Little Italian will stop shaving hers. I’m sure you can guess which one of us has the will power to stay strong in this scenario. I’m weak, oh so very weak.

After years of allowing this fight to rage on we finally hit a wall. There would be no more threats, no more playful yet sometimes bitter back and forth. The time had come to find a permanent solution once and for all. I of course suggested that because I am the man of the house whatever I say goes. Did I get hit for that one? Yup. Did it hurt? Yup. Was there bruising? Of course not. The Little Italian was kind enough to drop a bar of soap into a tube sock and hit me with that. The bruising was minimal. The damage to my pride was not.

So how did I finally end this dispute? I got a tattoo!! She has told me many times that shaving my legs made me look like a girl but a tattoo could reverse the effect. Victory!

The location for my tattoo was never an area for much debate. I’m a cyclist. I wanted a tattoo on my leg and my calf seemed like the best place based on my analysis of a pain to visibility ratio. What to get was the challenging part. Many cyclists have images of various bike parts inked into their skin so that was automatically out. I thought something cool like a cowboy riding a dragon through a ring of fire might be sweet but that idea was quickly shot down as well. I also toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo of my calf on my calf only making in twice as large. There were some artistic issues there so I settled on my little lifestyle mascot, Grok. For those unfamiliar with Grok you should go buy Mark Sisson's book. The fast and dirty overview is that modern man is a damn mess and we could learn a great deal from our primal ancestors. This is a concept that I have internalized over the past couple years and it seemed only fitting to make it a permanent part of me. Behold my greatly improved right leg:

I have discovered one small problem with my new two dimensional friend. He has a rather kinetic quality about him and tends to only look cool when I am doing something active. When I am running or riding my bike or wrestling a rhinoceros he looks awesome. While darning my socks, painting a fence or feeding the squirrels? Not so much. I guess this means I have to do really awesome things all the time now. Who’s ready for some base jumping? You go first.

I can't possibly talk about my tattoo in this space without taking a moment to thank Dennis at Carolina Ink. This may come as a surprise to you but I am a bit of a nerd. I actually spent several hours researching the history of tattoos and looking up data on their prevalence in modern society. Did you know that one third of Americans under the age of forty have tattoos? It's true. Armed with my data I walked in to meet Dennis and discovered right away that he is much cooler than I am. He quickly dispelled any concerns I had about the process of having him repeatedly jam a needle into my leg and assured me that he wouldn't knock me out and draw a purple unicorn on my back while I was asleep. I appreciated that. The little details are important. I would love to tell you about the emotional transfer of getting my first tattoo but I was so tired the night that I got it that I nearly fell asleep on the table. All I know is that after an hour of listening to an annoying buzzing sound my leg was vastly improved. Groggy as I may have been I still had the energy to speak at length with the man responsible for my inky adventure. I stated over and over with great certainty that I would only get one tattoo. Dennis laughed and said I'd be back. He's right....