Jerry wants to get a tattoo.
This is the same man who readily shares the story about how his father successfully talked him out of getting something cliche like the Tasmanian devil revved up in a midway spin on his shoulder when he turned 16.
Apparently after Jerry constantly begged for permission, his dad tried to convey how permanent the decision was. So he told Jer to write down exactly what he wanted and where. Then he sealed it in an envelope and made him a promise: They would open the envelope one year later and if Jerry still wanted that exact tattoo in that exact spot, he could have it.
Well, 365 days later, Jerry discovered he hated the choice. And the realization had a lasting impact.
It was so substantial he managed to go without getting one even after he turned 18, which just happened to fall at the peak of tattoo popularity when every college student in the country couldn't wrangle themselves out of their clothes to get inked fast enough.
Hell, I even got one. On my 18th birthday. Right after I bought a lottery ticket. Because I could.
And to this day I could kiss the tattoo artist who took one look at me and my preppy friends giggling in the waiting area and realized I would likely regret it years later. She talked me out of getting it above my belly button, then on my foot, then on my ankle. Yep, my tiny star is snugly hidden on my lower back, right where no one can see it -- especially me.
It makes for a great story and an even better memory, but if tattoo removal was free and readily available, mine would've been zapped to oblivion at least four years ago. Maybe five.
Jerry, on the other hand, wants to take the plunge now for reasons I'm not quite able to grasp.
Maybe it's the new tattoo shop that just opened downtown. Maybe he just wants to see what it feels like. Maybe it's just a natural progression after chugging pickle juice.
Personally, I don't find them sexy. I love the fact that he's ink- and piercing-free. And, even more importantly, I think the two of us as parents present a pretty compelling argument for Allison someday not to get one. As in, "Dad never got one. And look how absolutely ridiculous your mother's sagging back fat looks with that droopy purple blob on it."
But Jerry's got the itch.
The conversation has presented itself almost daily for awhile now. In typical Jerry style, his ideas border on the absolutely absurd like getting our friend Roger's face on one of his butt cheeks if Roger agrees to reciprocate.
Then there was the idea of making a very public tattoo bet with his radio morning show co-anchor. I'm not exactly sure of the details, but Jerry has told me he would likely end up with Nancy Reagan's face on his ass.
And if that happens, I can tell you without an ounce of uncertainty that I would never vote Republican again. I would have enough of that party in my life on a daily basis.
I can practically hear his supporters, though. "It'll hidden on his butt," they'll say. "You'll never see it."
And then I'll somehow tactfully inform them that Jerry is more than happy to drop trou and moon me whenever the mood strikes. When he wants to make a point. On his way to the bathroom. When it's hot outside. When it's cold outside. After lunch. When he bends over to pick something up. When he's standing at the fridge. When there's a pause in conversation. Or my personal favorite -- shaking it in my face after a shower.
Now envision Nancy Reagan staring back at me each and every one of those times. Daily. For the rest of my life.
I'd rather have the Tasmanian devil on his arm.
At least that would stay covered on occasion.