From the polynesian word 'tautau' (along with taboo). Not to be confused with the Edinburgh tattoo (which comes from a different root, the Dutch word 'taptoe' meaning to close the tap of a cask). The Tatoo is an annual event where cannons are fired and soldiers parade for the pleasure of the crowd (hmmm..). Unfortunately, bagpipes feature prominently as in most aspects of Edinburgh life. This hellish instrument should be banned, especially during the summer months when the American Tourist attempts to placate the noisy beasts with money, not knowing that this encourages them.

The character on the original Fantasy Island TV show (1977) played by the late Herve Villechaize.

Most reknown for the opening line of the show:

"Da plane! Da plane!"

The addiction is unbelievable. First tattoo at age 19, and held off until 25 to get my second. Now, I can't wait to go back under the needle. With a clean tattoo shop, there is no risk of AIDS or other bloodborne pathogens, so why not? They give instructions for taking care of it, along with a can of tattoo goo, so why not? They help you design your own personal design so why not? Why the hell not, you prudes and yuppies that think as soon as you get a tattoo you're going to: rob a liquor store; kill or maim someone; worship Marilyn Manson; use drugs; eat bats. Harrumph...I consider myself a very rational person, and I have several tattoos with plans for more. The moral degradation of society? No. A great form of self-expression? Yes. A phase or a fad? No. A help for low self-esteem? Yes. Not that it's a confidence booster to have Betty Boop on your butt, but that venomous cobra on your shoulder that represents the inner, slightly vindictive YOU gives you that extra boost of confidence. Mark your body for all it's worth. But if a tattoo parlor announces "double coupon day", run like hell.

Tattooing was rediscovered by Europeans when exploration brought them into contact with Polynesians and American Indians. The word, tattoo, comes from the Tahitian word tatau, which means "to mark" and the techniques used were first mentioned in explorer James Cook’s records from his 1769 expedition to the South Pacific. Because tattoos were considered so exotic in Europe and the U.S. (due to the Christian church frowning on their practice, causing it to die out many centuries earlier) tattooed Indians and Polynesians drew crowds at circuses and fairs during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The oldest evidence of the art of tattooing comes from a mummified human body dating from about 3300 B.C, and the practice seems to be widespread soon afterwards, with tattoos being found on many Egyptian mummies, believed to be from around 2000 B.C. and continuing with Greeks, ancient Germans, Gauls, Thracians and ancient Britons all using tattoos.

Each different culture had different reasonings for tattooing its members. In Rome, tattoos were usually found on slaves and criminals, and in Tahiti, tattoos serve to tell the story of the wearers life, with the first tattoo being seen as a rite of passage to manhood. The method of tattooing also varied from culture to culture. The American Indians usually used a simple pricking technique, rubbing the colour in afterwards, whereas the Inuit would make needle punctures then pass thread coated with soot through the wound to leave the pigment. The tribes of Polynesia used a small rakelike implement with pigment on the tips of each spike, and the Maori whose distinctive Ta-moko style applied the Maori wood carving technique to tattooing. Shallow, coloured grooves in complex designs were produced on the face and buttocks by striking a small bone-cutting tool (used for shaping wood) into the skin.

Modern tattooing is done by injecting pigment around 1 mm under the skin, directly into the more stable dermis layer, using a needle vibrating several hundred times a minute. This method has been fairly unchanged since it was invented by Samuel O’Reilly and patented in the United States in 1891.

by Wallace Stevens

The light is like a spider.
It crawls over the water.
It crawls over the edges of the snow.
It crawls under your eyelids
And spreads its webs there—
Its two webs.

The webs of your eyes
Are fastened
To the flesh and bones of you
As to rafters or grass.

There are filaments of your eyes
On the surface of the water
And in the edges of the snow.
A tattoo is a scar on the body. It has its color, its form, it is visible. Somebody has done it and since then it is there. Forever. A man can never get rid of it. Whatever he does, trying everything possible, the scar still will be there. Maybe it fades a little in time, but it will stay. Even further than till the death. The body will come to ashes, but the molecules of the ink will still lie with it. A man can never get rid of it. It has taken its definite place on the body. And nothing else can ever get to this place. Nothing else can take this place again and nothing else can replace it. It is there forever, the same as it was in the begining. No one and nothing can destroy it or replace it. It could be covered by the layers of dress, not to be seen, but it will still be there. It will come out after all once and still it will be sensitive to the straight light of the Sun. And people will enjoy looking at it so much. They like it. They like such things. But very few want to get tattooed. It is beautiful to look at it on someone else, or in TV, or to read about it. It is so romantic.

...oh, I almost forgot, these characters suits for love as well.

A military ceremony generally including music, a ceremonial guard, and flags. The central part of the ceremony is the beating of the retreat, which includes a drummer's call. Traditionally, this was the call for all the soldiers to return to the fort after their evening liberty.

The tattoo ceremony often tends to include a sunset ceremony, which is the ceremonial lowering of the flags. Also, from its religious roots comes the evening hymn.

Sometimes, a tattoo can be more than a single ceremony. There are often displays of skill and competitions, sometimes among different units, but also between the military members and the civilians.


A beat of the drum, of signal for soldiers to go to their quarters, and a direction to the sutlers to close the tap, and draw no more liquor for them ; it is generally beat at nine in summer and eight in winter.

The devil's tattoo ; beating with one's foot against the ground, as done by persons in low spirits.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Katchoo wakes up after a Las Vegas bender and finds herself married to longtime friend David. After dealing with a stalker pursuing one of Casey’s showgirl friends, she returns to Houston and continues her art career. The series’ other principal Francine, tries to settle into married life. She and her husband Brad move to Houston, and her parents reunite.

Title: Tattoo (third series, #70-72, 74-76)
Author: Terry Moore.
ISBN: 1-892597-33-0

A strange thing happens in this seventeenth Strangers in Paradise trade paperback, the issues of which were bifurcated by the final chapter of Molly & Poo. In the first section, Moore sets up a Las Vegas mystery involving Katchoo, David, Casey, and Casey’s friend Rusty. Rusty seeks clues in the unsolved disappearance of her husband. When she attracts a disturbed stalker, the characters once again face danger. While this plot develops, David and Katchoo address the fact that they married while under the influence. These sorts of things happen in SiP, and Moore allows the story to develop.

Then he abandons the plot. The stalker gets taken down quickly, and a section heavy with expository prose (and lines like "the truth hit me like a ton of bricks") forcibly concludes the various storylines. We even catch a glimpse of Rusty’s future, though we never learn the fate of her missing husband. It plays very like an author becoming bored with his current project. In the second half we return to Houston and a brand new story arc, one reminiscent of SiP’s early years.

Nothing terribly original happens, but Moore handles it well. If he cannot bring Francine and Katchoo back together, he makes use of many other familiar series elements. Human comedy takes center stage. Freddie Femur returns, older if not entirely wiser. He rants immoderately and insults people. We even get treated to the sight of Femur drunk and singing "Freebird" at a gala. He has, however, developed some affection for Katchoo. The supporting cast at the studio continues to show potential. As a bonus, recurring doofus Pat makes his first cameo in some time, serving drinks at an important function. Characterization remains generally strong, though Katchoo becomes something of a self-parody in two sequences where she’s left alone too long

The single funniest bit in Tattoo involves a "Still Life" and a "Life Drawing" class resolving a scheduling conflict. The most dramatically effective is a sequence which parallels problems with both central characters’ new marriages.

After forcing closure on the first arc, Moore introduces a new danger in the second. It might have made more sense to allow the first to somehow carry into the second, if Moore was growing tired of the Vegas setting. In any case, it’s a development typical of Tattoo, which features good material that never reaches its potential.

If his story falters somewhat, Terry Moore continues to produce excellent, understated artwork. The use of small details in the opening sequence, the menacing depiction of Rusty’s stalker, the park landscape in #76, and the variety of realistic body types all demonstrate his talent. He also continues to include oddball details. The showgirls’ seamstress, for example, resembles Edith Head/Edna Mode.

Moore’s quirkiness remains. At least three times, the artwork turns momentarily cartoony, to good effect. One page becomes "SiP Thimble Theater with Jet Jones" and hilariously recalls the weekend color comics of an earlier era—though those features never would have riffed on the word vagina.

A cat named Maggie narrates one brief section.

In addition to the reprinted comics, Tattoo features a photo section of fan’s SiP-related tattoos which reveal their devotion for the series. Some of Moore’s sketches appear which reveal his behind-the-scenes process. Finally, the usual cover gallery has been included, and the artwork suggests Terry was more comfortable when Francine and Katchoo were together.

These issues show glimpses of Strangers in Paradise at its most entertaining, but also clear indications of a series suffering from fatigue. Little wonder that shortly after Tattoo appeared, Moore announced he soon would bring his story to a definite conclusion.


Coloured pictures on the wall, decorative fonts and intriguing objets d'art collected around the place. Some of the pictures are suggestions or pre-made pieces from which you can select. Others are legitimate artworks for their own sake, in oils, acrylics, sculptures. Racks of pictures that will tell your story. Flaming dragons, leering skulls, delicate fairies. Professions of love. Brightly coloured koi and birds. Brass knuckles, a bad roll of the dice. Simple machinery, executed in brass and aluminum. Sterilized needles on bars, wrapped in hygenic pouches.

The smell of antiseptic spray, Dettol. Green soap. The plastic smell of Saran, wrapping any surface that can become infectious. You are safe in this world, the hospital smells reassuring. Incense, another note in the cacophony.

A cooling spray of soap against your skin. The gentle rasp of a disposable razor, taking hairs that will deviate or jam the machine out of the equation. The gentle pressure of paper, holding the stencil, against your skin. The rubbing of a marker against your skin. The slicking of your skin with a vaseline-like skin ointment. The buzzing of the machine against your body, sometimes tapping a meridian in your person making you feel the vibration the length of an arm or across your chest. Sometimes, the scalpel cutting sensation of the needle hitting a nerve. The endorphins kicking in, washing over you. A strange, unnatural calm, punctuated by picks, jabs and nicks. Later, after your skin is encased in lotion-slick Saran, the heat and burning sensation of a mild sunburn. Not unpleasant. The healing itching days later, as the scabs form.

The backdrop of music. Sometimes hard rock, sometimes rap. Guaranteed to always be different. A door opening and closing. A question, nervousness sometimes. Argument. The buzzing and snapping sounds of a machine being turned on and off with a foot pedal, like the comforting droning of a bumblebee. Conversation and commerce.

A baseball bat in the corner. A warning on the door. You must be 18 and sober. No discussion of religion or politics. No attitude. No second warning.

Words. Formal ones, making sure you know not to be drunk, that you are old enough to be tattooed. Words of warning before and after, medical advice and counsel. During the tattoo, discussion of the meaning behind it, the story being etched on your dermis, forever. A kind of shared intimacy. The banter of a barbershop. Coarse jokes. Foul language. But always respectful.

And after you leave, a story, a memory. A passion? Or, a warning? Whatever it is. It's


Tattoo is a 2005 addition to the Captain Morgan line of rums. It weighs in at 70 proof, like their other spiced rums, and was formulated and introduced as competition for Jagermeister and other strong spiced or herbed shooters.

Tattoo is a very dark, nearly black rum in a distinctive black bottle.  It is heavily spiced with a distinctive sweet, fruit flavor.  The taste is often described as cherry, berry, or citrus.  The rum starts out strong and spicy, but finishes very sweet and fruity. 

Tattoo is a good rum for sipping over ice, or shooting. It's stronger than it tastes.  It also mixes well with coke, as well as Dr Pepper, root beer, and Sprite.  It's a very mixable rum for cocktails, and is my personal favorite of the Captain Morgan line.

Way back around maybe fifteen years ago, getting pierced or tattooed meant that you were a Deep Person. This was the age of ReSearch's Modern Primitives book, the movie Dances Sacred and Profane, of Silence of the Lambs, and of the backlash against the Age of Greed that had preceded it. Getting tattooed meant that you were enough of a rebel to make an indelible stamp on your hide: I am not a sell-out to the Corporate World, like all those other people in my high school graduating class, I am an artist, a free-thinker, an entrepreneur. Like the other fads of its day, like cigar smoking, it involved pain, and risk, and the whisper of death. A person who got tattooed, especially with one of the tribal or Chinese/Japanese designs, was someone who'd travelled, someone who was a Deep Thinker who had gone on Spiritual Vision Quests and had made Life Decisions (kind of like how people, um, used to have children?) If you weren't afraid to say you read real books, you might even reference Stranger in a Strange Land. Tattoo people were, circa Early Nineties, always talking about how they'd gone to South America to take Yage with the Indians, or how they'd had this incredible trip on Ecstasy at the Rainbow Gathering, or once they'd been in the Program, or in some impossibly harsh martial-arts dojo, for a whole year...(somehow, drugs, either getting off of, or taking semi-unobtainable varieties, were always part of the story)..."and so, I knew right then, I needed to make a mark, that would always remind me...just who I am...To keep me always, mystically, in that moment, when my identity was engraved upon me..."

"Whoah, dude!"

The S/M part of this made tattoos kind of sexy: a man with a tattooed penis was infinitely more likely to go from third base to home than a man without. A straight woman with a tattoo, like a woman smoking a cigar, had a certain black-pepper quality to her: she had a past, and hence a bit of mystery. The pain factor, plus its association with "tough" or "masculine" imagery made a visible tattoo and/or piercings, along with a low-saturation-colored wardrobe was an essential part of the Womyn's Studies set, broadcasting loud and clear that you were NOT in any way associated with plastic standards of female beauty. Maybe you had it done where no one but a lover would see it. Maybe you put it where it wouldn't show at work. Maybe you had it where it would show...just a little. Or a lot. So we went from linked Venus Mirrors and winged cherries on the inner thigh, to Snoopys on the butt to Flower designs on the lower back to Meaningful tattoos on the upper arm to...and all of a sudden, we had a new fashion accessory that complimented low-rider jeans, tank tops, and silicon boobs just fine. Usually the story that goes with this type is "Well, we were on vacation at the Indian Casino, and we'd won a lot of money...yeah, that's Suzanne and me, we decided to go for the week, and then...we just decided to get tattooed. So, I got a pink Pegasus, and she got a blue Unicorn, and so when we put our bippies side by side, in thongs, you got two halves of a rainbow...You know, BFF stuff. We got sooo many free drinks that Summer..."She flexes her hand with the acrylic nails, a carry-over from her old cigarette habit. "Anyway, it's a shame we don't see each other more often, but after the C-section I heard she doesn't wear thongs that much anymore."
Like acrylic nails or wearing fetish clothing in public this kind of tattoo screams "Hey, lookamee! I am sexy, no?". However, in-your-face female sexual attention-getting drops in fascination considerably after forty, and begins to look not alluring, but desperate, around fifty, when most women (outside of a few subcultures) have long since put away their four inch heels and push-up bras in favor of something a little more subtle. Unfortunately for the tattooed, they're going to be stuck with their ever-more-bruised-looking Mythical Horses In Like in managed care, endlessly having to explain that their tattoos are altogether different from that couples' the next floor over, who insist their beds be C-clamped together....

For awhile we had Fan Tattoos: it was sort of like having a permanent T-shirt -- from I ♥ Rock & Roll, to logos of bands, to (however hamhandedly executed) portraits of whatever celebrity or anime character, or whomever, charming, once done, two years later, an embarrassment. Let's not even get into the hip-hop variety, where you have people trying to make designs on skin too dark to really show much of anything, of memes that have all the longevity of a souffle. (Also, it's hard to persuade the judge you really didn't mean to hurt your girlfriend when your forehead is proclaiming "THUG".) Sports fans...alumns of colleges...they've got their own problems without me trying to point them out.

At the last, we have ironic tattoos. "Hello, my name is..." Bacon. Fingerstaches. Chinese characters that say "I don't speak Chinese". Band-aids, even those which refer to real disabilities. This kind of says, "Yeah, I'm a Deep Thinker all right, but I think more deeply than those losers who have the Deep Thinker tattoos. Enough to make fun of them, in fact. So, let's just say I have the balls to get tattooed, and leave it at that." The first time you see one of these, it's just so clever! The next twenty, you wonder why they bothered.

Maybe you aren't following the IBM Dress Code, or working for Amalgamated Widget, but what you're doing is the same slotting yourself for life that you fought against when you were tattooless, as The Guy with the Dragon on His Neck, or The Woman with the Pearl Diver with Two Octopodes on Her Back. If you have something drug-related, as a friend (who got a woman skeleton slumped over a table with a needle and a spoon as part of a killer video from downtown New York with G. G. Allin) found out.... every year he has to tell his freshman English class the same dreary story, about how he was a junkie, kicked, and now, long after he's gotten bored with the whole subject of heroin, recovery, and even telling people not to take drugs, he's going to want their compositions in next class.

It's pretty much the problem with the current trend of witty baby names, except that you have no one else to blame but yourself.

As for myself, I am tattooless. But I can claim some interest in the artform: I was the subject of a tattoo parlor's portfolio. As the "White Slave", I was dressed in flowing Tyrian purple silk Chinese pyjamas, with short redbrown hair (as I had), holding an opium pipe(I had a William S. Burroughs fixation), during the late 70's, at Papillon's a place where I was resident pinball/videogame genius (which, surprise!, got me into the use of computers for lulz, as opposed to just work...). It is in the same era that I was a face in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, whose hero has indeed, several tattoos: one of which being a number, as commonly was given in a concentration camp. If anything, I feel respectful towards what this represents. Perhaps I am biassed...but I love getting those temptoos from coin machines with designs from Boog Phat Graphs...Just as long as I can change them any time I like...

Written for Amazon's Mechanical Turk, who was going to pay me $2.50 USD for an essay on tattooing. I chose not to take the job until the essay was a done deal. Someone beat me to it.......

Tat*too" (?), n. [Earlier taptoo, D. taptoe; tap a tap, faucet + toe to, shut (i. e., the taps, or drinking houses, shut from the soldiers).] Mil.

A beat of drum, or sound of a trumpet or bugle, at night, giving notice to soldiers to retreat, or to repair to their quarters in garrison, or to their tents in camp.

The Devil's tattoo. See under Devil.


© Webster 1913.

Tat*too", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tattooed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tattooing.] [Of Polynesian origin; cf. New Zealand ta to tattoo, tatu puncturation (in Otaheite).]

To color, as the flesh, by pricking in coloring matter, so as to form marks or figures which can not be washed out.


© Webster 1913.

Tat*too", n.; pl. Tattoos ().

An indelible mark or figure made by puncturing the skin and introducing some pigment into the punctures; -- a mode of ornamentation practiced by various barbarous races, both in ancient and modern times, and also by some among civilized nations, especially by sailors.


© Webster 1913.

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