Which is why if you were ever to find yourself checking out my left calf, you'd not only be a strange one indeed, but you'd also see this here little beauty:
Yup, that is indeed the Mickey's bee. Second tattoo I ever got, and though I no longer quench my thirst with 40 oz. servings of that fine malt liquor as I did in my younger days, I have, as they say, no regrets. About the tattoo anyway. Things done under the influence of Mickey's? Well, I guess drop me a line if I owe you an apology or anything.
This weekend though, my little tattoo got ID'd by what I would have thought to be the unlikeliest of culprits. See, with The Ash off at a cooking class, it was just me, a baby, and a dog. So I strapped Henry into my custom-made mei-tei, enleashened the dog, and headed down the block for a little swing/slide/crawl around in the dirt action at the park. The place was mostly quiet, but there were these two little boys, no older than 7 or 8 years old, riding their bikes around the perimeter. And every time they came back around near us, they wanted to pet Elliott, who is about as likely to bite as a tulip. "Hey Mister, can we pet your dog? I have nineteen dogs at home, but he don't 'cuz he lives with his mom. Hi little baby!"
And then one of the little dudes noticed the tattoo. "Hey that's that bee on top of the beer bottle, huh?" Um, yeah kid, that's right. "Yeah, I seen that before" And then he takes a careful look around, smiles, and says "Don't tell nobody, but I drank some before, and I liked it! But I can't tell nobody my secret!" I pointed out that he'd just told his friend. "Oh he already knows, he won't tell nobody." I pointed out that he'd told Henry. "Oh he's just a little baby, when he grows up, I bet he won't even remember." I didn't bother to point out that he'd told me his little secret, for some reason I was safe in his book since he'd volunteered the info. Guess it was the ink. What do you say exactly when a kid that age tells you that he's already discovered the joys of really cheap beer? I laughed at the time, but it was more an uncomfortable "oh geez kid what are you gonna tell me next" kind of titter than a guffaw. Guffaw, what a great word. But really, I was left kind of speechless. Was this kid before me a future alcoholic? What was his home life like? I pictured a broken down Trans-Am up on blocks in an overgrown yard next to a driveway full of beat-up trucks in front of a house badly in need of major repairs. That's totally unfair on my part, sure, but hey, I think we all knew that kid growing up.
Henry fell asleep in the mei-tei on the walk home from the park. For some reason I've been thinking about that little kid ever since then. Here's hoping he stays sober a few years.