I saw a guy at the gym yesterday who had some sort of bizarre symbols tattooed all over his arms. I couldn’t tell what they were, and since he was lifting 50 pound dumbbells and wore an expression that suggested he’d punch you for chatting with him, I didn’t ask about their meaning.

I don’t understand tattoos in general, though. I’ve never seen a person, male or female, who looked better with tattoos. Now, I don’t say it’s impossible that there could be, but I’ve never seen one. Plus, you add in the health risks and it seems to me like it’s just a high-risk, low-reward proposition.

However, tattoos seem pretty popular, so I figure there must be some reason for it. I remember seeing an article in Star Wars Insider a long time ago about people with Star Wars tattoos. Here are some pictures, and while I have to admit the Cloud City picture is pretty awesome, I still don’t see how it could be worthwhile.

I’ve also observed it’s popular to get foreign-language tattoos–especially Chinese or Japanese characters. The danger here, though, is that you should really be damn sure about the language you’re getting permanently written on you. I read a story once about a guy who thought he was getting some awesome slogan in Latin, but it didn’t mean what he thought it meant. It was an insult. You can get away with that with a dead language like Latin, but suppose you accidentally got something stupid written in Chinese. There’s at least 1.3 billion people in the world who would laugh at you. You’re bound to bump into one of them eventually.

Actually, there is one reason I’d consider getting a tattoo, but computer technology has fortunately rendered it unnecessary. I would have considered getting the birthdays of my friends and family on the back of my hand or something so that I wouldn’t look like a jerk by forgetting those events. But I have a computer for that, so it’s a moot point.

Still, I figure there must be something exciting about it, at least to some people. And I’m not trying to criticize or judge the people with tattoos here; if a person likes that sort of thing, it doesn’t bother me. It’s just something I don’t understand.