On Fajita Tattoos & Tattooed Parents

He doesn’t know about your sabotages and guess what? He doesn’t care!”
Alton Brown, Cutthroat Kitchen

When I posted about my last tattoo back in June, I went into how my mother finally broke down and got one. It was a big day for us because not only was she excited to finally be getting a tattoo but I was even more excited than she was that she was finally going through with it. Honestly, I’m surprised my mom didn’t have one already so it feels like now that she’s finally joined the tattoo crowd it seems that a certain level of balance has been restored to the universe – just seems natural for some reason.

So that was one down, but what about Chuck? Erin and I had joked about our parents getting tattoos for a long time after my mom hinted at possibly wanting one and her mother did the same. We both assumed her mom would get one before mine and that we’d both see the Glory Day before we ever saw her dad or mine get one but just for laughs decided that her dad would get one before mine would. Turns out we were wrong about both!

Yep, a few weeks after mom received her first piece of permanent art Chuck decided he was ready to come aboard, too, so we went into 2 Ton Gallery in Kingsport, TN to set him up with an appointment shortly thereafter. I had decided that after my EAT and birds tattoos I was finished with tattoos for the year so I had no intention of getting another but when I told Rob I had sort-of considered maybe getting another around my birthday he asked when my birthday was. When I told him December 9 he asked if I wanted to go ahead and schedule an appointment.

This question is about the same as asking me if I think it’s a good idea to put that fried mozzarella stick on my cheeseburger. If I’d like to go out for a nice wine and grilled jumbo shrimp dinner and make-out in the back of a cab date with Lana Del Rey. If the Specials could play a free concert for my birthday party or if I would like to wake up looking like Ricki Fuckin’ Hall. So we scheduled our tattoos on the same day.

My parents have really gotten into motorcycles and the trends that go along with it, the freedoms that come along with it, the inevitable fun that’s a part of the scene and are okay with the social stigma that can come along with being “bikers”. They own a Harley Davidson motorcycle, regularly attend a weekly “bike night” at one of the local bars, various “bike week” events at regional beaches and regularly don Harley Davidson branded clothing, sometimes from head to toe. They love the scene and I have to say that I’m tickled to death that they’ve taken to it as hard as they have. While they’ve been “empty nesters” for several years now, they’re still quite young and have a lot of life left to live so it makes me happy that they’ve found something more than TV viewing to occupy their time and interests. All this to say, it was a no-brainer that Chuck wanted to go with a Harley Davidson design for his first-ever tattoo.

And he did great! While it’s a fairly-simple design, Rob told him that in the world of tattoo art it’s a pretty technical piece to work on and I’ve been told by a few different tattoo artists that designs with so much solid black are tough designs to fill-in anyway. Toward the end he complained about the numbness his hind quarters were suffering from being propped up in the chair for so long but he was a trooper and made it through the roughly 2-1/2 hour tattoo session required to complete his desired design. Check it:

In the end, Chuck was very happy and mom loves it. I think it’s great and Rob did a great job, as always. I can now say both of my parents are tattooed and can officially say that I truly am some kind of influence on my folks. Whether or not that’s a positive or negative influence is yet to be decided :-) .


I was up next. While I have the EAT tattoo I was still keen on getting some kind of actual food-related artwork added to my collection so I decided to ask Rob if he’d put something together for me that included ingredients to one of my favorite foods: Fajitas. Combining steak, a red bell pepper, an onion, a jalapeño pepper and a mushroom, Rob put together a design for me that was pulled together with a chef’s knife and a banner reading Slice ’em & Dice ’em, a reference to the chalk board art that serves as a backdrop for Food Network’s Alton Brown-hosted competition show Cutthroat Kitchen.

cutthroat_still

Rob’s original design was perfect and he began working on me shortly after finishing Chuck up. A couple short hours later he were finished up and I had a beautifully colorful tattoo depicting the ingredients for one of my favorite dishes permanently etched into my right forearm. Dig it:

Slice 'em & Dice 'em – #fajitas #tattoo by @2tongallery inspired by @foodnetwork's #cutthroatKitchen w/ @altonbrown

A post shared by justintfirefly (@justintfirefly) on

This makes my 16th tattoo and my 14th that I’ve gotten at 2 Ton Gallery, a place that I trust with my body the same way I trust my bank with my money, my doctor with my health. A place I intend to continue getting work from until either I run out of room or all of their artists become too old and frail to use a tattoo machine. Hook up with them:

2 Ton Gallery’s Website
2 Ton Gallery on Facebook
2 Ton Gallery on Twitter
2 Ton Gallery on Instagram
2 Ton Gallery on YouTube

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