I feel like lately I’ve been talking a lot about my Roku. I’ve been preaching the gospel of the Roku to friends in person and online lately, describing how while it’s mostly our Netflix box, we utilize so many more features, and how on-demand viewing is way better than DVR. Netflix, obviously, is our most-used app, but we are frequent users of the YouTube app, Amazon Prime, the Roku Media Player to access video files from an external hard drive, the Tune-In app that streams radio stations from all over the world, the Animal Planet Live app, ESPN Live app for Monday Night Football and the NBC app for hockey. And this is just a few of the many apps we use regularly.
My personal favorite app, however, is Bizarre TV Underground. BTVU is an unlisted channel that streams horror, sci-fi, and just all together weird content. The beauty of the channel is that it isn’t like other on-demand channel apps. Instead, when you tune in, it’s just like you’ve turned on the freak channel and you watch whatever is on. We’ve seen nearly everything from independently produced shorts, to cult classics like the original Night of the Living Dead, House of 1000 Corpses, and even John Waters’ classic film Female Trouble.
One of my favorite characteristics of BTVU is the bumpers that air between shorts or films such as the informational cartoons shown before and after drive-in movies that teach you how to use the speaker and how to properly return it. There are great “feature presentation” bumps and “This film is restricted” graphics, but most importantly, they prominently feature the animated snipe from the 50s, Let’s All Go to the Lobby. If you’re unfamiliar with this, the cartoon is a sing-along that features concession stand snacks chewing gum, soda, popcorn, and candy dancing through the aisle of a movie theater encouraging attendees to visit the concession stand for a treat. They look like this:
I’ve loved these guys since the first time I saw them and while I’ve seen them hundreds of times, I’ve never put a lot of thought into them. About a year ago, however, while watching BTVU, we were watching the snacks prance across the screen when it hit me: Those guys would make a great tattoo…And because of how they’re arranged, it would a perfect tramp stamp! I brought the idea up to Erin and she loved it. I brought the idea up to my friends and they loved it. I brought the idea up to Rob, my tattoo artist, and he loved it.
The only person that didn’t like the idea was my mom. “You know what that means!?” she exclaimed when I told her I was getting a tramp stamp. Yes, mom, I know “what it means” but the real question should have been “do I care?” and the answer is a resounding “No, ma’am.” And so we set out to make it happen.
One thing I wanted to change about the classic design was what was in the sign the popcorn is carrying. “Refreshments” makes sense but it’s tiny and would be a pain in Rob’s ass to try to recreate in tattoo form, so I figured I’d kill 2 birds with one stone and have him replace “Refreshments” with three big exclamation points, a punctuation tattoo I’ve been wanting for quite a while. The tattoo only took about 2 hours and while I say “only took”, I don’t mean to downplay it. I have 21 tattoos and this one has thus far been the absolute most painful tattoo I’ve ever gotten. I’ve seen cute girls with tramp stamps my whole life and have always thought it couldn’t be that bad if they all had them but I have to say that I now have a whole world of respect for all the women I’ve ever seen with lower back tattoos. Those things suck and I’m more than glad that I got mine over with.
I’m a few weeks late as I’m already healed up and am about 2-1/2 weeks away from getting another, completely different tattoo, but I figure posting this late is better than never. Erin was also with me and the appointment was mostly intended for her. She’s been looking to get an octopus tattoo for quite some time now and Rob did a great job designing something for her that she wanted. She sat with him for 3 hours that afternoon and they finished the line work, the shading, and colored in the water. When we return in a couple of weeks, the tattoo will be finished. I’ll be sure to post updated photos, then!
Meanwhile, here are some photos I snapped at the shop and some of our new ink.
You guys know the deal. Rob Jarrett is my go-to tattoo guy and he’s the owner of 2 Ton Gallery in Kingsport, TN. Show him some love by giving them a like or follow!