Installment 2: The story behind the tattoo

The year was 1999. I had transferred to Ball State and made a trip back to Purdue to catch up with Shel. We might not have seen each other much in college, but we certainly made the most of the times we did.

(NOTE: It's been nearly eight years now. Thanks to Shel for helping fill in some of the fuzzy parts here.)

We set off for Indy that Saturday for a simple shopping trip, as we had done many times before. During the hour-long trip, shopping started to seem boring apparently. Shel says I nonchalantly suggested tattoos, and when she agreed, the look on my face revealed complete surprise. This is probably quite true. I don't remember what made me bring it up, but it did sound more interesting than shopping.

So, in a matter of minutes, our destination switched from Castleton Mall to Skinquake on Keystone Avenue. (I already knew of the place from getting my nose pierced there, and despite the area, the shop was pretty nice.) I do remember thinking we'd change our minds and end up at the mall after being at the shop for about 15 minutes though.

Pause for the bubble sidebar

The day of the trip wasn't planned at all, but the scrubbing bubble idea came up about a year prior. I wanted a tattoo, but only in a location where I would be deciding if people got to see it. I wanted no part of it showing when I was in a business suit or dressed up in a nice strapless dress. That left few places.

Then I needed to come up with something "butt appropriate." Anything cliché and girlie was out. No butterflies. No dolphins. No flowers. No hearts. Etc. I wanted something few people would consider. The scrubbing bubble had started kind of as a joke in the beginning ... that I could get a tattoo of one of those, and it would "keep my ass squeaky clean." It was discussed over jello shots and Jimmy John's in the apartment the Robs once shared, I'm sure. The more it was talked about, the more it seemed that HAD to be it. Who else other than Ang would get such a thing? No one. And that is just how it should be.

And return to the tattoo shop

Shel found a design she liked ... a nice sun, and now it was my turn to decide. She says I "took forever deciding," despite the fact I had the idea already. I say that is completely acceptable considering I was thinking of putting an advertising icon on my butt. Well, I finally decided to do it, and the tattoo artist needed reference from which to draw.

Here begins my most ridiculous Target excursion ever. We walked across the street to the Target that was there at the time (not sure if it still exists) to buy a cleaning product. While we were there, I determine I don't want to buy a bottle of cleaning spray for this purpose (we were "poor college students" and all, but I can't give a good reason as to why I didn't want to shell out $3 for household cleaner that I could, at some time, use at my apartment). Shel suggests we just tear the label off and be on our way, which we did ... being overly careful to shield from other shoppers that we were going to steal a Dow label from Target. Sheesh. Don't judge me, people. :)

Anyway, three to four hours later, my right cheek had a happy little scrubbing bubble on it. Shel had her sun. I let the artist take a picture of the tattoo for the album. And off we went for dinner at Don Pablos ... I wishing that I had worn looser jeans. We never made it to the mall.

Who knows if the shop discards photos from their albums after awhile, but it was once documented for all to see. All of you Indy people, feel free to take a side trip to Keystone Avenue and about 52nd Street and report back to me if it's still there. Maybe there are other bubbles out there now, but I feel it's pretty safe to say that mine was the first of its kind.

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