My name is Fischer Jones. “Knuckles” Jones actually, at least to anyone familiar with my most strenuous tattooing specialty to date. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll ink just about anything, but I’m not letting my needles anywhere near my girl.
There’s something you should know about Ellie. She was into some seriously weird heebie-jeebie back in high school. I’m talking total maggot soup of the brain here. Surely, her daily pledges to neo-Nazi malfeasance and self-immolation on graduation day had kept everyone guessing long enough for her to eye up more vintage comic books than witch wand hooks in peace. Unfortunately for me, whatever secret powers Ellie professed to have back then have recently started to affect my work.
“You should’ve seen me on Friday nights freshman year,” she had told me during a recent fridge-crowding session. Her Laundromat routine back in college was nothing to sneeze at, especially for a world class germaphobe like me, but man—the things a rotating dryer could do to a Puerto Rican broonie in the middle of tube top-cleansing season.
Anyway, my shop’s turned into the music video for “Take On Me”. A dude asks for flaming skulls and twelve days later he’s pulling out his hair in his sleep. That’s before he starts moseying under exploding LEDs at Fenway Park. Granted, I hear the sensory room at White Sox Stadium is just as great for the autistic crowd on opening day, but the day will soon come when some patriotic asshole wants the U.S. Constitution imprinted on both butt cheeks. Especially if we both find ourselves seizing a 27-piece enema kit manufactured before 1789.
Ellie’s already assured me that I have the right to no-show Chicago’s first public witch trial, but come on. I’ve been spit on, shoe-clocked, and unjustly served for vandalizing what I’ll never identify as personal property. Sure, if you pay me to mow your lawn and fall asleep in the backyard I’m not going to shred your testicles to bits the first chance I get. I might perform the most astounding zero turn maneuver you’ve ever seen from a lounging position on a refurbished Toro, but the moment you pass out in my chair in my shop you’ve lost complete control of Gary Busey’s slackened jaw and serial cartoon ultra-violent past.
Trust me, that’s not Mickie Mouse naiveté wrapping around your right nipple; it’s your most awkward foreplay conversation to come. But hey—there are worst ways to spend a Tuesday morning than getting blown by a biomechanical bro in a broken glass elevator, especially if you happen to not work across the street from the Sun-Times paper.
I love my job, but I’ve also grown to love the American justice system. After all, I’ll never see a day of jail after inking “Death to Grown-Up DJ from Fuller House” on a perfect stranger’s dilapidated forehead, even if Bob Saget himself provides me favorable retirement options at my next hearing in multi-million dollar Olsen hell.
We’ve all swung mightily through the second strike of stock-still mortality one way or another, but that’s not the reason I continue to rise above the law with broken blinds malice and clean canvas glee. Who’s going to stop me from inking “Better than Jon” (no relation) between my fingers and actually proving it the next moment my artistic integrity is questioned without just cause?
Ellie’s right. Celebrity jokesters are often timeless, but my free form potions for the unpattable back will live forever underneath Melissa Joan Hart’s high school bed.
So you want island tits, fire-breathing dragons, and some “Tiger uppercut!” Street Fighter shit? Fine picks if your physical appearance was of no ultimate consequence to anyone else in the real world. Before you dose off on my watch, let me take control of your unfolding dreams. As if flirting with disaster with both sleeves rolled up could ever compare to grabbing Charles M. Schulz by the throat and declaring “The Whole World Is About To Choke On Your Peanuts.”