Saturday, November 26, 2005

Scratch Pad


First published in Trail Rider magazine, (Motorcycle trails) authored by my brother Chuckles and read by whoever choose's.

By Charlie Williams


Readers have written asking about the relationship between tattooing and racing. Certainly, many of the fastest motocrossers today are bringing back the art of tattooing, and your humble writer is no exception. I do indeed have many tattoos, but most were done by amateurs, either myself or other prisoners.

You can tell my approximate age by the content of the tattoo. My first tattoo I did myself. It was the word "Bultaco" on the backs of my fingers. It was a mistake. I had not given it enough thought; after all, study hall was only two hours long. Being right handed, I wrote the letters B U L T then ran out of fingers, so I had to switch hands and spell A C O. I can't write with my left hand, so A C O was a scrawled, bloody, un-readable mess. Then once it was finished it made no sense unless I crossed my wrists.

Then came a tattooed list of my weaknesses. It started out with girls names, then the names of beers, then various other vices. I remember one time waking up on the playground slide with an unmentionable word freshly bleeding down my leg. The officer prodded me with his night stick and asked me if I had been drinking. I responded by pulling my lower lip down, exposing the words SCREW YOU! He did more than prod with his night stick, and the next time I woke up I was missing my boot strings, my pockets had been emptied, and I was in a cage where everyone looked just like me!

Most of my bearded, stringy, rangy cellmates knew exactly what a Bultaco was; in fact several of them were collectors. It's a shame such a fine marque like Bultaco winds up in the hands of the tattooed prisoner types like myself. Harley found its niche. Maybe some day I could sell my Alpina for top dollar.

Prison is where I met members of the Tionga Tattoo Club. Meetings were attended and new friends were made. Tionga is where I got all the areas I could not reach myself. You see, everywhere I could reach with my right hand was covered with doodles, hence my yard name "Scratch Pad." The places I could only reach with my left hand looked pretty bad, as far as home made tattoos go.

Anyhow, one day Stabber was working on the word "Gatlinburg" on my back and we were talking. I said, "Now let me get this straight, you're telling me people judge you by looking at your tattoos?"

"Ummhmm" hummed Stabber.

"You mean people can tell just by looking at me whether they like me or not?"

"Ummhmm."

"People can actually cop an attitude, positive or negative, just by my looks? They don't want to know my religious affiliation? My political opinion?"

"Nope. Look, Scratch Pad, it ain't right, I'll agree, but it's a fact. If you got long hair you're a hippie, short hair, you're a queer. Black clothes? You're a Nazi. Today's social sects are differentiated by initialized uniforms."

"That's not fair!" I cried.

"Then tell me how the pecking order goes in your circles?"

"Well Stabber, at the race track it's the fastest rider is the very best person."

"Really?"

"Yea, the really fast guys are treated like knowledge-filled heroes. The rest of the guys are rated by their fancy outfits."

"Scratch Pad, is this fair? To be socially rated by your clothes, or how fast you can do one thing like racing?"

"No, I guess I agree with you there, Stabber. There are so many points to admire before you should judge a person, if you should judge another person at all."

Stabber thinks this over for a while, takes a long deep draw off his cigarette and says, "You know Scratch Pad, ya got a point. Who are we to judge other men, no matter how many qualities we study before making a decision. But on the other hand you must have some sort of quality rating system to sort out the good from the bad, friend or foe."

"Yea, that would be cool," I said.

"Judging is such a stern word, let's use "accept." Accept another man, only rejecting him when his values or quality levels fall below your personal standards. Now it's okay for a guy to have low standards and all, but when his actions affect another person, this is where you must make a judgment whether to allow this person in your proximity. Here is an example: I used to do gun shows with a fella, every week it was my truck, my gas, my oil. Okay, but the free ride didn't stop there. I'd pay for the booth space and he wouldn't kick in, under pressure he would agree to pay a few dollars, always later. He would never lift a finger to load the display tables although he had used them to display his wares all day. After many financial beatings I made a decision not to accept his level of standards. It wasn't my goal to try to change his habits, it was in my own best interest to avoid this character. So in a way I am judging this man not to be of the caliber needed to be my friend."

"Wow, Stabber, you're such a deep thinker."

"Thinker? Naw, all the deep thoughts have been thought already. I've just studied in the prison library and know the questions no man knows the answers to. I can only search for answers, more of a thought-prospector looking for answers than a thinker thinking new original thoughts."

This part of Stabber really blew me away. I already respected him on his tattoo skills, now to realize how intellectual he was, another sound reason to respect him. Prison is a good place to study mankind. A micro-culture devoid of social status emblems. Because after a strip-search, a bug bath, a lice-removing hair cut and a nice orange jump suit, we are all pretty much equal, boiled down to who we really are.

"Wow, so what you are saying, Stabber, is take away the Mercedes, take away the Gucci, take away the Armani and the Rolex, we can pretty much see who the person is."

"Careful, Scratch Pad, you can now see what the man looks like but you can still be deceived. You must take time to study the mans values."

"Values? Like how much money he can save you?"

"No, no; not like the extra value meal, but how he looks at the world, what is important to him. Does he think so little of you he would steal your cigarettes? All of them? Part of them? Or one at a time? If you can not trust him with your cigarettes, how can you trust him with something really important?"

"Money!"

"Well yea, but I was thinking of something more important than money. Something so important you cant buy it with anything."

"Hair!"

"No you idiot, trust! Trust! Can you trust and depend on another person? Can you trust a person with your trust?"

"Wow Stabber, that's so cool. Trust another person with your trust. Almost a mutual agreement."

"Sure is."

Stabber handed me a mirror and I looked over my shoulder to see the word Galenburg bleeding down my back.

"Galenburg!?!? I wanted Gatlinburg! You said you knew how to spell it! I trusted you!"

"Gee man, I'm sorry, I'm only human."




18 Comments:

At 5:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just when I thought it couldn't get any lamer!

 
At 6:08 PM , Anonymous anonymous said...

Lamer is not in the dictionary. Lame,lame-brain,lame duck,lamely,,lameness? Please expand so I can attack this moron!

 
At 6:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lamer is in the dicktionary. His picture is next to it. He keeps voting for his self. Good luck, we got you beat! I don't know why he has the word verification as no one comes here.

 
At 6:44 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

We? To bad bath house boyz you spilled your beans...

 
At 6:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean we spilled our seed? What are you talking about?

 
At 6:55 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

Dear BHB
Spilling your seed is to have masturbated and "spilled your seed" .Plant your seed would have been an insult. Please do not spill your seed upon my blog. Have a little respect.

 
At 7:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the hell is BHB? I am here to get you to stop promoting this blog by voting for yourself. I have the tool and can prove without a shadow of a doubt that it is indeed you the only one voting for yourself! Shall I expose the data?

 
At 7:06 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

Expose myself.We...

 
At 7:07 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought it couldn't get any lamer!

7:37 PM
anonymous said...

Lamer is not in the dictionary. Lame,lame-brain,lame duck,lamely,,lameness? Please expand so I can attack this moron!

8:08 PM
Anonymous said...

Lamer is in the dicktionary. His picture is next to it. He keeps voting for his self. Good luck, we got you beat! I don't know why he has the word verification as no one comes here.

8:38 PM
josh williams said...

We? To bad bath house boyz you spilled your beans...

8:44 PM
Anonymous said...

You mean we spilled our seed? What are you talking about?

8:50 PM
josh williams said...

Dear BHB
Spilling your seed is to have masturbated and "spilled your seed" .Plant your seed would have been an insult. Please do not spill your seed upon my blog. Have a little respect.

8:55 PM
Anonymous said...

Who the hell is BHB? I am here to get you to stop promoting this blog by voting for yourself. I have the tool and can prove without a shadow of a doubt that it is indeed you the only one voting for yourself! Shall I expose the data?

9:00 PM
josh williams said...

Expose myself.We...

9:06 PM

 
At 7:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the condensed version.

 
At 7:20 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

I agree you BHB's. So I offer a truce you leave me alone and I don't fuck wid U.

 
At 7:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Cool, but I still do not know who BHB is. Please stop voting for yourself. Let the blog free press be as it may. It doesn't matter what rank you are, but rather if you're enjoying what you Blog!

 
At 7:45 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

Bath house Boyz what the fuck are you talking about?

 
At 7:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was the one wondering? No Bath House anyone here. Are you loosing it? You know EXACTLY what I am talking about, stop it and we'll be cool. Do not and, Well, at least you'll get more comments then normal! But they will all be from me!

 
At 7:58 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

"We" and "me" are after Josh. Is that enough "bhb"? (lower case"bsb" intended to mean disrespect) Pog it ya skippin' nancys!

 
At 8:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you're a moron. No more play for you. Who ever this or these BHB are, I am not them, but I am glad that they are taking the credit. Honestly, you and your blog suck. Just throw in the towel and try again. Normally. I try and be nice about it, but since I have seen that you are cheating on the blog top site, I really have no sympathy!

 
At 8:21 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

Anonymous said...

I was the one wondering? No Bath House anyone here. Are you loosing it? You know EXACTLY what I am talking about, stop it and we'll be cool. Do not and, Well, at least you'll get more comments then normal! But they will all be from me!

9:51 PM
josh williams said...

"We" and "me" are after Josh. Is that enough "bhb"? (lower case"bsb" intended to mean disrespect) Pog it ya skippin' nancys!

9:58 PM
Anonymous said...

Dude, you're a moron. No more play for you. Who ever this or these BHB are, I am not them, but I am glad that they are taking the credit. Honestly, you and your blog suck. Just throw in the towel and try again. Normally. I try and be nice about it, but since I have seen that you are cheating on the blog top site, I really have no sympathy!

10:07 PM
Normally you are an asshole so lets leave it at that. I have to work tomorrow you have to dream. We both provide our society. You waste time doing nothing. I a waste time. but at least I provide. Night Mr. Ratheads...Kind Regards JW

 
At 8:32 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

10:07 PM
Normally you are an asshole so lets leave it at that. I have to work tomorrow you have to dream. We both provide our society. You waste time doing nothing. I a waste time. but at least I provide. Night Mr. Ratheads...Kind Regards JW

 

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