The paper wants to see it in ink |

The paper wants to see it in ink

The pain wasn’t too unbearable, more like a constant, annoying scratching – and very irritating. (Some guys I know have compared the process to childbirth. As if! As if anything a man goes through could ever compare to that. But I digress.)My forearm hurt, ached, whatever fill-in-the-blank term you want to use, for days.I’m talking about tattoos, those modern-day pieces of body art that are as popular as ever. I’m a very patriotic guy, so my tattoo is of an eagle wrapped in the American flag.When I went to the tatt parlor, I imagined a tattoo on my forearm about the size of a fiddy-cent piece. But the eagle and the flag have a lot of detail in them. So the tatt artist told me to go bigger. I did (see photo).Why am I telling you about my tattoo, and/or why should you care?Our new reader-interactive contest is about cool tattoos. That’s right, we’re looking for the coolest tattoo in the valley. We had colorful gardens last summer. And our cute pet contest at the end of last year was popular, as evidenced by the number of entries we received.We’re thinking tattoos will be just as cool. Sure, there are people out there who think tattoos are the devil’s work. Whatever. Look around you – about two in 10 people now have tattoos, and chances are they aren’t your grandfather’s old, uni-colored Navy tattoo. (Nothing against those old tattoos, either. My grandfather has a cool uni-colored tattoo).People are sometimes intimidated by those with tattoos. Call to mind an image of a big, burly biker with tattoos plastered all over his body – even his head – and you get my drift.But tattoos went mainstream years ago. It’s now about the art, man.And we want to see that art. Send us a photo of your tattoo. Because of space limitations, we’ll only print a select few cool ones in our paper. But we’ll put all of our entries on our Web site, We’ll let you readers decide who has the coolest tattoo.The winner will receive, you guessed it, a gift certificate for a new tattoo, and a cool feature story about him or her. But back to my tattoo. The eagle-flag art on my arm turned out as good as I expected.I consider it a lifelong symbol of my patriotism.Thomas R. Martinez is the managing editor of the Post Independent. He can be reached at 945-8515, or by e-mail at R. Martinez is the managing editor of the Post Independent. He can be reached at 945-8515, or by e-mail at

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