Posted by: furmanbisher | May 18, 2009

A Little Needling

I’m supposed to have an opinion about the curious case of Roger Clemens, former baseball pitcher. I do have one, and I’ll be writing about it, but right now I’m into tattoos.

The Braves have a sidearm pitcher from Australia, Peter Moylan, quite a character without augmentation, of which he has plenty. Much of his generous upper body is covered with tattoos. He’s a virtual walking mural, and though I can’t describe all his artistry, he does present quite a squiggly (which may or may not be a proper description) scene. Moylan is a quite friendly person, a former pharmaceutical salesman. He came to this country in the Minnesota Twins farm system about ten years ago, then caught on with the Braves after the first World Baseball Classic in 2006, when he came forth as a member of the Australian national team. He has had a strange marital relationship, which resulted in divorce when his wife chose not to accompany him to Atlanta.

But this is about tattoos. My aversion to needles developed at an early age. Vaccination was one of my mortal fears. My mother took me to Doc Clyatt’s office when I was about 8 years old for one of those dreaded needle visits, smallpox or something. During the wait, I slipped out of Doc’s office and was walking down the railroad track when Miz Lurie Surratt intercepted me and escorted me back. I’ve hated her ever since.

There’s a billboard on the interstate south of Louisville, Ky., that advertises Charlie’s Tattoo Parlor. “Done While You Wait,” is Charlie’s billboard slogan. You mean there’s any other way? No mail-order tattoos?

During World War II, one of the officers in my squadron was a lieutenant who had risen through the ranks. As a swabbie, he thought it would make him look tough if he’d have some tattoos on his arms. Then he made officer, married a good-looking blonde and spent an agonizing amount of time and money trying to have the tattoos removed. No luck. The tattoos were paled a bit, but he never wore anything but long-sleeved shirts.

Seems there’s a tattoo craze among some athletes, especially basketball players. But Moylan’s artistry can be viewed only in the Braves clubhouse. They can’t even be shared with his ex- wife, now still living Down Under. You suppose the tattoos were one of the grounds for the divorce?

As for me, I’d never have made it as a druggie, or as a tattoo canvas. The thought of all those needles……br-r-r-r-r-!



  1. Furman,
    I have noticed the tattoos as well. I did notice I did not see any on the Duke Basketball Team. I believe there is must be a story there.
    Long time fan of a Great Wordsmith.
    Warmest Regards,
    Terry Bowie
    (Tixie’s Neighbor)

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