2255: Tattoo Ideas

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Tattoo Ideas
The text ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US with a lengthy footnote explaining that I got this tattoo in 2020 and not, as you may assume, 2001, but offering no further clarification.
Title text: The text ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US with a lengthy footnote explaining that I got this tattoo in 2020 and not, as you may assume, 2001, but offering no further clarification.

Explanation[edit]

This comic is a list of potential tattoo ideas. Many of them play on the trope of regretting a tattoo by being tattoos of things that would not be useful outside of the immediate future, while others are simply ludicrous ideas with little functionality.

A tattoo by nature is designed to be permanent and difficult to change or remove. A lot of the jokes below describe things that are designed to be impermanent and/or change frequently.

Table of entries[edit]

Randall's text Explanation
Lorem Ipsum text Lorem ipsum is the beginning of and shorthand for a long section of shuffled-up Latin text. It is often used by both print and web designers as placeholder text until final content is available. Having a Lorem ipsum tattoo would possibly suggest that the tattoo's text is a placeholder for a "final" tattoo. A Lorem ipsum tattoo found in the web [1] may be a photoshop made by a tattoo artist.
Email password Getting a tattoo of your password could compromise the security provided by your password. Additionally, it has sometimes been recommended and, in some cases, required to change passwords regularly; which would result in the tattoo either becoming out of date or needing to be updated (which could be difficult).
Graph of the popularity of tattoos over time, with the date I got the tattoo marked (Update regularly) This would likely take the form of a run chart, showing the continual rise and fall of tattoo popularity over time. Randall's love of charts and graphs is a regular theme in the strip.

On the surface, getting a tattoo of a tattoo-themed chart would seem appealing. But a chart that tracks over time would become outdated within a few years, making it problematic for a (presumably permanent) tattoo. The solution to this appears to be a note to update the tattoo regularly, presumably as new data becomes available. This would require having the tattoo altered repeatedly, possibly every year; the artist would need to add on to the existing tattoo by extending the x-axis and the data.

Depending on the scale of the x- and y- axes, as well as the position and orientation of the graph on Randall's body, this might actually be feasible for Randall's entire lifetime. However, it would involve additional pain, expense and time commitment. Maintaining this novelty tattoo for the rest of his life would seem excessive, but giving it up would once again mean he'd eventually be left with an outdated tattoo.

"CHANGEME" Some systems use "changeme" as an initial password, with the expectation that the password will be changed before the system is used. In programming, some text fields are initialized with "CHANGEME" to allow the programmer to get the program running for development purposes, while making it obvious that the actual text needs to be written and inserted, similar to Lorem Ipsum. This would be a very difficult operation to perform with a tattoo.
Slide rule markings on forearms A slide rule is a set of logarithmic scales that are used to perform mathematical calculations. This plays off of the idea of a ruler tattoo, which might be useful for people who frequently need to measure lengths. Using a slide rule involves sliding the sections of the slide rule to align their markings, so a tattoo would be thoroughly useless. However, Randall specifies the markings would be on his forearms (plural) and, by sliding both arms past each other, he could have a functioning (if awkward) slide rule.
EURion constellation, so no one can photocopy pictures of me The EURion constellation is a set of five circles in a roughly X-shaped pattern that is put onto lots of currencies. When this design is detected, many photocopiers will refuse to make a copy.
The sentence "It's what my tattoo says" written in another language Intended to provoke the question "What does your tattoo say?" from people not fluent in that language, thus resulting in an interesting / confused exchange (similar to Who's on First).

In case Randall got it in Spanish it would say: Es lo que dice mi tatuaje. So a friend comes up and asks: What does your tattoo say?" Randall replies: Es lo que dice mi tatuaje. Friend: What does it mean? Randall: It's what my tattoo says! Friend: Yes I know, but what does it mean?...

Tissot's indicatrix Tissot's indicatrix is a matrix of circles placed on a map that change size and proportions (possibly turning into ellipses) based on map distortion. As a tattoo, that would be useful in tracking any distortion of the skin since you had the tattoo.
Summary of the Snopes page on the tattoo epidural thing (Lower back) The "tattoo epidural thing" is a mostly debunked medical concern that anesthesiologists attending women in labor would refuse to administer spinal anesthetic (which is injected through the lower back) by needle through skin with tattoo ink, out of fear of introducing the ink into the spinal column.
Pre-surgical checklist Might come in handy if/when going in for surgery. For instance there is the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, which lists the things always to be performed during a surgery. Surgeons do mark patients prior to surgery to prevent "wrong site" surgeries ("Oh, it was the right hip that needed replacing..."), but getting such markings as a tattoo would be unnecessary at best and dangerously misleading at worst.
Tattoo artist's Social Security number In the US, a Social Security number (SSN) is a unique, nine-digit number assigned by the federal government to citizens and other legal residents. The original purpose of these numbers was to track Social Security accounts, for collecting taxes and the payment of federal benefits. In practice, it is also widely used in other contexts in which an individual needs to be identified, including applications for loans, employment, and identity papers. As opposed to many of the other ideas, SSNs usually aren't changed once assigned (often at birth), and neither is the design vulnerable to skin deformation. Thus, the tattoo typically continues to represent valid information for a very long time.

However, learning someone's SSN is often a critical step in identity theft because it is so widely used. People are often warned to safeguard their numbers and be very cautious about revealing them. Tattooing one's SSN on a customer would mean that both the customer and anyone who happened to see his tattoo in the future would have access to it. That would be a wildly reckless move which very few tattoo artists would be willing to make.[citation needed]

Boarding pass for an upcoming flight A boarding pass is a document used to identify those who are authorized to ride in a particular airline flight. Usually issued shortly before the flight. Useful only once, therefore not a normal design to have tattooed.
Recap of the plot of Memento Memento is a 2000 film in which the protagonist suffers from anterograde amnesia, a condition that prevents him from creating any new long-term memories. One of the tools he uses to mitigate the issue is tattooing important things on his body.
This list, in its entirety Instead of getting a tattoo of anything listed here, the actual list itself would be the tattoo. This tattoo was apparently the one Randall (or whoever this list belongs to) ultimately chose to have permanently engraved onto their skin, as it was circled instead of crossed out.
The text ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US with a lengthy footnote explaining that I got this tattoo in 2020 and not, as you may assume, 2001, but offering no further clarification. (title text) Likely a reference to 286. "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" is a broken English phrase found in the opening cutscene of the 1992 Mega Drive/Genesis port of the 1989 arcade video game Zero Wing. The use of this line (and others from the same game) became a popular internet meme for a short time in the early 2000's.

Having a meme tattooed on your body will make many people assume that you got the tattoo when the meme was popular, not considering that it would become dated and obscure within a few years. To correct this, Randall proposes adding a lengthy footnote explaining that he got the tattoo in 2020, decades after its peak popularity. In addition to the oddness of adding a footnote to a tattoo, this would raise additional questions about why someone would tattoo themselves with an extremely outdated meme. The deliberate decision to add no further explanation suggests that raising but not resolving the question is part of the appeal.

Transcript[edit]

[A list with an underlined heading and then 14 items, the first 13 being striked out with a red line. The red lines are straight through the center of the text if the item is only on one line. The red lines are curly up and down if the items takes up more than one line on the list. The last item has a red line around it in an ellipse.]
Tattoo Ideas
Lorem Ipsum Text
Email password
Graph of the popularity of tattoos over time, with the date I got the tattoo marked (update regularly)
"Changeme"
Slide rule markings on forearms
Eurion constellation, so no one can photocopy pictures of me
The sentence "it's what my tattoo says" written in another language
Tissot's Indicatrix
Summary of the Snopes page on the tattoo epidural thing (lower back)
Pre-surgical checklist
Tattoo artist's social security number
Boarding pass for an upcoming flight
Recap of the plot of Memento
This list, in its entirety


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Discussion

"Changeme" made me think of FIXME or TODO of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comment_(computer_programming)#Tags 162.158.106.150 06:03, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

yeah, it's the equivalent but for stuff like passwords 162.158.154.91 06:42, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

The "Eurion Constellation" is a constellation-like pattern of dots on paper currency that when detected, prevents photocopiers from making copies of the bills https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation

Tissot's indicatrix is a matrix of circles placed on a map that change size and proportions (possibly turning into ellipses) based on map distortion. As a tattoo, that would be useful in tracking any distortion of the skin since you had the tattoo. 141.101.105.216 07:07, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

The Snopes page on Epidurals and Tattoos states that, as of 2005, doctors will administer epidurals (an anaesthetic procedure designed to lessen the pain of childbirth) through lower back tattoos, but that there is discussion in the Canadian medical community that there may be some risk involved with this procedure. 172.69.54.177 07:23, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Until I clicked the link, I was under the impression you were telling us that the doctors would give women epidurals under the guise of tattoos or something... 162.158.214.136 08:26, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

"The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist was developed after extensive consultation aiming to decrease errors and adverse events, and increase teamwork and communication in surgery. The 19-item checklist has gone on to show significant reduction in both morbidity and mortality and is now used by a majority of surgical providers around the world." 141.101.76.184 07:31, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

In the 2000 movie "Memento", the amnesiac protagonist uses "an intricate system of Polaroid photographs and tattoos to track information he cannot remember." (Wikipedia) 141.101.76.154 07:40, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Aww man, now I want the title text as a tattoo. Also, the words "You should add a dragon" abruptly in the middle of an intricate designV (talk) 08:03, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Or just "a dragon" 162.158.214.136 08:24, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Or just tattoo "Your Tattoo" to show to anyone who asks to see your tattoo. --
My sister-in-law decided to get a pumpkin tattoo in memory of her late father, as "Pumpkin" was his nickname for her. I genuinely thought she was going to get a drawing of a pumpkin. I suppose there's a chance she did too... Yorkshire Pudding (talk) 19:06, 16 January 2020 (UTC)162.158.154.91 11:20, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Even though it's too soon (xkcd 286)? 162.158.255.228 09:42, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

My phone refused to show this comic image until I viewed the url for the file directly. After reading about EURion sets, I wonder if Randall sneaked one in or something. It also started downloading an automatic "Play security information update" while I was trying to access the image. I guess if that's related causality could go in either direction. 16:14, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I don't understand, why would updating your password tattoo be difficult? Just add a character or two every 6-12 months, making it more and more secure over time. Some characters could even be modified, an underscore easily becomes an 'L', a parentheses becomes a zero or 'O'. SDSpivey (talk) 17:20, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I disagree with the slide rule explanation. If the two halves of the slide rule were put on opposite arms, you would always be able to use it assuming: the tattoos are uncovered, you can get the two sides close enough, and your skin doesn't sag too much. 172.68.34.106 21:08, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I too instinctively disagreed, under the same assumption that it would be on different sides of the body to slide against each other (because both 'slides' on one patch of skin would make it of no practical use - albeit xkcdish because of that!) but you'd still depend upon no unequal linear distortion (even if bilaterally the same in their non-linear stretching) to make the linear and log/etc scales remain usefully referential for all 'slide' positions, and I'm really not sure if (fr. ex.) forearm growth or fattening (muscle and/or flab) handily pulls the skin taught/promotes dermal stretching in a totally consistent manner. So I left my objection unsaid. Though still worth commenting on in here, I suppose. 141.101.98.196 17:12, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

The phrase '"All Your Base Are Belong to Us" is broken English phrase' in the explanation of the title text is itself broken English. 162.158.92.28 23:02, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Obviously, his first tattoo should simply say FIRST. — Kazvorpal (talk) 17:59, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

I feel that "the entire script to DreamWorks' 2007 hit animation 'Bee Movie'" is missing from this list. 162.158.90.84 13:14, 13 February 2020 (UTC)