Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Scan My Neck and Ring Me Up

I know I must seem like the tattoo curmudgeon lately, with my carping about them in previous posts and here again, but they leave me with so many unanswered questions. Can you help?

My latest example is a real puzzler. One of my wife's friends was telling us the other day about a rather taciturn co-worker of his who has a UPC code tattooed on the back of his neck. If you don't know what a UPC code is, that's the little series of fat and thin black lines inside a white rectangle that you wave over a scanner at the store to tell you how much your box of Ding Dongs is.

Speaking of ding dongs, why in the world does this guy have a UPC code on his neck? Mind you, it's not actual size, which would be an inch or two long and maybe a half inch wide. This thing of his is about the size of a Hershey bar, and it's permanently on his neck. My wife's friend actually tried swiping it with a handheld scanner once, and the guy got very mad.

Is this some sort of new gang symbol? Is this the calling card of some Columbian cocaine cartel or Russian Mafia hit squad? Do guys give these to each other in prison? Can anyone help me with this?

As is my wont, I've come up with a few possible explanations, but I'm not betting the farm on any of them:

1) The UPC code he's put on himself is the code for a 50 percent off coupon, and the guy distracts store clerks, then slides his neck over the scanner when they aren't looking to save money (difficult, but possible).

2) He's got a lifetime pass to Sea World, and this way, he can get back in the park without ever having that nasty yellow disappearing dye on his hand every time.

3) He's making a statement about the rampant materialism and conformity of modern American society.

4) He's a loony certifiable nutball idiot.

Any ideas?

UPDATE: Here's one more theory: Are UPC Bar Codes the "Mark of the Beast?"

Quote of the day:

"It costs a lot of money to look this cheap."

--Dolly Parton
(attributed, perhaps apocryphal)


Jan said...

We need photos! See my blog for directions!

jenA said...

I'm inclined to believe it's actually a twisted, somewhat uneducated attempt at number three. Most tattoo recipients I've met, who chose symbols because they "mean something," chose them based on an ill-informed or altogether inaccurate premise. Stupid kids. Just get the tribal armband and be done with it.