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The Zelda tattoos, or, An Ink to the Past

Justin McElroy

Hello, I'm not sure if we met. I'm Joystiq writer Justin McElroy, and that's my calf. A couple of years ago my two brothers and dad and I started thinking about getting a shared tattoo after my mom passed away. Since we had just been through some bad stuff, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Grief's funny like that. We were all gamers, there were three brothers, so the Triforce seemed a natural fit. We made the decision to do it, then promptly didn't for two years, because I was a wimp.

Last week, I was finally tricked into going (the tattoo parlor's sign was replaced by one proclaiming "Free Hamburgers!") and just seven hours later it was finished. We all got different parts of the Triforce filled in (Dad got the whole enchilada) and all on different spots. I got mine on my calf, because I thought it would be easy to cover up. One brother, Griffin, got the forearm, because he wants to have the sort of job where that's acceptable, and my dad, Clint, got his right arm, largely because he already had a tattoo on his left. My remaining brother got one on his chest, which is apparently extra painful. I know this, not just because the tattoo dude Eric told us so, but because Travis spent the entire session periodically mumbling "Oh, this is very unpleasant." Also, he now has a square of hair shaved off of his chest.

A few notes on the experience: The place where we went also sold swords, which was either horrifying or rad. Also, if someone tells you tattoos don't hurt, they're not your friend. As common sense would dictate, getting a needle jammed into your skin a million times predictably sucks. Also, if the tattoos look a little off in these pics it's because they were fresh and still bleeding. (Wow, that felt really manly to type.) Anyway, thanks for indulging me. I know this is a little more personal than how we normally roll on Joystiq, I just thought you guys might think it was cool. If not, please keep it to yourselves, as I've recently found out that tattoos are permanent.

Gallery: Zelda Tattoos | 6 Photos

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