Hobo Skin Art

I tried to get some good photos of the hobos. They all had tattoos on their faces and they had all just gotten new tattoos on their knuckles. I, of course, first became familiar with knuckle tats on the Blues Brothers.

Jake's hand from the Blues Brothers

I really wanted to get a few more pictures of everyone’s tattoos, but it felt a little invasive. In retrospect, I’m sure that they would been happy for me to get more photos. The knuckle tats that they all had were recently inked. Here’s one from Wild Life, Matriarch’s husband.

http://iliveinmyvan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/wpid-IMG_4162.jpg

And one from Code Blue, the male of the Young’uns.

Code Blue

I was a little worried about Cat, the woman from the couple I have been calling the Young’uns. Her right eye (which you can see in a previous post) looked a little funny. I couldn’t decide whether it was a permanent disfigurement, or the result of domestic abuse. I was pretty sure that Matriarch would not put up with such, so decided that it was just the way Cat’s eye was. Even still, I wasn’t comfortable that tattooed on her knuckles was “Dumb Slut.” I can imagine ways in which “slut” can be a term of empowerment, but none of them is connected with the word “dumb.” “Horny Slut” could work, for example; well, it would work for someone with an extra finger on her left hand, or maybe “Fun slut” for an amputee. You get the idea, but I was at a loss for just how “Dumb slut” was something that someone would want permanently marked on her hands. When I asked for pics of people’s knuckle tats, Cat didn’t offer.

Now, you might be wondering just where this group of people traveling on the cheap gets money for tattoos. They can be quite expensive. Sometimes, they save up cash for their skin art. Other times, however, as with their new knuckle tats, they get more creative. They had made a tattoo gun out of an electric toothbrush. No, I’m not making it up.

toothbrush or tattoo gun?

That’s theirs. I did a little research, and the Google search for toothbrush tattoo gun returns over a quarter million pages. In case you want to make your own, you can see this youtube video.

Here’s some more work done with this gun. I wasn’t quite sure just how the “No swastika” tat was a good idea. Even with a line through it, it’s still a swastika, right? That guy sort of gave me the creeps.

Skin art

They told me that they always made a new needle for every time they used it. Re-using needles would just be silly. Hygiene is important, you know.

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One Response to Hobo Skin Art

  1. These past few posts about the hobos have been among the most fascinating posts from all your journeys. Great stories + a great storyteller = great reading. Thanks.

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