Every tattoo tells a story and has a story—that’s two stories per tat! So every month we stop someone on the street and ask them to “tell us ’bout them tats!” We even say it just like that, with a southern accent. It gets people to open up. This month we stopped Gordon Penniweather in Park Slope, and he filled us in on the story behind a few of his many tats.
Thanks, Gordon—for the great stories and the cool tats!
THE SUSSMAN BACK TAT
“Basically, I was drunk and made a bet on a baseball game with some guy in a bar. Can’t remember his first name, but his last name was Sussman. Funny story—we almost got into a fight because he was talking shit about my beloved White Sox, and in the course of stepping outside to hammer each other, we started laughing because I realized he was talking shit about the Red Sox, who I also hate. There and then we decided to bro down by getting tats and spent the whole night in an all-night tattoo parlor with me getting his face on my back. We were supposed to meet up again the next night to get my face on his back, but... never happened.”
THE “START TODAY” ARM
“These three tats are actually connected. First, the bird happened. I was drunk and won a bet—this was at a poker game held in a tattoo shop. Anyway, some asswipe didn’t have the cash to cover his raise so he used his credit card to reimburse me for my win and let me pick any tattoo I wanted from a certain section. I wanted the Dude from Lebowski, but that cost too much. My girlfriend at the time was kind of cuckoo, so she chose the bird. Below that is the girlfriend—I can’t remember her name. It might have been Birdy or... Bethany? Something. She HAD a name, I know that much. I got it so I’d always remember who had picked out the bird tattoo. The “Start Today” thing on my wrist is a reminder to start saving to have tattoo-removal surgery done on most of my body. Pretty funny, if you think about it. I try not to think about it.”
THE “TONIGHT” ARM
“This is my masterpiece-in-progress. Every time I have a dream I get an image from it added to this arm. First I get drunk. Then I go to the tattoo shop and see what I can afford, and what I can remember from the dream I had. The “Tonight” tat is from a dream where I was trying to remember to do something that night. The homeward ship is from a nightmare where I was seasick and couldn’t get home. The torn-and-threaded heart is from a dream where I had to do surgery on myself and didn’t do a good a job at it. The spiderweb/fan is a design I saw in a tattoo parlor in a dream, and then I went to a parlor in real life and there it was! The shark and the crazy turtle are from a dream about a shark and turtle who were friends, and the turtle was kind of crazy. That was a funny dream—I was drunk when I had it and I woke up to find I’d lost a bet to see who could stay awake the longest.”