Skinny Arms, No Tattoos Please


Yesterday I wrote about being stuck at a railway crossing and how I was unable to proceed with my destined rounds. I pointed out that there was a tattoo parlor on my side of the tracksand I opined that I’m too sensitive to get a tattoo. My friend Bill Peace wrote to say that he has a tattoo and with the exception of the chest area getting a tattoo isn’t  necessarily all that painful. So I wrote him “back” and added that if truth will out, the problem for me isn’t the pain its the fact that I have these really skinny arms–why my arms are so skinny that Popeye’s girlfriend Olive Oyl looks like Sy Stallone by comparison. This is true. It doesn’t matter whether I lift weights, swim long distances, carry variorum editions of Victorian novels up long flights of stairs–nothing makes my arms thicker than those bread sticks you see at the Olive Garden. That by the way is the second time I’ve typed the word “olive” and that must mean something but I’m not sufficiently well read on the significance of fruits and vegetables in the unconscious. D.H. Lawrence would probably say that this is a feminine symbol but I don’t know. But I do have pitiful arms and this is all the more amusing because I have a huge and I do mean advanced upper body. I look like an opera singer in the chest region. Once while being rushed via ambulance   to the emergency room because they thought I was having a heart attack (though this turned out not to be the case thank goodness) the EMT looked at me there on the bouncing gurney and said: “Jeez, I wish I had “pecs” like yours.” So there it is: I can’t get a tattoo on my arm because the only thing they could put there would be puny and unheraldic, a gnat or some kind of wormy thing and who wants that on his or her arm? Bar Sinister: an earthworm with the Latin motto: “Don’t Step on Me”? I think not. Meantime Bill has written to say that he too has skinny arms etc. but I don’t believe him. I think he may have thin arms as he attests but when we get together we shall have to roll up our sleeves for a contest in the pitiable biceps  department. I’m just sayin’.



Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

0 thoughts on “Skinny Arms, No Tattoos Please”

  1. Yes Olive Oyl is with a “y” though who can explain this? Maybe Lance Mannion can come up with the answer. I suspect it has to do with the fact that in American in the 1920’s the olive oil importing business was run by Mario Puzo’s extended family and they were notable for their lack of amusement where the oil industry was concerned. Or perhaps Olive Oyl was really Jewish? Oy! The only thing we really know for sure is that Popeye is the hero of all exohthalmic people.


  2. I have learned two important lessons writing to you about tattoos. First, I have consistently misspelled “Olive Oyl” my entire life. Second, I should have kept my mouth shut that getting a tattoo on one’s chest is painful. I had no idea you had such well developed pecs. As for skinny arms and pitiable biceps, last night I broke out the weights before I went to sleep. I am a man on a mission as I do not want to have the skinniest arms and smallest biceps. The added benefit is that perhaps such an effort will help me ski better.


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