Insider hates to have his picture taken. As soon as the shutter closes the photo is dated, or more to the point, outdated. It’s old. And the subject is someone who used to be. The picture itself is glanced at then put away to be ignored and forgotten until some day in the distant future an indifferent generation comes across it and comments on the funny haircut, the outdated clothes and the overall image of what people used to look like. Bad teeth and all. The only images of himself the old guy will approve are those friends (and enemies) carry in their brains. Those pictures never become dated, and when the beholder dies, the pictures die with them. And that’s as it should be. Some would say that’s no longer the case with the digital cameras, but a photo is a photo and all the Insider’s thoughts still apply.
The old guy does not have any tattoos. When he was in the service, Insider was tempted, but he never had the guts. Why are people with tattoos under the impression that everybody wants to see their tattoos? They go to great lengths to display their marred bodies. Last week the old guy was sitting in his favorite restaurant when two guys came in and sat at an adjoining table. After removing their heavy coats, hats, gloves and scarves, they sat down, wearing nothing but tank shirts, in mid-winter with three inches of snow on the ground. The reason was obvious. Four arms and one shoulder completely covered with tattoos for Insider’s viewing pleasure. There were letters in fancy fonts on the arms. One spelled out, “I Love My Mom.” There was a naked baby on one shoulder and what looked like barbed wires on a hand. All the old guy could think was how funny these guys are going to look when viewed in photographs by future generations. Young-timers may think they look cool, but us old-timers know what’s cool and tattoos all over the body does not fit the bill.
While everybody around him is rushing pell mell into an unknown future, the old guy decided years ago to hit the brakes and stay where he was and savor the life he had as he knows it. The old guy believes that was somewhere around the mid-90s before email and the world wide web became household terms. He still thinks Dot Com is the name of a young girl. The other day Insider was asked why he didn’t go on line and he didn’t know what they were talking about. To him a line is something you hang clothes on and even Insider knows to go on line would be no fun.