Gut Rumbles

March 19, 2007


Originally published March 25, 2002

I arrived back home last night before 11:00 and in pretty good shape, except for two self-inflicted wounds. I worked just a little too hard on my overall tan and earned the nickname "Lobster Tail" the next day. It was better than "Baboon Butt," which was the image evoked in MY mind when I checked my rear-view in the mirror. But I recovered quickly and was able to sit in the hot tub by that evening.

The other wound came from a henna tattoo I actually PAID someone to paint on my left bicep during a lengthy tour of Duval Street. The tattoo looked good the next day, but by that evening, it started to itch. Then it started to blister and my entire left arm began to swell. The cute little barbed wire design soon resembled an evil space parasite growing and throbbing on my arm in a merciless attempt to absorb my life-force. I tried washing it off, but the creature had its tentacles embedded too deeply for soap and water to touch it. I relied on Benadryl and alcohol for temporary relief-- the Benadryl applied directly to the wound and the alcohol taken internally. I survived, but the damned thing still looks as if I were attacked by a demented sadist with a branding iron. Obviously, I am terribly allergic to henna. I never thought about something as simple as a paint-on tattoo having this kind of aftereffect, because I saw lots of little kids getting the tattoos and it never seemed to bother them.

I guess the oozing sore on my bicep is simply further proof that I'm not a little kid anymore.

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