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Man’s 45-Minute Explanation About Tattoo’s Meaning Only Causes Further Confusion

Witnesses report the sprawling back tattoo, a jumble of ships, swallows, the words “Keep ‘Em Separated” and assorted, unrelated images made “no sense to anyone” despite Marshall’s best efforts to tell its origin story.

Witnesses report the sprawling back tattoo, a jumble of ships, swallows, the words “Keep ‘Em Separated” and assorted, unrelated images made “no sense to anyone” despite Marshall’s best efforts to tell its origin story.

We here at Metal Injection are big fans of The Hard Times, a site that masterfully and hilariously pokes holes in the punk and metal communities, and whose satirical articles make us laugh on a daily basis. To conclude our Summer partnership with Sailor Jerry Rum, we bring you a series of guest articles from The Hard Times. Read at your own risk, though, because you’re likely to see a little of yourself in each of the protagonists. Respect Norman Collins’s legacy and drink Sailor Jerry responsibly.

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TUCSON, Ariz. – A local man’s intricate and rambling explanation about the meaning behind his latest tattoo allegedly caused further confusion amongst his group of friends, who immediately regretted broaching the topic.

“Tattoos are deeply personal and really hard to talk about,” said Frank Marshall, shortly before ripping off his shirt in a crowded bar and lecturing friends and strangers about his newly healed ink. “Self preservation, ego, id, life… these are all things this tattoo represents, baby.”

Witnesses report the sprawling back tattoo, a jumble of ships, swallows, the words “Keep ‘Em Separated” and assorted, unrelated images made “no sense to anyone” despite Marshall’s best efforts to tell its origin story.

Marshall’s closest friends later said they were at a complete loss when asked to recount even the slightest detail of his story.

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"I'm pretty sure the idea came in a dream after Emily got married — he was pretty wasted that night," offered friend Christina Miller.

“No, no… I think it was a dream within a dream, like Inception, and it was right after he got fired from his job," said Shane Baker, Marshall’s roommate. “Honestly, after fifteen minutes, I took out my phone and started checking work emails because I was so lost. It was a Friday night, you know? I just wanted to get hammered.”

Marshall, for his part, laid out every detail of the tattoo for his captive audience, from the day he started saving money to the moment the tattoo artist finished bandaging him up.

“I sort of did it on a whim, man. I found $20 in a pair of old jeans and I thought, ‘This is going to the tattoo fund,’” said Marshall, re-enacting how he started saving almost two years ago. “Look at this sucker — Bart Simpson riding a Harley while being chased by a 1940s pin up girl piloting a rocket? It totally represents the duality of being a man. It’s about embracing your masculinity, but not running away from your feelings. Can you dig that?”

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Marshall admitted he has a few ideas up his sleeve for future tattoos.

“I’ve put a lot of thought into this,” he said. “Pretty sure I’m gonna get ‘Death Before Dishonor’ with Darth Vader eating a slice of pizza… but is that too obvious?”

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