For the Chinese Symbol Tattoo (CST), that little doodle on their arm is proof that they are, in fact, better and smarter than you. They’re intellectual, world-class people. And just because they don’t understand something, doesn’t mean that they won’t get a tattoo of it. Because they will. They’ll get a whole freakin’ row of tattoos.
And really…what’s cooler than branding yourself with something that — five beers ago — meant absolutely nothing to you. Don’t you see how insightful it is? It’s like embracing other cultures, without the hassle of actually learning or doing anything.
Now, it’s important to note that this article is specifically talking about Caucasians, not Asians — the hamburger-eating Round Eyes that entrust Cleedus down at Lucky Tattoo to ink them up in Mandarin. These are the same people that think Outback Steakhouse is a good place to experience Australia, and order Dominos when they feel like eating Italian.
While they are in the same family as the Barbed-Wire Arm Tattoo and the Tattoo Freak, the CST is by far the most powerful of the needle-based junkies. They’ve tapped into that rare fringe market — male and female twenty-somethings that want a cool tattoo, but don’t have anything in mind. So they settle for one that means something to someone else.
So then, why do it? The answer is simple. The CST loves the fact that you have to ask them what it means. It practically pays for itself in ego stroking!
And really, what’s cooler than a permanent reminder that you don’t speak Chinese? If you happen to come across a Chinese Symbol tattoo (which you undoubtably will), give them a little scare. Tell them you speak Mandarin, and that their tattoo actually means “a whale’s vagina”.
Also Known As: Lost in Translation, The Chinese Star, It Means “Douche”, The Cultural Tat, Bing Bing Herro Prease, The Poo Poo Platter