A Penis Dog

and Our Failures to See what Others See

The other day I saw a woman with a tattoo on the back of her arm. It looked unmistakable and inescapably like a penis. I’m not kidding, not even stretching the truth a bit for comical effect. What I a moment later realised was the back of a dog facing into the arm bones had the exact outline and structure of what could be described as a flaccid “pene piccolo.” The fluffy tail that folded to the left looked like the padding of testicles and the soft folded ears looked like the foreskin on a mushroom-shaped head.

I know what you’re thinking but I am really not trying to be dirty here. Instead, I remember asking myself: Why didn’t the tattoo artist stop her? There is no way in Hell, nor on this earth, that anyone (who’d seen a penis) could have perceived it as anything other than what I did. Yet the girl had gotten the tattoo nonetheless, either trying to send a dirty message but more likely clueless to what other people see and they probably too polite to tell her…

The rather shocking visual experience lingers days later and I ask myself: What are the things that we do that from an outside perspective are perceived as equally stupid? Not having any tattoos, I ask myself what in my life is a penis dog tattoo, obvious in its stupidity to everyone else but oblivious to myself…

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