The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Flu shots cont. What’s that tattoo?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:33 pm on Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Over the years Pharmacy Chick has stuck about 8000 people with flu shots (duplicates included).  That means I have looked at ALOT of arms.   AND, I have seen a lot of tattoos.  I have seen artsy fartsy fully colored fancy tattoos. I have seen the homemade ones, done with blue ink and a razor blade.  Dragons, hearts, flowers, names, ships, skulls, snakes, you name it. 

I’ll usually make some chit chat about tattoos that are different just to  relax the wearer.  One time I was getting ready to shoot (immunize) this older guy, and when he pulled up his sleeve there were some chinese symbols tattooed on his arm.  He was obviously not Chinese and neither was his wife.  So I asked “Is your tattoo Chinese?”  and he said affirmed that it was.  ” What does it mean?”.   I was expecting him to tell me something about sacred symbols of peace, home, honor, prosperity ,health or something like that.  “I’ve forgotten” he said, “I got it when I was a teenager and thought it looked cool” ” I suppose I should find out”.

Okaaayyy.  So I let my imagination go wild.  Imagine you got some tattoo parlor and some kid walks in with money to burn.  You have a sense of humor. “Hey Kid–You wan tattoo? We have veddy meeningfoo tattoo fo you!  Ancient Chinese Symbol!   So down goes the money and up goes the sleeve.. What might it say? My best guesses:

1.  “Kung pao Chicken $5.99

2.  “space for rent”

3.  “stupid is as stupid does”

4.  “I went to Hong Kong and all I got was this Tattoo”

5.  “bring me in for $5 off at Peking Duck restaurant”

6.  “left arm”

7.  “Ping’s laundry-San Francisco Ca, cleanest shirts in town”

I mean really, unless you read Chinese or bring a trusted Chinese friend into the parlor  with you, you really have no idea what this man is about to tattoo onto your arm.  

Today I had fun with another guy. Long time customer, so he could take a good kidding.  He had a very old tattoo.  It was very blurred from age, but it had said something spelled below some stars etc.  I asked “Does it say Delia?” (his wife’s name). He said “no, it says Daniel, my name”  . I couldn’t resist. “you had your OWN name tattooed on your arm? What, were you afraid you’d forget?” 

We had a good laugh.  I hope Mr Chinese Tattoo has a good laugh when he finds out what his tattoo is, or he really knows and didn’t want to tell:-)



Comment by The Ole' Apothecary

October 15, 2008 @ 2:29 pm

8. Help! I’m a prisoner here! Sent the police to Wan Hong Lo’s Tattoo Parlor, 666 Yuck Foo St,, Beijing.


Comment by pharmacychick

October 15, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

you are naughty 🙂


Comment by Phat

October 18, 2008 @ 11:19 am

Ya know, tattooing a name on the arm may not be a bad idea… I know of several patients of ours who can’t remember them names usually.


Comment by Loren Pechtel

August 24, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

Yup. Beware of foreign tattoos! I asked my wife (a native Chinese speaker) about somebody’s Chinese tattoo. It said “five”. Later my wife asked the woman about the tattoo–she thought it said “gold”.

Comment by bubblers

June 14, 2016 @ 7:09 am

Very funny article, amusing till the end, thank you for sharing!

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