Happy When She's Dancing
By Maxwell Avoi
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I was down in New Orleans on spring break when I got the tattoo that changed my life. It's is a popular choice for vacation in general and spring break in particular, notwithstanding a bit of criminal activity. I was there with a small group of guys; we figured that we would be able to deal with any muggers who came along by being smart and appearing to be more trouble than we were worth.
Most of that went out the window when we started drinking the first night. At that point we were drunk enough that we were protected mostly by good intentions and the fact that a lot of the police in the tourist area where we were frowned on anyone making any trouble that would cut down on traffic. It worked. Three days passed before I knew it, a blur of partying, drinking, and making passes that mostly didn't work.
Denver, who was from Phoenix (a joke that was old before we told it and rarely got more than a half-smile from anyone who wasn't paid to like our company), got the idea that he wanted our little crew to get tattoos. It was a cool idea at first until we realized that half our crew had scattered to other crews and that “our” crew was partially composed of people we'd never met before. I liked the idea of a commemorative tat, but the people we didn't know were mostly not interested. Denver wouldn't let go of the idea; he dared me to join him, partially out of desperation, and I couldn't refuse in spite of the common sense I allegedly possessed. I didn't want to see him go off by himself and get killed.