If you're planning on having a Chinese character tattooed, make sure that you are positive of the meaning.

Some years ago I got a tat of a chinese character for Dragon over my birthdate. The design came from off of a piece of flash on the wall at the shop I was having the tat done at."Yes," the artist assured me, "That is the character for Dragon."

Tonight we felt like having chinese for dinner. I went to pick it up, brought it back to the Jeep and found myself wondering "I wonder if it really does denote "dragon". Being that we had just finished doing some gardening I was in shorts and sneakers so it would be no problem showing my tat, which is on my ankle, to Lee, The proprietor of the restaurant. I went in and asked if he read pictographs and he said "Sure, let's see it."

I think he knew what was coming already.

As I knelt down to show him a couple of guys working in the back came up to look too. Neither of these guys spoke english and when they saw the tat they started talking back and forth along with Lee.The next thing I know the three of them are drawing for each other on the stainless steel wall.Crossing this line out, adding one here, erasing another one. One of the guys looked at me and started pointing to the ceiling lights, putting both fore fingers and thumbs together, then pulling them apart in an explosion~like fashion. It didn't take me but two guesses to figure out what he was trying to get across. "Electricity?" I asked. Lee stood and said "Yes,not Dragon, but Electricity"..

I was crestfallen, after all these years thinking I had the character for my birth year! I figured that it wasn't a total loss since it is a pretty piece and well done.And electricity, That's not such a bad concept.

That's when Lee dropped the other shoe."They drew Electricity wrong too." DOH!
I promised him that I would come in to see him first before I got any more Chinese characters added to myself.

And now I have another reason to get yet another tattoo.