Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Sometimes I wonder about me. Some of the stuff I say or do may not be politically correct and most of the time I don’t care.
Should I reference lightbulb installation to the Polish supervisor? Should I have a frog in my throat during an interview with a man with a French name? Sure, some may be sensitive to ethnic jokes and inappropriate references and don’t think they are funny, but I grew up with them and never considered myself a bigot.
Laughing at, and with, your neighbor is part of what the City of Good Neighbors is about.
I was disappointed when no one laughed at the lone Polish joke of my own creation. “Did you hear about the Polish migrant worker who worked at Bethlehem Steel for 37 years?”
That’s it! Dammit, it’s funny, but you shouldn’t have to explain a joke. Say, two Canadians walk into a bar on Niagara Street, but the third one ducks. Maybe it takes too much thinking. You had to be there.
Saturday night, I decided to walk off dinner with a stroll to the Hard Rock Cafe for a free concert in Niagara Falls. I didn’t know who was playing and still didn’t know who they were after I heard their name. I did, however, take a chance on their autographed guitar. They are famous, you know.
En route, there was a Niagara Tattoo Expo. The $15 admission was $15 too much.
Three teen boys were doing gymnastic flips on the Old Falls Street sidewalk and there was no admission fee. I was going to take a picture, but the boys were displaced by the crowd that was gathering. Older guys were break-dancing further up the street, leaving a hat out for donations.
I like that stuff. It’s so neighborhood cosmopolitan.
As the opening act was closing on Old Falls Street, I inched closer. The wind picked up. The skies darkened. I inched back east. Soon, it was a monsoon. I was back at the entrance of the Conference Center where world-renowned artists were having tattoo contests. No, I didn’t know any of them. No, I didn’t want a ticket. Yes, I wanted to stay out of the rain. The only thing to do was loiter, and look at tourist brochures.
The monsoon stopped and started. After about an hour, I went to the entrance and explained I was a newspaper guy. I wasn’t working, but I was interested in the tattoo industry.
I really didn’t have to go that far. The ticket-taker table man remembered me from an earlier life. He wondered when the former sports editor was going to enter.
I asked a young lady to take my picture in an electric chair. She cheerfully obliged. Another young lady was behind a counter getting a tat on her thigh. Was it OK to watch? Sure. Could I take a picture? Sure.
In 1962, I was a 20-year-old airman who blushed while walking by the Times Square movie theaters that were showing, “My Bare Lady” and “Thigh Spy.” No self-respecting septuagenarian would take a picture of a girl on a table getting a tattoo on her thigh. I did it anyway. That’s why I wonder about me. Then, I did it again. Different thigh, not too high.
I guess it’s OK. Gymnasts, swimmers and volleyball players show more leg at the Olympics — and I guess no one notices.Contact reporter Bill Wolcott at 439-9222, ext. 6246.