Naked-flesh season is in full swing in New York, with people letting theirs hang out of skimpy bathing suits, half-buttoned shirts and distressed shorts. But a lot of that flesh isn’t as naked as it used to be. These days, it has tattoos on it.
And that raises all sorts of etiquette questions, or at least enough to fill up this column. If some conspicuously tattooed stranger plants himself across the aisle from you on the subway, are you supposed to look at him/it/them? If you have a tattoo of, say, a naked woman on your biceps, are you required to cover it up if someone under 17 without accompanying parent or adult guardian passes by? And what about the tattoo artist? If a customer comes in asking for a tattoo of some pithy phrase that includes a dangling modifier, is the tattooer obliged to correct the grammar?
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