We were lunching at River North’s Slurping Turtle (with, let us brag, the awesome artist who designed the restaurant’s turtle logo/mascot) and couldn’t help but notice our server’s brand-spanking new tattoo.
CFT: You just said before I started recording that your tattoo is three days old?
Topher: Three days old. I’ve always lived around Chicago, parents are die-hard Cubs fans, the whole everything, so I just moved here in August and that was kind of like my leaving the nest, so to speak. So I came here, kind of struggled a little bit with school and balancing everything out. But I succeeded, in more ways than one. So it was kind of like, I love Chicago for all these reasons, and now I have more of a reason to. So I came up with this idea of Black Flag), one of my favorite hardcore bands, they have the uneven bars, it’s supposed to look like a waving black flag. So I was like, what if I did that with the Chicago Flag?
CFT: And the laurels underneath?
Topher: That was kind of something that my tattoo artist, she was just like “I want something to more round it out, to make it look more like a traditional tattoo”. It was just kind of something to give it a little bit of a framework.
CFT: The flag can rest on its laurels.
[Groans from everyone at the table.]
Topher: Right, exactly.
CFT: Where did you get it done?
Topher: I got it done at Speakeasy Tattoo on North in Wicker Park.
CFT: Who did it there?
Topher: Jennifer Trok.
CFT: Jennifer! She’s awesome.
Topher: Yeah, she’s really cool. I was very happy with her.
CFT: Now, you’ve only had it three days, but one of my questions is usually, “do people know what it is?” How’s the reaction been?
Topher: The reaction to the Chicago Flag has been good. The Black Flag thing kind of gets lost on some people, but that’s OK.
CFT: Oh, he knew what it was instantly.
Topher: Awesome. Yeah, that’s what I was going for. My parents, I get a lot of my love for Chicago from my dad, but my dad’s totally like conservative, business, salesman kind of guy. This is my first tattoo where it’s more visible, you know, so he was like, “hey, we need to talk about this”. And then we had this huge lecture. But then he was like, “well, it’s a really cool design, how’d you come up with it?” It was so funny, it was a complete turn-around. Yeah, it was awesome.
CFT: So cool. Thanks a lot.