Getting a tattoo is a difficult decision because permanent tattoos are very hard to change or completely erase. For some, it takes a moment to decide what they want, but for some, it takes months and years. Both decisions can lead to instant regret in many cases. Cody Williams from Milwaukie, Oregon was one of those people who thought a lot before he got the tattoo he wanted. After thinking about it hard, he decided to have some Chinese symbols tattooed on his arm. The meaning of these symbols? Hilarious! The reactions? Awkwardly-brilliant!
Many of Cody’s contemporaries have gone down the same route, with not a small number finding out at some point after it was way too late that the Chinese writing on their bodies did not have the inspiring meaning they thought it did. If you think the Oregonian has done the same mistake, he opted for a far less pretentious route, with his tattoo translating as: “I do not know, I do not speak Chinese.”
Cody told LADbible: “I’d always liked the way Chinese symbols look, but hate that everyone always gets generic meanings tattooed like ‘love’, ‘hope’, ‘courage’ and stuff like that which gets old. I also knew I’d constantly have a lot of people asking me what my tattoo said if I decided to get Chinese symbols on me and thought of this as a clever way to mess with almost everyone I meet and give us both a good laugh.”
Cody also knew about the dangers of getting a tattoo in a language he doesn’t speak, so he did his research. After he consulted with Chinese-speaking colleagues, he settled for the tattoo he wanted.
As you can imagine, people’s reactions to the tattoo and the interactions that follow them pretty much follow the old “Who’s the band on stage” routine.
Cody explains: “I’m asked, ‘What does your tattoo say?'”
“I reply, ‘I don’t know, I don’t speak Chinese.'”
“They ask, ‘You don’t know what it says?!'”
“I reply, ‘No, I know what it says.'”
“And then they ask, ‘Well then what does it say, then?'”
“I’ll answer, ‘I don’t know, I don’t speak Chinese.'”
The discussion goes back and forth until they finally get the real meaning. Or until they get frustrated, which is more common.
When people can read the tattoo, it makes for a slightly different situation. He explains: “They tell me how much they love it and ask for a picture.”
Cody does not regret getting this tattoo at all. “I can even picture myself as a grandfather being asked what my tattoo says and telling my grandchildren, ‘I don’t know, I don’t speak Chinese’ and never explaining it to them as they get older.”
Featured Image Credit: Cody Williams
Here are some people who instantly regretted posting their tattoos on the social media.