The smoking chicken

.

LORI WELBOURNE/Guest Columnist

Last week I took my children to the Kid’s Fair and the first thing that caught their eye was a man giving airbrush tattoos.

Out of the hundreds of design options displayed inside the walls of his tent, I picked a few of my favourites: a daisy, a dragonfly and a sweet little heart design. My eight year old daughter had other ideas.

“Those are nice,” she said. “But this is the one I want.” I looked at what she was pointing at. It was a smoking chicken.

Surprised by her choice I asked her why she wanted that particular one.

“Because it’s funny,” she said, laughing. It was hard to argue with that.

The tattoo covered half of her leg from the knee down, and unless you got a close look, it was hard to tell exactly what it was.

For those curious enough to get a good peek, most of them found it humourous. But not everyone.

“That’s not appropriate for a child,” one woman counseled me sternly. “It teaches her that smoking is okay.” Relieved that my ten year old son wasn’t standing next to me with his TNT dynamite tattoo, I asked Daisy if she thought smoking was okay.

“No!” she said, pinching her nose. “Smoking’s gross!” To that the woman shook her head and walked away.

We ran into some friends immediately after that and I told them what just happened. One of them inspected Daisy’s leg and informed me quietly that the chicken wasn’t smoking a cigarette. “I know,” I told him. “It’s a cigar.”

“Ah no,” he said. “It’s not a cigar either.” I looked at it again. The inappropriate tattoo suddenly became even more so.

“Well, Daisy doesn’t know that,” I said sheepishly. “She just thinks it’s funny.”

“It is funny,” he laughed. “The whole thing’s funny.”

When I caught up with my husband later on I updated him on the woman’s reaction and what I’d learned about the chicken from our friend and he laughed as well. “It’s a cartoon tattoo that washes off,” he said. “If anything it’s positive because it starts conversations.”

Always happy to do that, I felt better about allowing our daughter to choose the chicken. Smoking came up a couple times that day and it turned out that our kids knew more about the subject that we realized from what they’d learned in school.

And, apart from the silly chicken on her leg, they thought everything about smoking was dumb and disgusting. Here’s hoping they keep that opinion.

“Thank goodness that thing washes off,” one of my girlfriends said to me the next day. “You won’t get any votes for mother of the year with that on her leg!”

I guess writing an article about the experience won’t either. Oh well. It’s still a conversation worth starting.

Just Posted

Stettler Health Foundation has a lot to smile about

Stettler Tim Hortons donates $2,994 Smile Cookie proceeds to local health foundation

Stettler man found guilty of illegally trafficking wildlife

Hunting license suspended for three years

Our Town Stettler

Main Street in the early 1900s

Stettler hosting Third Annual Old Fashion Christmas Dinner

Freedom Christian Fellowship also having a free Christmas Dinner

High number of Clearview students graduate: Annual report

Clearview boasts 86.4 per cent Grade 12 completion

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Most Read