Woman Admits Life-Sized Kevin Costner Tattoo
Not Such a Well Thought-Out Idea
TEMPE, AZ--A week spent in Mazátlan, Mexico, left Arizona
State University sophomore Michelle Johnson with a healthy tan,
a collection of hand-blown tequila popper shot glasses, and a
12-inch black-and-white tattoo of actor Kevin Costner’s
head. It is the latter acquisition that Johnson now admits might
not have been such a good idea, despite what she had thought the
night a tattoo artist approached her outside of Senior Frog’s,
a popular Hispanic-frog-themed bar frequented by spring breakers.
Already a tattoo veteran, dawning several pieces of work on her
arms and upper back, Johnson did not need much persuading to have
another piece done by little-known charcoal-portrait sketch artist
José Juarez. Juarez, who normally only sketches portraits
on Mazátlan’s tourist-strewn boardwalk, borrowed
a friend’s tattoo gun to try and drum up additional business
during the city’s sultry evenings,
when many vacationers really seem to require tattoos.
“The guy had a lot of nice work displayed—sketches
of Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger—but
his best work was of Kevin Costner,” Johnson said. “I
love Kevin Costner, he’s my favorite actor. And I just felt
it was fate that I should do it. And I was, I think, almost blacked
After a painless 30 minutes sitting hunched over a milk crate,
the scene illuminated by a kerosene lantern, Johnson possessed
her unique piece. She paid Juarez the agreed upon price of 10
American dollars, then immediately retired to her hotel, where
she proceeded to sleep for 14 hours.
In the months that followed, Johnson gave little thought to the
tattoo. A few students remarked that it was a “pretty interesting
idea,” and some wanted to discuss the chronic failures of
Costner’s recent films; but for Johnson, the tattoo seemed
relatively removed from her existence.
“I’d go months without thinking about the tat,”
she said. “Then someone would catch a glimpse of it and
say, ‘wow, pretty … interesting … idea.’”
And then Johnson began dating Clyde Barker.
It was during their second date, when the new couple began to
explore a more intimate scenario, that the Costner image reared
its ugly head for the first time. After an extended period of
heavy petting, Johnson, overcome with passion for Barker, asked
him to fuck her from behind.
Barker quickly maneuvered into position and began pressing himself
against Johnson’s backside. It was then, when Johnson removed
her shirt so Barker might enjoy the opportunity to massage her
breasts during penetration, that he glimpsed the tattoo for the
“Suddenly Clyde yelled, ‘Jesus fucking Christ!’
But I didn’t know what was wrong. I thought he had a Charlie
horse or something, but then he said, ‘I ain’t fucking
no Kevin Costner!’”
The life-sized head, with its smiling eyes and mantled with a
small dialogue bubble, which read “Tatanka,” had distressed
Barker to the point where he leapt from the bed, gathered his
clothes, and told Johnson he “would call her.” When
asked about it later, Barker stated that looking at Johnson from
behind was “like staring at an armless midget Costner with
two ass cheeks for a chest.”
“I guess it wasn’t such a well thought-out idea,”
Johnson now admits.
At present, Johnson and Barker are taking things slowly, and
Johnson decided to have the tattoo integrated into another piece.
“There’s a guy downtown who says he can easily make
it into a dolphin,” Johnson said. “I love dolphins,
you know, and Clyde says they’re smarter than dogs —
so maybe it will all work out for the better.”