Tainan County resident Li Chiu-wang, who is said to resemble the animated character Squidward Tentacles in SpongeBob SquarePants, endured a month of pain by having an octopus tattooed on his head in order to win his girlfriend’s heart. This alternative proposal struck the right note and touched her so much that she decided to marry him.
The 25-year-old man is a metal worker by occupation and works in the same company as his girlfriend. They had known each other for a long time before they started dating. After going out for a year, the couple fell in love with each other and Li decided to propose to his girlfriend by getting a tattoo on his head.
Li was nicknamed after Squidward Tentacles because of his resemblance to the character. As his girlfriend loves the name, he had his head shaved and spent more than NT$20,000 getting a tattoo of an octopus on the back of his head. Originally, he wanted to have the cartoon character tattooed on his head, but his tattoo artist Chung Kun-jui instead suggested tattooing a real octopus out of aesthetic concerns.
Li’s hair grew back so fast that he had to shave his head before every tattoo session. Because of the unbearable pain of tattooing, Chung decided to do the tattoo in several sessions, which took almost one month to complete. The design of a gigantic crimson deep-sea octopus with its tentacles curling all over and its mouth ejecting blackish ink portrays the domineering role of the maritime creature.
During the tattoo sessions, Li yelled with pain and made his tattoo artist stop many times, saying his head was going to explode. Sometimes it was so painful that he lay down on a chair crying. Many people laughed at him and said he was out of his mind. But in order to please his girlfriend, Li decided to persevere to the end.
In the hope of giving his girlfriend a surprise, Li didn’t see his girlfriend for a month, giving the excuse that he was too busy with work.
When the tattoo was done, a colorful octopus vividly spread across his shaved head, looking even more dazzling than dyed hair. At first, his girlfriend was dumbfounded and even upset with the full scalp tattoo. But after understanding Li’s original intention and courage, she completely forgave him and loved him even more.
However, tattooist Chung says that head tattooing is extremely painful as the head is not like other parts of the body, where muscle tissue is underneath the skin. He says that people need courage to get a head tattoo and that it is harder for color to stay on the scalp.
Chung says that head tattooing is scarce in this country. Having worked as a tattoo artist for 15 years, it was his first time to do such a large tattoo. He says as long as the artist is professional enough, tattoos will not damage hair follicles, so Li’s hair is still likely to grow back.
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY THEODORE YANG)