Chris Carpenter's Tattoo

In my day job as editor of Viva El Birdos I've noticed an odd trend climbing up our referral logs: The words "Chris Carpenter's tattoo."

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I know exactly the picture that's causing the hubbub: 

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Carp3_medium

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You can see something colorful but inscrutable popping out of his left sleeve. I've seen how they figure this out on TV—Enhance, enhance!

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Carp2_medium

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Wait a minute—that didn't work at all. It turns out this year-old article from the Columbia Daily Tribune holds the key to the mystery:

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The new tattoo spreads over half the arm displaying his family via astrological signs. There's a lion for his daughter, a Leo. A crab for his wife, a Cancer. An arch for his son, a Sagittarius. A bull for himself, a Taurus.

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"It's something I've been thinking about for a few years," Carpenter said. "My wife helped me come up with it.

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"She loves it, and so do the kids."

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Getting his wife involved in the tattoo-design process is a good way of avoiding an awkward post-parlor revelation. "Hey, hon, I got a—yeah, they can take it off. I'll call the laser people."

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