Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Illustrated Man

Source of Inspiration


This is the era of tattoos, from what I have seen. No, these tattooed people are not rough ready motorcyclists, but many are normal everyday people.  Dads pushing strollers and Grandmas with a walker are not uncommon.

Many with beautiful tattoos will gladly talk about them with others/me who ask about them. Those are exquisite and well-chosen designs.

Ray Bradbury is a master of short stories, which is my joy (I will never write a book.) The list of books holding these delights is long holding treasures. Each of these short stories are something unexpected. “The Ray Bradbury Theater” television show presented adapted versions of some of his short stories. 

But, The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury is astounding.  It was adapted for a movie in 1969 with the same title.  Summary:

William Philippus Phelps is the protagonist who seeks help from an old blind woman. These are not the ordinary tattoos as might expect, but ones telling The Future. Phelps finds himself covered with the tattoos, each one a story that comes to pass.

Oh boy howdy. 

about 9 minutes long, worth watching



about 2 minutes


About 2 minutes


Each segment of this book presents the question: Is such creative imagination dangerous? Is it about destiny? Do the tattoos predict the future? Or, does man's imagination create it?

A short story, all can handle a short story, time wise. Could you?

***Side note:  Why did I chose to write this post about Ray Bradbury and this short story about tattoos?

Well, I will tell you.  When my mother was 80, we were at a gas station that actually had a guy who filled the tank.  His arms were covered in meaningful tattoos. Mom said that she wanted a tattoo. The guy blinked a few times and asked what tattoo would she get.  She replied that she would like to get a snake just above her knee. The guy blinked some more. She then said that boys would try to reach under her skirt and the tattoo would scare them.  Yup. He blinked some more and then I paid him. Great memory.



38 comments:

  1. Well, that tattoo would certainly serve a purpose. Did she ever get it?

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    2. In that rural community, Mom would have been a ground-breaker if she had. Oh, the news would spread. Some might giggle and others might have been filled with consternation.

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  2. We've read several by Ray Bradbury but not that one yet.

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    1. His short stories are excellent. He has that twist that I enjoy so well.

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  3. You could write a book. A book of short stories. These are getting popular again. It's a thought...

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  4. I love the story about your mom!

    My mother-in-law has loads of tattoos, most of them acquired later in life - post 60.

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  5. My mom got a tattoo of her boyfriend's name and a rose on her shoulder after he passed away. My brother has a lot of tattoos so I know that everyday normal people get tattoos. I've never gotten one though. I did think about it. I kinda want a grim Reaper.

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  6. I really like that story about your mama.
    I am a big fan of Ray Bradbury's work too. And Theodore Sturgeon, both authors we hear little of today.
    No tatoos here. Yet.

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    1. Go for it, Sue! That is what I say. My own tattoo may be in the future.

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  7. Loved the story about your Mom. She knew how to raise eyebrows. Bradbury is new to me. Will check it out. Thanks.

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    1. I hope you do. Bradbury was great storyteller and writer.

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  8. I've never read this particular Bradbury short story nor seen the movie. Perhaps I should before I get any more tattoos, LOL? Your Mom was FEISTY! My kinda gal.

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    1. Oh indeed she was. When Dad was gone somewhere, Mom was really fun.

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  9. Your mother's story about getting a tattoo was well thought out. Loved the shock value it gave the guy with the tats. I'll stick to my unmarked body, thank you. I have enough scars from running, falling, tripping, etc. My scars tell my story. I don't need tats, too.

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    1. I am laughing because my scars are tats of valor.

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  10. It has been a long time since I read this. The stories are wonderful. It is time that I gave it another read. Bradbury is one of my favorite writers.

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    1. Clever man who puts a surprise in among the words is very good indeed.

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  11. Dear Susan, thanks for bringing this book back to my mind. It's such a fine, provocative, mysterious book. And it and its stories/theme are good to consider right now as I blow about psychics I've seen. Peace.

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  12. I'm not much of a short story reader, but I have read several of Bradbury's stories and The Illustrated Man is truly a strange and wonderful book.

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    1. It is time for me to pull that book from the shadows and read it again.

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  13. Not a fan of tattoos here, but of course as a military man I had to have one. and yep thee is a story behind a Tattoo. I definitely love your mama's attitudes!!'
    I don't read many short stories, but lately Cowboy stuff has become short, an evening and a day. LOL I don't think I have read Bradley's stuff. But I like yours. ;-)
    Love from here in NC
    Sherry & jack

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    1. There are few books involving a cowboy setting with cowboy hero. Hmm makes me wonder what your tattoo was.

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  14. Somehow, I don't know that a tattooed snake would be as scary as a good right cross...

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    1. Yes, a right cross would have been much more effective.

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  15. Your mother was quite the character, i am guessing.

    Personally, i've never seen a human body made more beautiful by having tattoos on it. Not that the tattoos are not beautiful artworks, many of them are, but i think our own skin is most beautiful as it is.

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  16. I like well-done tattoos, which is just as well since three of my kids and one grand-daughter has them. I don't have any myself but I have been thinking about one, a bracelet style around my ankle maybe with my name, birthdate and blood group. That way I can be identified if I'm ever in an accident and unable to speak for myself.

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  17. LOL that gas attendant probably still tells the story too! :) I don't have any. All three of my grown kids have one or more. I don't like them. Too permanent for my taste, but I like my kids, lol, and they are grown, so I keep my opinion to myself. ;)

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    1. It is a done deal. But you are wise in your approach.

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  18. I'll have a tattoo of a compass; that way I'll know how to proceed if I am ever lost.

    God bless.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!