When you attend the Kentucky Derby, as I am wont to do, it is very important to have the perfect outfit. Now, I’m not talking about Millionaires’ Row here, me and my very classy friends prefer to drink copious amounts of mint juleps in the infield. In order to outfit ourselves properly we would stop at a WalMart in Paoli, Indiana. It is here that I picked up the greatest shirt I have ever owned — a shirt with seven hidden wolves on it. There was a wolf in the moon, a wolf in the clouds, a wolf in the reflection of a bubbling brook, etc.. If that wasn’t enough, the wolf in the moon was the pièce de résistance… that motherfucker glew in the dark.
The only problem with this glorious shirt was that it had sleeves, and only a pompous asshole would wear sleeves in the infield. Once I drunkenly bit through the material and ripped them shits off — like a motherfucking wolf — I wowed all 80,000 attendees of the Derby with my shirt’s magnificence. There was even a horse that stopped at the quarter pole to try to find all seven of those glorious wolves. But when you rip off sleeves like a savage the shirt starts to disintegrate immediately, and soon the wolves and the shirt were in tatters. And that’s why I proudly wear a chest piece with EIGHT hidden wolf tattoos right now.
I think my fascination with wolf tattoos started around my eighth birthday. My dad’s girlfriend would come around pretty regularly at the time, pretty much whenever my mom was visiting her family back in her hometown of Rockland, Massachusetts. Her name was Rosie.
Rosie always wore black band t-shirts from all of the best metal groups at the time, customized with the sleeves cut off and neckline lowered to the point where occasionally you could see just the edge of her areoles. And on top of that right breast? An image of a wolf howling at the moon, tattooed in the classic single needle biker style popular in that era . I would lay in bed at night, falling into a peaceful slumber dreaming of that wolf perched atop a milky white teet.
Wolves are the most ride-or-die mammals in the animal kingdom. Their inborn sense of camaraderie is so impressive that countless humans have called their clubs, gangs, sports teams, etc. “The Wolf Pack,” but none of them have shit on real-life wolf packs. These bands of canines can cover up to over 20 kilometers a day in search of prey. Working as a highly organized team, they take down creatures large as mooses, and when the hunt goes well, it turns into a hardcore bloodbath of a dogpile. Not a bite goes to waste; they lick every bone clean, making them a great symbol for sustainability on top of being totally killer.
The wolf has long been a symbol of bravery, but did you know that wolves are sort of fucking cowards? Children under 18 account for 90% of recorded wolf attacks on humans, and when wolves do kill adults, the victims are almost always female. I’m an adult male human, and a wolf could totally fuck me up if it wanted to, but once again, being a man grants me privilege. There have been no studies done examining the role that race plays in wolf attacks, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my white male status grants me further privilege, like it does in every other facet of life.