Naughty or Nice? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


"Excuse me, sir, I need tocheck your bag." As my dad handed over his briefcase for gunpowderdusting, I thought, That's funny, they've never done this before. Then,it hit me. My dad was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, which exposed hisarms. His arms with tattoos. This apparently fit the profile of the type of guy who would bomb planes, but I know a different man than theprofiled killer they make him out to be.

This man, in a suit andtie, is acceptable. He passes through inspection with little more than awave of a hand. This is a man the Secret Service doesn't look at twice,even at a convention where the President will be speaking.

Thiswasn't the first time my dad had been stopped for little more thanriding a motorcycle. His looks and choice of vehicle seem to give copsthe sudden need to check his license, registration and every otherinspect-able thing, resulting in him being hours late for dinner. Almosteveryone thinks of bikers as bad guys, the kind who hunt people down.But, this is just not so. Bikers are some of the most passionate,carefree people out there. They accept everyone, simply because they arefellow humankind. It's kind of ironic, though, that the rest of societydoesn't accept bikers. The real reason bikers have tattoos, pierced earsand leather jackets is not to look like Mr. Tough Guy; they are a meansof self-expression that make them comfortable.

If you look closerand deeper into their inked skin, you will know who they are inside."I love Mom," and "Bob and Kathy," intertwined byhearts, with "Till death do us part." Are these Mr. Tough Guytattoos?

Why doesn't everyone consider that the guy on a rumblingmotorcycle has a soft heart?



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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