Last weekend, while driving around near my parents' home in Pennsylvania -- one of the battleground states, which President Barack Obama won by a narrow margin -- I was struck by the number of Romney/Ryan campaign signs that , a week after the election was over, were still plastered all over the place, on lawns, along highways, on cars. "What a giant pain in the ass that 's gonna be for folks to have to dispose of ," I thought.
Well, that 's nothing compared to the guy who can um, NEVER, dispose of the tattoo of the Romney/Ryan ticket's logo across half his face. Remember him? The guy who in October auctioned off a side of his mug and was paid $15,000 by a Republican eBay user to get inked with the GOP nominee's "R" -- that giant red-white-and-blue logo that , as we recently noted, looks like the glob of toothpaste emblazoned on tubes of Aquafresh?
Politico caught up with Mr. Tattoo, 30-year-old Eric Hartsburg this weekend. So how much does "R" now stands for regret given the candidate he was backing wasn't successful?
"Totally disappointed, man," Mr. Hartsburg told the site. "I'm the guy who has egg all over his face, but instead of egg, it's a big Romney/Ryan tattoo. It's there for life."
It's all the more bitter considering he lives in a state that voted Obama. And it seems not everyone's been so sympathetic to Mr. Hartsburg's plight. "I've gotten a lot of negative stuff, a lot of 'F-yous,' and 'Your guy lost!'" he told Politico.
So how do you even respond to those sorts of meanie insults? With a movie quote, of course. Via Twitter he summoned all the courage he could watching "The Karate Kid" movies and told a detractor: "In the words of Mr. Miyagi: 'Win lose, no matter.' I never proclaimed a Romney victory."
Yes, everything about this story is ridiculous, and screams of someone who's willing to do anything for 15 seconds of fame. But he's not quite alone.
Various articles in the past couple of years have posited the theory that people are far more willing than ever to allow their bodies to be used as ad space for their favorite brands. Mr. Hartsburg is one of several fans who've sported ink of their favorite brands; others have gotten tatted with logos of Google, Apple, Jack Daniels and Cadillac.
Meanwhile, the non-branded tattoos that celebrities have are being airbrushed out of ad campaigns.
"I was trying to make politics fun. ... I shed blood for this campaign, and I'm glad to know that I did all that I could," Mr. Hartsburg said to Politico, adding: "I'm hoping this opens some other doors in the entertainment business." That seems unlikely, given that even with a tiled background of his tattooed face, he's summoned just 125 followers on Twitter.
So, folks, it's another presidential election down, another important lesson learned. At the risk of sounding like a PSA: Think before you ink.