The name Infant Tyrone is a self-disparaging joke from Gravity’s Rainbow. There’s a hundred ‘Slothrop’ and ‘Tyrone Slothrop’ handles out there, but “Infant Tyrone” is a joke about the size of an infant’s erection (1.5 inches). I figured, ten years ago, that there wouldn’t be any other Infant Tyrones.
For fifteen years I’ve wanted an image of a V2 rocket over my heart with Slothrop’s battle cry “Fickt Nicht mit der Raketmensch!” I kept putting it off, year after year. I could never finalize a design, and I was always a little reluctant to have anything tattooed in German.
Today I just went and did it. No point in prevaricating.
Rocketman is aroused by the idea of his own destruction. How do you hurt somebody like that? You can drug him, torture him, dress him up in a giant pig costume, take his name and identity and friends, but a guy who only gets a boner when he’s about to be blown up? How do you hurt that? You can’t kill him. He just fades into the wilderness, drifting apart into pieces of sky and cloud and wind and earth.
I haven’t felt this good in weeks.