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Blacked-Out Knuckle Tattoos Forces You to Assume the Worst

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Local man Ronny Stout’s blacked-out knuckle tattoos are forcing neighbors to assume the worst about what it used to say, suspicious sources confirmed.

“At first, I thought maybe it was just something dumb. I saw a guy on Reddit who had ‘BURRITOS’ once. But blackout seems so extreme; you’d probably just live with something a little embarrassing, right?” wondered Sydney Hodge, who recently met Stout at a barbecue. “Maybe he used to be in a gang or something? I just can’t picture the kind of gang he’d be in. Well, his haircut is pretty short on the sides. Oh god, you don’t think he’s the Charlottesville-type, right? I need to find an old Facebook photo before standing next to him at his kid’s birthday party. I’m really hoping it didn’t say ‘TIKI TRCH.’”

Ronny Stout just wants the speculation to end.

“It just said ‘STR8 EDGE!’ That’s it! I was 16 and dumb. I’d never even tried a hard seltzer before. Now that I’m older, life’s just not so black and white. You try holding a beer with a hand that says ‘EDGE,’” said Stout. “I just never considered the number of conspiracies this cover-up would invite. I’ve heard everything! Of course, the dog whistle one. I’ve been asked if I’m a huge Meat Loaf fan. My kid’s friends even guessed ‘HUGE POOP.’ I’m over it. Maybe I should have just endured 12 years of laser treatment so it could look like a patchy burn instead.”

Kris Hanna, a tattoo artist specializing in cover-ups, has seen these unintended consequences firsthand.

“Even with the best cover-ups, if people know, they aren’t going to admire your new sick-ass panther. They’re only going to wonder what used to be there,” said Hanna. “I don’t care how well I can tattoo a raven. If he’s twisted into a tribal shape, people are going to know you used to be in a nu-metal band. Even some of the non-cover-up work I do comes under fire. I recently tattooed a black rose on a guy, and his girlfriend swore she could see an ex’s name hidden in the center.”

At press time, Stout was seen placing a ‘Biden 2024’ decal over an illegible sunbleached bumper sticker that had begun to attract attention.