Wherever Joe Tamargo goes, people stare at his forearms. He likes it that way. Years ago, Tamargo, a resident of Rochester, New York, auctioned off space on his arms, transforming himself into a human billboard. “I just thought that would be the most visible place possible for people,” he told me. Today, they’re covered in tattoos bearing the logos of 15 different websites.
"When I tell them the story, they're like, 'Yo, that's pretty cool. I'm going to check out those websites,'" Tamargo, 38, says of people who see him in public. "And then they get there and there's nothing on the website." Tamargo is not just a walking advertisement. He’s a walking advertisement for businesses that no longer exist.
One of Tamargo’s tattoos is for SaveMartha.com, a site that was dedicated to keeping Martha Stewart out of prison following her indictment for securities fraud. Stewart went to prison. Stewart got out of prison. And yet Tamargo still has a tattoo imploring you to save her. He has tried to buy one of the defunct domain names on his arm, pilldaddy.com, a former online Viagra purveyor, and do something with it. He was unsuccessful. He doesn’t see himself getting the tattoos removed anytime soon.