Eric Rico Ortiz has never seen a spider he liked. He's terrified of them. When he sees them scuttling through his Deltona house, he scampers away in fright. So at the end of last year, he thought long and hard about that fear. And then he did what any well-reasoning 24-year-old would do in such an intellectual quandary.
He tattooed a giant black widow on his face.
"Everybody fears spiders," Ortiz told the Daytona Beach News-Journal, while standing at the Volusia County Courthouse to handle felony charges against him for habitually driving with a revoked license.
"That's why I got it," he says. "Just to, like, make me know, that that's what I fear, but not to fear it. You know what I'm saying?"
Yes, Eric. We got you. It's a not-too-subtle metaphor for conquering fear, right?
"Everybody looks at it like, 'Damn spider,' " he continued. "'Cause if you're going around your house, you know what I'm saying, you see those spiders, you're going to jump, you're going to jump, so putting one on my face, I say you know what, I'm going to see what people think."
It doesn't look like these two tikes were too impressed.
Neither were his friends. "Please tell me that's not real," Nancy Sanchez said.
"Tell me that's fake???" wrote one friend.
"Your an ass cuz for real," another gasped. "How the fuck u gonna put that on your face u gonna regret that some day... Ima kick ya ass."
But Eric Ortiz was unrepentant. The giant spider tattoo on his face would stay.
"IF I COULD START FROM SCRATCH I WOULDN'T CHANGE SHIT!!!!" he told his many haters.
Among whom are the police. In addition to felony charges for driving on a revoked license, Ortiz has a rap sheep that includes charges of burglary, narcotic possession, retail theft, prowling, and domestic battery.
So, Ortiz reasoned, a massive black tattoo of a spider on his face probably wouldn't hurt his already-dim chances of landing a job.
"Some people say 'Why did you get it? You're never going to get a job," Ortiz told the News-Journal. "Some people say "It's cool, man. The tattoo on the face, I would never get it but that one came out cool.'"
Likely, if this other photo is any indication, Ortiz is also afraid of pain: