Tiny Ewell

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Eldred "Tiny" Ewell is a secondary character in Infinite Jest, a member of Ennet House who helps to show the type of addicts that are housed there.

Tiny reveals that as a young child he fell in with the wrong crowd, committing fraud with his crew by posing as a youth hockey team raising money for charity. He embezzled the stolen money from his crew, and eventually got caught. In desperation, he stayed home from school and stole money from his parents to get out of it. In rehab he fears the Ninth Step, making amends, will ruin his life and break his mother's heart.

The nickname "Tiny" is accurate. He is a physically diminutive tax lawyer, and Wallace details his wardrobe's small sizes. He has a wife, although she left him and filed a restraining order against him, saying "there's something incorrigibly dark in your personality." Tiny spends time in St. Mel's detox unit, and was transferred to The Enfield Marine VA Hospital Complex early in the novel. He then becomes a patient at Ennet House.

Tiny is obsessed with tattoos, an obsession which arose as a response to his Substance being taken away from him in rehab. He likes their permanence (and usually impulsive circumstances under which they're obtained), and becomes intensely interested in the context for each one. He categorizes them, as there are young punk kids with tattoos designed to repel, older people with tattoos they regret, and bikers with tons of tattoos. Tiny examines the tattoos of other patients and assigns significance levels to each of them (and considers jailhouse tattoos "primitive").