So! Ishmael once measured a whale skeleton and didn't want to forget the measurements, so he tattooed them on his arm as "there was no other secure way of preserving such valuable statistics" at the time. I already knew this was in the book. What I didn't know was that, though he went to the extreme of permanently inking these "valuable statistics" in his flesh, he didn't even record the exact measurements because he was saving room on his body for a poem he was composing.
This may be the funniest, stupidest, navel-gazing-est thing I've ever read and now I'm intensely curious about this poem that trumps exact whale skeleton measurements.