Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dig This

My friend Willy was here Saturday night. Tracy had gone to get pizzas, Chris had to run back to his house to get a magazine he'd forgotten, and the other gamers were still somewhere on the long road between Arthurdale and my kitchen table. It was wicked cold outside and Willy had walked to my house so we decided to do a warm-up shot of whiskey.

We're standing in my kitchen and Willy turns to me and says, "Lucas and I made a tattoo gun."

I had to admit to being a little jealous. They made it out of a motor from Radio Shack, some aluminum tubing they'd milled down, either a pen or mechanical pencil (I forget which) and, of course, a guitar string.

According to Willy the test run consisted of a few lines that Lucas drew on his leg, to test depth and whether the lines would blow out or not. The test was quite satisfactory. The test run was done with India Ink, but some tattoo ink (which is an acrylic suspension, just so you know) is being ordered via the internet. Then the fiesta begins.

I have to admit that there is some draw to this. Calm down; I'm not going to do it - but I have to admit to wanting to a tiny bit. It appeals to me in the same way that a $20 music player appeals to me more than an iPod, or the way my cheapo cell phone appeals to me more than a touch screen Blackberry. Somewhere along the way, we've all come to believe that more expensive not only means better, but also means that we must have it. I know a lot of people (casually, that is) that won't have anything if they can't have the best. People who will spend more on gas than they make on a given day so they can have the necessary luxury of driving an Escalade.

It's their money. But it still makes me mad. The economy is going down the toilet, and all the pundits will have us believe that it's because people spent more on houses than they could possibly afford. Whether or not that's strictly true (it doesn't explain why the car companies are going broke, though their insistence on making huge gas guzzlers instead of small efficient cars does), it is a prevailing attitude.

I digress. The home made tattoo is more than just a cheap alternative. It's a lot like giving the finger. Tattoos used to be the finger to society at large, but every frat boy and sorority girl sports them now, so a lot of the social deviancy is gone. But it is still deviant to get said tattoo in your friends kitchen. It's the same part of me that looks forward in the future after the D is settled and happy to selling everything, buying an Airstream and just becoming a wandering gypsy.

Again, don't worry. I'm not going to do it.

Stupid blood borne pathogens.

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