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Friday, May 11, 2012

Tat's the Way I Like It

With all the hoohah I never did get around to telling you all about getting the tattoo done, which I'd promised.

We pulled up to the place, a storefront in a small strip mall. "Viking Tattoo and Valhalla Gift Shop" said the sign in the window. Inside the store cum living room of the owners, there were some showcases, mostly empty. Some nice blown-glass hash pipes, stash boxes, a couple bongs and hookahs. I didn't see any "adult" things, just these cases and a large Rottie behind a counter, who "Bo-roff"ed up a storm until an owner came from the back room. That was Donna, who runs the front of the biz. She confirmed our appointments and left us to look at the hanging catalogs and various reams of tat pix. Since I wasn't shopping, Special K began her hunt for a butterfly that she wanted on her back.

The tat artist who was going to do mine, Jim, was busy with other people so I went through the catalogs, hunting for a Thor I might like for the future. Only found 3, and didn't like any of them. There wasn't anything particularly Viking about the place either. It's a regular wood-paneled, indoor-outdoor carpeted storefront. Meanwhile, Special K's artist came out and conferred with her. He went back and forth a few times, bringing reworked art for her approval until she was happy (not an easy achievement). They took off to his station and got going. Jim emerged from his office and took me back to his station.

Things have changed in tat world. I had to sign things saying I saw him open a new needle and such, he scrubbed like a surgeon and put on gloves. He alcoholed my arm and got right to the outline. Greg had signed from the top of the muscle down and around at an angle that ended on bone. Tatting on bone is painy, but not much, and the only part that hurt at all. I don't understand how people can say tats hurt. Like I said, unless it's banging on bone it doesn't. I was glad that the fat lines of the "G" and "L" were on muscle, though. It's a big signature for 8 letters and took a long time. Jim and I chatted about the changes, things that should've changed in 40 years but haven't, and music.

Special K was just getting done when I was talking about future tats with Jim. He's a nice guy, been at it since 1982. Your regulation biker type. He looked at my old tats, said he could re-ink them for $125. I'm still thinking about that. He said he'd have to make Coney Island Freddie's tat bigger, and I really don't want that changed. It's an original. I want a second opinion.

I scrutinized Special K's since she couldn't really see it. Good job that guy did. He's talented. We got our care instructions and paid up. As we were leaving I noticed the family migrating to the sofa in a corner of the store to watch a widescreen tv. Their day was winding down, it was 4 p.m. Freshly tattooed, we headed back here for Happy Hour and to cluck over our adventure. I was proud of Special K; I didn't even hear a whimper out of her through the whole thing.

"Greg Lake
is permanently on me. It's 16 days old now, pretty much healed (but I have to keep moisturizing it, the skin's not as young as it used to be). I don't recall peeling before like I did this time, but things have changed, and it's fine.

If I ever go up there again, I'm gonna ask about the "adult gift shop" part.


The Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. Picture please. Pretty please.
I have been contemplating a tatt for a while now, but it has to be meaningful, and nothing sings to me yet.

Austan said...

EC- Soon, I promise! I want it looking good and I want a good shot of it, which I can't take, myself. It's too weird an angle. Keep looking; something will sing. And don't, don't settle. The right thing- a saying, a symbol, a picture, a glyph- will turn up. My 36 year-old tat is a classic type, a heart with wings. I also have some celtic knotwork. You'll find what you really want.

I'm saving my upper left hammy arm for my niece to put the ELP logo on. She's a really good tat artist.
I'm not letting just anyone do that one.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the visuals,.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Yes, we want pictures!

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Why anyone would like a tattoo is beyond me. Suffer pain and possible deadly infection to mutilate your own body?

Ah well, we're all different, and long may that continiue.

Enjoy your multi-pigmennted skin scarring. I hope St. Greg appreciates your sacrifice.

Lisa said...

From my studying, the inks have greatly improved. I use the Skin Candy Bloodline inks. They are 100% organic inks. I can't wait to do your ELP tatt! :D

CarrieBoo said...

Oh cool, the tat story! My tat hurt like a bee-yotch, but that's my own fault for getting it on my lower back. What was I thinking! Not to mention how "uncool" that now is. ;)