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June 03, 2006

Get Your Ink On: A Joey Headset Guide to Tattoos

Nothing looks cooler than a tattoo.

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Not this tattoo, obviously. But, as a general rule, tattoos = AWESOME. And these days, everyone seems to be getting one. Though ink used to be just for rock stars, military men and skank ass bitches, more and more regular people are getting them. Regular, boring, ugly, stupid people like you and me. Well... mostly you. As a public service to my readers, I offer this guide to the exciting and diverse world of body art.

First, a bit of history: The art of tattooing, or tattoonometry, is an ancient one. The first tattoos were worn by tribal warriors of the Neolithic period. These brave combatants marked their bodies to commemorate victories on the field of battle. Tattoos were also popular amongst Neolithic hipsters who hoped to obtain the street-cred of warriors, without all that messy bloodshed. Inked-up hipsters of this sort usually worked in record stores. Neolithic record stores.

In these ancient times, tattoo technology was predictably crude. Tribal tattooists would apply pigment to the tip of a blade and then stab you over and over again until some kind of interesting image appeared on your skin. Frequently, this would not occur until well after you had bled to death. Fortunately for you, modern technology has greatly improved the tattooing process. Now the stabby-blade is electric and can perforate you 150 times a second! It still hurts like hell, but at least you may survive the procedure long enough to regret it.

If you intend to get some ink done on your own bad self, you will need to make a few critical decisions. First of all, you must choose a place to park your tattoo. Tattoos can be applied anywhere you have skin. Shoulders, wrists and ankles are the most popular spots, but I've found that that the ASS is the best tattoo location. More than any other part of the human anatomy, the ass serves as a spacious blank canvas for a skin artist. If Monopoly were a game about tattoo placement, Boardwalk would be your left ass cheek and Park Place would be your right (the cleft area in-between... we'll call that Community Chest). On a personal note, I have several tattoos in the ass region, and I love showing them off. Particularly when I'm at the Olive Garden. Hey, why spend the money on a tattoo if you're not going to let anyone see it? (Just don't use this argument with a judge when you're charged with indecent exposure -- I've found it to be less-than-effective.)

Of course, you will also need to determine what you want the tattoo to look like. Choosing a design is a deeply personal decision. You want to pick an image that is meaningful to you, something that lets the world know who you are. That's why I suggest that everyone gets this image tattooed somewhere on their body.

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Come on... how sweet would that look on your left bicep?

If you're not hardcore enough to sport a Joey Headset tattoo, you could always get a heart or a rose or some weird asian character you can't even read. No matter what you decide upon, be sure to keep a copy of your chosen design in your wallet at all times. You never know when you might drunkenly stumble into a tattoo parlour at 3AM. In fact, my experience tells me that this is the ONLY circumstance in which anyone gets a tattoo. If you don't already possess a well-conceived tattoo design in this situation, you'll end up getting something "spontaneous". And in tattoos, spontaneous is never good. If you don't believe me, I'd be happy to show you the depiction of Papa Smurf urinating on a Volkswagen logo that adorns my left thigh. It ain't pretty.

Once you've chosen your tattoo design, you will need to find a skilled artist to execute it. Finding the right artist can be the most difficult part of the process. Here are a few guidelines:

When picking a tattoo studio, I've found that cheaper is always better. I don't trust any place that charges more for a tattoo than I would pay for an oil change at Jiffy Lube. Hell, I'd let the boys at Jiffy Lube do my ink if I could -- they do nice work over there. Besides, those expensive studios do most of their business with Angelina Jolie, who gets a new tattoo every other month (in the off-months, she adopts more refugee babies). Really cheap studios make a profit by doing a high volume of work. An artist who does 20 tats a day is going to be a hell of a lot sharper than one who only does a few. It's a fact!

It's also important that get your tattoo done at an establishment that is professional and classy. You shouldn't even consider getting inked at a place called John Smith's Tattoos or Main Street Tattoo Studio. No imagination! I've gotten all my tats at a place called Nawty Dawg'z Tatz n' More. It's not just a tattoo studio, it's also a pool hall. And a laundromat! I could wash my socks, play a few games of 9-ball and get some sweet ink done -- all at the some joint. So convenient! Sadly, Nawty Dawg'z shut down last month. Allegedly, there were cock fights going on in the back room. Stupid government and their anti-cockfighting laws.

Remember: getting a tattoo is a choice that lasts a lifetime. And, like all permanent choices, you WILL eventually regret it. However, if you do your homework and get it done right, you can at least postpone those inevitable feelings of remorse until middle age. By then, you'll probably regret so many other decions you've made, your embarrassing tattoos won't even rank in the top ten.

Posted by Joey at June 3, 2006 03:09 PM

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