When tattoos become a pain in the arse

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Whether it's for your reading pleasure or for your sick degradation, here's the tale of my tattooed arse:

Tattoo removal is expensive.
I had a monstrosity of a tattoo on my left buttcheek for around 6 years, but wasn't perturbed enough by it to splash out the money. Besides, it always stood as a stark reminder to the memory of my friends; their inventiveness, their mischief, their commitment towards causing grief.

This November, I decided to have a cover up - more out of the fun of having my first professional tattoo than from any anxiety about the potentially offensive symbol on my arse - not many people see my nude bum anyway.
Anyone who sees it in the swimming pool locker room shouldn't be looking, anyone who sees it in the bedroom will most likely be seeing something much worse, if you know what I mean!!!! (a scrotum).

Mom's Body Shop lies in the grungy, thrift-store inhabited Haight/ Ashbury area of San Francisco. A red neon heart flickers in the window, a small sign with a picture of a crying boy reads 'No whiners".
The in-house tattoos in the front window are of the greasy, regrettable kind.
Skulls with snakes coiling through them, multicoloured dragons, bleeding love hearts, big breasted, bushy-pussied women, a zombie with an electric guitar, a smiling dog fucking a cat.
The front desk is inhabited by that woman that you find in most tattoo shops - the busty, brassy, outgoing & heavily tattooed twenty-something with dyed red hair, chunky 50's fringe and a nose ring.
"I'm looking for a cover-up tattoo."
"Yep, we get plenty of those comin' through the door. Where?"
"My left buttcheek."
She laughed heartily, causing her massive, pasty breasts to wobble for a few seconds.
"Paul, ya ok tattoin' an ass?"
Paul, who would have looked like a Hells Angels biker were it not for his mild face and calm demeanour, turned from his partition studio and nodded in the affirmative.
"Let's see it."
I walked to his partition and dropped my jeans.
"Fuuuuuck! That's gonna be a big cover-up job."
"I need something black and circular to cover it, so I want a big, cartoon-style bomb. How long do you think it will take?"
"That's gonna take you around 2 hours. I gotta go outside and smoke first."

The tattooist quickly sketched up a bomb, complete with fizzing fuse.
"I'll put a bit of gold and red on the fuse for ya, it's gonna look nice."
I laid down on the table, my arse facing the ceiling.
"It's gonna need a shit load of black though. You're gonna have one bold, badass tattoo."
As he started sketching the circular outline of the bomb onto my freshly shaved ass in cold, blue ink, a crowd of staff and customers gathered around in a scene reminiscent of Christ's nativity.
"Dude, is that a swastika?"
I was sick of lying, of trying to tell people that it was 'the Hindu sign that represented the eternal nature of Brahman '.
"Yeah, my friends did it for a joke."
The crowd moved in closer.
"Your friends are assholes, dude."

The tattooist prepared the gun, and gave it a quick buzz before he took hold of my arse with one hand.
"You ready?"
"I'm doin the outline, this bit is gonna hurt the most."
"Go for it."
"And I gotta warn ya - if you fart in my face, I'm gonna charge you extra."
He snapped on the gun and applied the rapidly vibrating needle to the top of my buttock. As it dug in, the sharp, electric searing pain and the trickle of blood running down my ass caused a minor flashback.

"If you clench your butt it'll just hurt more, Sher"
I was face down on a weightlifting bench in my friend's attic room. I wasn't drunk, but I'd had a few beers, unsure about how much my first tattoo was going to hurt, hoping the cheap, pissy brew would numb the pain a little.
Five or six of my mates had turned out to watch the spectacle - the result of a half-arsed 'lost bet' - they had plotted, discussed and decided on what design was going to be tattooed onto my arse, and I wouldn't know what it was until it was finished.
I'd heard rumours through the grapevine, though.
"We're gonna tattoo a giant cock which is going up his anus."
"We're gonna put a picture of his Mum's face on his arse."
"We should just tattoo a small pack of camels on there."
As Carl, an amateur tattooist, carved whatever design they were doing into my butt, I held onto the legs of the bench and winced. My leg would twitch involuntarily each time the needle went near my inner thigh or bumcrack.
"Keep still Sher or you'll mess it up."
In the end, they chose a reasonably innocuous idea (A beer logo with my name replacing the brand) but then held a little conference in the hallway, where they presumably realised they were wasting a one-off opportunity to make a mockery of my backside.
Carl came in and finished the second part of the tattoo, a small swastika, before carving his initials into my lower buttock for good measure.
They all stood around, grinning with anticipation, waiting for my reaction as I checked my pot-luck tattoo in the mirror.
I'd been expecting much worse.

Around halfway through the session at Mom's Body Shop, the tattooist turned off his gun.
"The swastika is covered with solid black now... you wanna say a few words?"
"Well... this a good day for world peace..."
He chuckled and clicked the gun back on, I gripped the table edge, preparing for another hour of rapid, nerve-burning pinpricks.
As he neared the lower right side of my buttock, I began to clench again.
"You've been sitting really well, don't fuck it up now, man."
"I wish I had a fatter arse."
"Yeah it's a sensitive spot. There's worse places, though."
I thought of my friend Jack, who had to be strapped down so he could get a tattoo on the sole of his foot.
The tattooist was also covered in art. The designs on his arm had all melded together into one copper-green hue.
"What's the most painful place you've had tattooed?"
"The middle of my sternum. And the longest tattoo I've had took 20 hours."
I tried to relax and stop moaning.

"Little bit of gold there.... and you. are. done."
He squirted some kind of moisturising cream over my butt. It mingled in with the sweat, ink and blood to create a purple paste, before he bandaged it up.
"That thing is right across your cheek. You won't be able to sit down for a week."
"Aye, I feel like I've been spanked by Mike Tyson."

I felt light-headed as I walked towards the front of the shop. My forehead was wet, and I was in a trance of relaxed, post-pain euphoria.
The younger tattooist was telling the girl on reception about the time he went to pick up his friend from a jail in L.A.
"I pull up in the car and he's stood there with another guy who's been released - Fuckin' VANILLA ICE. I gave him a ride home, too, he was a fuckin' cool guy."
The girl handed me a tattoo aftercare sheet, and told me not to itch it until it was healed. I opened the front door, spilling yellow light onto the dark street.
"Thanks again. Night."
"See ya! Oh, and If it's really really itching, just sort of it spank it with your hand."


Elina said...

Your ass looks explosive.
I don't even want to think of the pain of covering up mine, which is located even more strategically than yours...
Jolly holidays!