My hometown paper, the Border Mail, ran an article today warning of the dangers of unlicensed backyard tattoo artists. Apparently fifteen people every week (in a city of about 90,000) come in to tattoo studios in search of a cleanup, or a writeover, or a course of topical antibiotics. That works out to about one percent of the population every single year, which sort of makes me wonder where all these dodgy backyard tattoo studios were while I was at high school in Albury.
The best bit by far, though, is the vox-pop at the end. I don’t know where the journo found these people, nor why they decided to admit to their bad judgment on the record, but they are comedy gold:
[Name removed to protect the stupid], aged 17, got a tattoo on his forearm by a friend with a home-made tattoo gun six months ago. […] “It was free and I was drunk at the time,” he said.
How drunk do you have to be to agree to let your (presumably also drunk) friend tattoo you with a “homemade tattoo gun”? And – more importantly – how does a 17-year-old get himself that drunk?
But if you thought that was bogan-tastic (chav-tastic? redneck-tastic?), wait until you meet his young lady-friend:
A younger woman with Mr Slatter said her brother had recently acquired a tattoo gun and would give her a free tattoo soon. “I can’t wait,” she said.
She “can’t wait” to get a free tattoo from her brother, because he’s “just acquired a tattoo gun” and presumably wants to try it out.
Welcome to Albury.