That Time I Went to a Tattoo Convention and Didn’t Get a Tattoo

I went to a body art and tattoo convention the other day. I usually plan out events that involve almost 2 hours of driving but this one was more of a spur of the moment kind of thing. Despite the fact that I didn’t know more than half of the people in the car, the drive was better than most I’ve taken with strangers. We swapped crazy Uber stories, made some dirty jokes about street signs we passed and upon entering a ‘bad neighborhood’ discussed all the possible ways of murdering people and dissolving their bodies in chemicals ‘breaking bad’ style… You know; the typical ‘road trip’ stuff.

So we finally get to the venue at about 6pm. The weather is perfect, sun is shining, birds are chirping, etc. As we get closer to the entrance area, we are greeted by this very cute miniature town/train station, which as adorable as it was would have been much cooler if it’d actually been working instead of deserted. To make up for that minor ‘setback’, there was a beer truck waiting for us just a few feet ahead. Beer always makes everything better. I mean sure, it was 12 bucks a pop and served in a plastic cup, but what can one expect upon entering a carnival for adults.

I say carnival loosely of course; while people that tattoo every inch of their body and suspend themselves in the air by skewering their skin onto metal hooks like kabob are often considered freaks, they’re also fascinating and in a twisted way kind of awesome.

It was fun. We got to see a bunch of cool art, clever merchandise and some sick tattoos in the making. I even considered volunteering my body as a canvas in turn for a free tattoo but I figured I didn’t need a permanent reminder of yet another bad decision; at least not this year. I already have two; I’ll wait ‘til I lose weight and come up with a well-thought out design to get another.

In the meantime, my peeps and I opted to watch others put their stuff on display. With everyone that was walking around in between sessions and many others participating in contests, there was plenty to look at. This one guy had to drop trou for the camera in order to show off his goods; while another chick had to push aside her strappy bralette-looking thing in order to show off the goodies that were hiding under her other goodies. Some of the others that weren’t partaking in the contest were blissfully asleep on the ‘operating’ table; they say you shouldn’t drink while getting tattooed due to the blood thinning and whatnot but no one said anything about taking drugs that make you pass out and not feel the pain. I tell you, next time I’m getting under one of those guns; I’m either taking something or at the very least getting me some numbing cream.

While there was plenty of material to gawk at, there was ‘exhibit’ that stuck with me. There was this 12-15 year old-looking girl walking around with a sleeve tattoo. Now I didn’t exactly have the balls to come up to her and ask her if it’s airbrushed or real, but it sure as hell seemed pretty real. It’s not exactly illegal as long as you have a parent’s consent… But isn’t it slightly immoral? I mean adults get tattoos they regret because they didn’t think it through when they got it but this is a child. Not only that but her body hasn’t even grown yet; it’s bound to get all stretched out and weird looking as she gets older. I followed her around for a good 5 minutes or so as I tried to get a good shot, trying to be all sneaky and shit about it… I must have not been as sneaky as I thought because when I finally got a good one, she was staring right at me. Oh well; it’s fair game as far as pictures in a public place go. Although I did feel the need to block out her eyeballs for anonymity purposes assuming that she is in fact a minor and not an adult with some sort of a disability.

We didn’t stick around to see who won the contest because we were starting to get hungry and didn’t feel like paying 20 bucks for a burger. All in all, this trip gets 4 out of 5 stars. Cheaper beer and no traffic on the way there would have made a 5. Next time, I’ll just have to come much earlier in the day and unlike this time actually prepared; with a tattoo design in hand and lots of drugs in my system.

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