by Chad Ganson
The place was Artistic Tattoos, just down the road from Kansas City International Raceway on Old Noland Road. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and I was talking to the tattoo artist who was going to be working on me. His name is Jimmy, and I have known him for close to 20 years. We even went to church together when were little kids. I found it funny that a guy I went to church with was now my tattoo artist.
We sat and talked for a couple minutes about what I wanted to get tattooed on my arm. It was interesting talking about a tattoo I was helping design, because when I went to get my first tattoo, I had a picture of what I wanted to get. I followed Jimmy back to the room where he does his tattoos, which was just up the stairs from the entrance of the building. The room is just pictures of tattoos that Jimmy has designed and it made me pretty comfortable, considering what he was getting ready to do to my arm. For some reason, he has golf clubs on the ceiling, which I am still trying to figure out. Jimmy got the ink and gel ready, and then he pulled out a green sharpie. I immediately started thinking, “Is he going to autograph my arm like Terrell Owens did on that football?” No, he was just drawing the design on my arm.
After he was all done drawing the design I had come up with, Jimmy dipped the needle in the ink asked me if I was ready. I said yes and he started my new tattoo.
After 45 minutes, Jimmy was done with the outline and during this time I was thinking two things: One was, “What did I do to deserve all this pain?” The other was what I’m sure a lot of people think when they get a tattoo, “What are my parents going to say?”
Another 45 minutes passed by and Jimmy had finished going over the outline of my new Tribal lattoo twice. I went to go look in the mirror and was very pleased.
I got the ink cleaned off my arm, which was very painful by itself because of how sensitive my arm is. Jimmy put on the bandage.
Then, the nervous part … going home to face the parents.
Of course, I got the reaction I was expecting. My mother was disappointed that I got another tattoo, but she helped me clean it off. My father just said, “Hey, it’s your arm and your waste of money.” And he kept trying to hit my tattoo.
And so what I was really thinking the entire time I was getting my tattoo was not what my parents were going to say, because I don’t care what they thought. What was really going through my mind was, “What is my next tattoo going to be?”