#1) Thanks but no thanks
Ever want to get rid of a tattoo? Most of us do at one time or
another. In fact, I wouldn't doubt if Mike Tyson hasn't rethought
his facial "art". If not, he should.
My Tat Stats:
Getting the tat:
1. Cheap: $6 in a 3rd world piss-hole
2. Fun: you're drunk with your friends egging you on
3. Painless: (see #2)
1. Expensive: $99 - $999 plus, depending
2. Not fun: multiple apps of costly, painful laser fries
3. Painful (see #2)
I have one small tattoo that I've had for many years. No, not
a small-of-the-back "insert here" tattoo. And not one
of those wrap-around, I-wanna-be-a-Hawaiian-Mo-Fo tribal bands
either. It's a simple yin/yang, 2" in diameter with no dragons,
butterflies, skulls or flames. Just a simple yin/yang. After so
many years, I've been pondering it's removal. I don't know why,
maybe it's because there's a wee bit of guilt when I wear an exposed
gown..., maybe I just don't freegin' know. So I drive all the
way into Torrance to this semi-shady looking building (ala abortion
clinic) right alongside busy Hawthorne Blvd and enter into a large,
casual reception area and am asked to fill out a massively-intrusive,
multi-page form that I print my name on and sign leaving everything
else blank. I'm here for a free consult, not a goddam operation.
I'm shown into a tiny little room with a big machine just happily
buzzing away (the "Tat-o-matic 9000"?) and this be-smocked
"technician" (I guess), starts asking me all these routinely
intrusive questions. I stop her in mid-question and say I just
want a simple estimate on what it'll cost in money and time and
lift my shirt to show her my tiny tao symbol. She says she can't
say. Warning bells toll in the distance, somewhere a cow moos.
She measures my tattoo as 4" square. I ask how she got a
4" square from a 2" diameter tattoo. "Oh, we measure
in squares." WTF? I ask about all the flesh in the yin side
thinking I wanted ink removed, not my flesh. She gazes at me with
those big, dark bovine eyes and says something about the laser
making straight lines and my size tat would be $99 an application,
do I want to start today? "Can you tell me how many applications
I'd need?" I naively ask. "No, everybody is different".
I'm thinking "No shit?" I press on "Can you give
me a rough estimate, best case, using all your experience?"
The bovine eyes blink twice. "Um, no...again, we just can't
say. It might be 4 or 5, it could be more." (aka it WILL
be more) I hear the bells tolling again. Another warning for the
uninformed: their flyer (see photo) states a 2-8" square
costs $79 per session and yet she's giving me the cost of a 16"
tattoo! Well, fuck that. "Okay, thanks, goodbye". The
door slammed shut before she even got through asking "Are
We'd love to hear your tales about tattoo removal. How did you
get the tattoo? Why did you decide to remove it? What options
did you try? What worked? Anyone you'd recommend? Please email
so that we can post your story here. Please put something like
"tattoo removal story" in your subject line, so as to
avoid spam filters.