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#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)

Removing same:
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 you sure?"


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