Spore was flipping through the channels on his crappy old 11” TV set when something caught his eye. The channel was 30, TLC, and he had stumbled upon an episode of L.A. Ink. One of Kat Von D’s angsty minions was tattooing a massive portrait of a baby on some buff guy’s back. Spore stared in awe as the muscular man told his depressing story about his infant’s SIDS, and as he cried tears of joy when he looked at the swollen image of the baby’s face etched into his back in a full-length mirror. Spore watched as the baby’s face tightened and relaxed with the flexing of the man’s back muscles. Then the show went back to its usual pointless bickering between shop owners and tattoo artists.
Spore switched the television off, but he couldn’t get the image of the baby’s face out of his mind. He felt as if it was peering into his very soul… Without warning, Spore sprang up from his bed and shouted, “I need to get a tattoo!”
Spore rushed out of his room and crashed out of the front door.
“Be sure to make it home for dinner!” his mother cried. Spore ignored her.
Spore ran one block before stopping and gasping for air. He walked the rest of the way, his hand clasped to a cramp in his side. It didn’t take him long to get downtown. It was only when he made it there that he realized he had no idea where the tattoo parlor was.
Spore spotted the familiar face of a quirky 10-year-old girl, which was partly covered by the brown paper bag she was holding in her hands.
“Maddy!” Spore cried, skipping towards her.
“Oh, hey Spore,” said Madison.
“Whatcha got in the bag?” Spore asked.
“Ohhhhh nothing,” she said suspiciously.
“No really,” Spore insisted, taking the bag. It felt heavy. He looked inside.
There was literally nothing there.
“Like I said, it’s a bag of nothing,” said Maddy, clearly irritated. “Now go ahead and tell me what you’re doing down here. Let me guess, you need directions somewhere… again.”
“Oh,” said Spore, “you know me too well. Then I will tell you. I am looking for the tattoo shop. I am getting a tattoo.”
“You are not,” said Maddy.
“Yes I am,” said Spore.
“Fine,” said Madison. “But I hope you know that tattoos cost money.”
“Of course I do,” Spore lied. “I have my allowance in my pocket. I have ten whole dollars.”
“Figures,” Maddy said, sighing. “Well, you’re in luck. There’s a really shady tattoo place just around the corner. It is probably extremely unsanitary and you will most likely come home with a terrible disease, but I am sure they will give you whatever you want for your ten dollar bill.”
“Oh, it’s not a ten dollar bill, I’ll be paying in all quarters,” said Spore, grinning.
“Whatever!” Maddy cried, exasperated. “Just get going if you really want to do it, but I’m willing to bet you’ll be too chicken.”
“You’ll see,” said Spore haughtily, starting to storm off.
“Just turn left,” Maddy called after him.
“Your other left…”
Surprisingly, Spore managed to find the tattoo shop. There were boards over the windows and the neon sign read “Rusty’s Needle”. The lights in the LE were out.
“Ahh, Rusty’s Need,” Spore read. “That doesn’t sound so sketchy. I don’t know what Maddy was talking about. He walked inside.
It was quite dark and dank inside the tattoo parlor and as he entered Spore saw a burly man sitting on a stool and lighting up a cigarette off to the side of the room.
“Herrlo thar, mister,” said the man. “What can I do yer for?”
“Well, I would like a tattoo, sir,” Spore said. “But I only have ten dollars.”
“Why, ten’s fair,” said the man.
“Are you Rusty?” Spore asked.
“Nope,” the man responded. “Rusty, er, had to take care of some business, yer see. I’m Bill.”
“Nice to meet you,” Spore said, extending his hand. Bill took it and gave it a rough shake.
“So what was it you were thinking of getting then,” asked Bill.
“Hmmmmmmmmmmm,” Spore muttered. “I didn’t really think that through. What’s popular?”
“Well, I just gave an anchor tattoo to some scrawny lad not an hour ago now,” said Bill. “Did a pretty good job if I do say so meself.”
“Well that sounds lovely!” said Spore. “Maybe I’ll get that then.”
“No can do, little feller,” said Bill. “I never do the same tattoo twice. Say, you look a little fruity. Hows about I give yer a dancing pineapple across yer bottom?”
“Oh,” said Spore, “I am not sure I like the sound of that. How about you just put the pineapple just above my bottom. I don’t want to moon you.”
Bill chuckled. “That sounds alright ter me,” he said. “Come have a lay down right over here…”
Bill pointed to a grimy and battered dentist’s chair, which was in the lowest position. Spore nodded and planted himself in the chair, stomach down. He heard the hum of a needle to his left.
“Now try ter hold still,” said Bill. “This needle ain’t sterilized, and it might hurt a bit.”
Spore closed his eyes and gripped the chair, preparing himself…
About an hour after Maddy got home, she heard a knock at the door. She opened it to find Spore standing there grinning.
“Well, I did it,” said Spore. “I proved you wrong. I got a tattoo.”
“You did not,” said Maddy, inspecting his bare arms.
“Yes I did!”
“Well, where is it?” she asked.
“Riiiggght here!” said Spore, turning around and lifting his shirt up slightly. In the middle of his lower back was a plastic bag duct taped in place.
“What?” asked Spore.
“You got a tramp stamp?” Maddy coughed.
“Oh nevermind,” Maddy said, still grinning. “Well, let’s see it.”
Without warning, Maddy ripped off the tape.
“OOWWWW!” cried Spore, “it’s still tender!”
Maddy peered at Spore’s lower back. Her lips pursed and eyebrows raised.
“Uhh… where is it?”
“Well don’t you see it?”
Spore took Maddy’s hand and led her into the bathroom.
“Look,” he said. “It’s right there.”
Maddy squinted. “That black mole?”
“So you do see it!” said Spore proudly.
Maddy took another look at the mole. On closer inspection it DID appear to be tattoo ink.
“So, let me guess,” said Maddy. “The moment the needle touched your back you screamed ‘OMG IT HURTS SO BAD MAKE IT STOP!’, forked over the ten dollars and had him wrap it up.”
“Not quite,” said Spore. “I only paid him $9.75 because he didn’t get to colour it in.”
“Oh please,” said Maddy. “Just go home, put some ice on your ego and come talk to me when you’re a real man.”
Spore looked puzzled. Maddy showed him to the door.
“Take care of your fake skin cancer,” she said to him as she pushed him down the walkway. “Make sure to have your mom take you for a tetanus shot while you’re at it.”
Spore headed home with his head held high. In his own mind he had accomplished something amazing today.
“Your dinner is getting cold,” his mom said as he brushed past her. “I warned you not to be late for dinner.”
“Just heat it up for me,” Spore replied pathetically, sauntering up to his room. He flicked on the television set and began channel surfing. He came to channel 46, the Discovery Channel. It was an episode of Guinness World Records. The announcer was in the process of interviewing the world’s most pierced woman – 6005 and counting.
Spore jumped up from his bed…
· Mon Nov 21, 2011 @ 04:42am · 1 Comments