Archive for the 'My Two Cents' Category

Should Insects Have Rights Too?

02 8th, 2011 Author: Pokee

Cool Plugs or Insect Cruelty?

First of all, I’d like to apologize for how long it’s been since yours truly snuck in here to write something.  Truth is, I’ve been expanding my horizons a bit and got a new coffee maker that isn’t turning itself on when it’s supposed to, so I end up sleeping through the mornings.  Anyways, I’m still piercing, still observing life, and yes, they’re still ‘hangin’ just as they should.  What brings me in your face today is some observations I’ve made that began as an argument with my girlfriend  and ended up with me going out and buying a pair of new ear plugs.  How’s that work, you ask?  Let me tell you …

There’s nothing worse to me than a hypocrite.  (If you don’t know what that word means, you can skip this article and go back to looking at the pictures, cause I ain’t hyper-linking it to a dictionary site or telling you!)  Anyways, my girlfriend and I were at a mall and we were going to get burgers for lunch.  Out of nowhere, she decides she is a vegetarian and wants a ‘veggie burger’.  Are you kidding me? This chick is 27 years old and I’ve been with her (on and off) for 6 years now, and suddenly she decides she’s a vegetarian?  She tried to explain to me that she saw some show on cable that showed how they kill the cows and she didn’t think it was nice, so now she tells me she’s not ‘contributing’ to this terrible industry.  I tried explaining to her that even if she never ate meat again that cows would continue to be raised and killed, and eaten as food.  I wasn’t getting through.  So I took her to a shop that had body jewelry and found a pair of resin ear plugs with scorpions in them (see pic) and asked her if she felt bad about the two scorpions that gave their lives for these ear plugs.  She said bugs were different, and they didn’t count.  I asked her how that could be, and reminded her that bugs are born, eat, react to danger, mate, raise their young and then die, just like us and the animals.  So why don’t they count too?  She thought long and hard and after a few minutes told me that killing bugs was not bad because bugs secretly plan to rule the planet one day and are just waiting for the ‘signal’ to take us over.  I asked her where in the world she got that b.s. from and she told me she saw it in a move called Starship Troopers.  (I have to admit, I saw that movie to and despite some cheesy acting and cheap effects shots, the thought of the human race being relegated to working the dung heaps of giant bugs bothered me a bit, and still does.)  I didn’t say anything as she ate her veggie burger, but I did buy the bug plugs and vowed to be more careful with the little critters from here on out, just in case she’s right.

That’s all I got for now,

Pokee

Is This Pokee?

As a card-carrying member of the heterosexual male race (that means straight-shooter to any of you that bailed from school early), I can tell you that chicks that have body piercings are hot.  Now I might be a bit biased since I also body pierce for a living, but even if I wasn’t getting paid to poke I’d be keeping three eyes on those ladies at all times, if you know what I mean…

It’s not just that the right piercing accentuates a woman’s body beautifully, but it also symbolizes something to us stimuli-seeking dudes out there; impulsiveness.  You see, in my experience (and I’ve sown more than my share of ‘seeds’), chicks that pierce are more spontaneous, adventurous and just plain more naughty than the ones that don’t.  And if you’re a guy, all those things add up to one conclusion: more fun!  Even if the only piercing a chick has (ears don’t count unless they’re stretched) is a nostril piercing, that’s enough to tingle the love antennae of any real man within 100 miles.  Of course if you don’t want to attract real men (who consider seeing if you can cross your ankles behind your head as foreplay) then don’t get pierced.  Hey it’s your life, right?  If you choose to waste your pretty little time with one of those limp-noodles that fall over themselves doing whatever you tell them to (personally, I’d rather slide down the edge of an 80 foot razor blade naked), then don’t get a body piercing.  But if you’re hot, naughty and want a real man who will take charge at the right times (wink, wink) then you need to get your pretty little butt to your body piercer and start piercing like pronto, baby.  (Damn, I just popped a tent writing about this!)

That’s all I got for now ,

Pokee

Is This Pokee?

(P.S.  Oh, before I forget, here’s that eyeball tattoo pic I promised you from my last post.  Happy viewing!!!!!)

Has Body Piercing Gone Too Mainstream?

12 1st, 2010 Author: Pokee

Has Body Piercing Gone Too Mainstream?

Back in the day when I first started shoving sharp objects through my own skin to try to be cool, it never occurred to me that one day everyone and their brother would be doing it.  I mean for Christ’s sake, when you have vanilla chicks like Drew Barrymore sporting a tongue barbell and fame hounds like Janet Jackson talking about her clitoris piercing on talk shows, I start thinking about the Bible and the weird stuff that will signal the ‘end times’ before the Apocalypse.  Drew Barrymore pierced her tongue?  Are you kidding me?

What I want to know is this; when are the different people (like me and probably most of you reading this) going to be left alone, and allowed to exercise our God-given right to shock, appall and cause old white ladies and small animals to flee from us?  Man, what’s it going to take to get even a second look out there with all the ‘newbies’ sporting 2 inch tunnels in their ears and petite little chicks with enough metal in their nether-regions to trip metal detectors in China?  Seriously, I’m trying to contemplate where it all ends and what us ‘weirdos’ have to do now to even get that ‘look’ from squares.  There’s already tattooing (passe), genital body piercing, surface piercing, scarification, bifurcations, and branding out there.  I even saw a tattooed eye-ball (when I find the pic I’ll post it up for you).  Maybe what I need to do to be a trend setter again is to just tear off my skin completely  and walk around like a real-life version of that muscle-man dude you see on the poster hanging at the doctor’s office!  Maybe if I was oozing plasma all day as my body attempted to become a walking 6 foot scab, I might get a few stares again.  Then again, even taking it that far would eventually be copied endlessly by little muscle-men wannabes until going without skin would become ‘normal’ and lame.  I swear to God, it’s getting harder and harder to be strange these days, and it’s really pissing me off!

Pokee

Is This Pokee?

(When I find that pic I’ll throw it up here.)

As we continue to observe and report the developments of this case in North Carolina, we should all cast anxious eyes upon this matter.  Under the guise of ‘security’, we have allowed many of our sacred constitutional rights to be perverted or lost completely.  In the name of  ‘security’ we have seen our expectations of privacy altered to the point that we now assume every detail of our lives, habits, movements and words are being observed, recorded and studied.  We routinely acquiesce to providing proof of identification in dozens of ways daily as we willingly submit our personal information to strangers in supermarkets, at work and at terminals that we travel from.  We allow the sensitive details of how we live, love,  and spend to be shared, compiled and analyzed, without compensation or explanation.

And now, even our simplest and most fundamental right to religious expression is being threatened.   Most recently, we have allowed others to determine our individuality to the point that our children can no longer wear a body piercing to school, even if it is part of their religious expression.  How much further do we allow this to go?  America was known as the world’s showcase for free-thinking individualists.  But now we are mostly seen as a nation obsessed with quelling our own militaristic paranoia through mass surveillance and regulation.  Those few individuals who dare voice concern over these shameful changes, or who try to challenge these catastrophic losses of freedom are slandered and bullied into silence.  Since when is it okay to dictate what, whom and how another human being may worship?  How much more must be taken away from us before we awaken to this travesty?  Freedoms are won with the lives and blood shed by those before us.  History has shown that freedoms lost are never regained.  How much more must we lose before we awaken?  Or is it already too late?

A Right to excellence

10 5th, 2010 Author: SirStab

In these times of economic uncertainty the focus of our consumerism has taken a turn for the frugal, price-shopping ourselves to death. Unfortunately this parsimonious attitude can lead us to situations where ‘to death’ becomes more than a figurative statement. Specifically relevant to piercing, there are few circumstances that death is at all a possibility, but undue pain and difficulty are consequences to price-shopping for your next piercing. While a higher price doesn’t immediately equate to a higher quality product; it does indicate how much preparation and time goes into it.

I invite you to exercise your right to excellence by not applying the same logic to body art as grocery shopping, rather think of body art as being the cosmetic surgery it emulates.  When seeking Rhinoplasty or Mammoplasty, or even Botox; a sane person would never make their final decision based on the quoted cost of the procedure. Body art is a luxury experience that should be approached with preparation and one does well to acknowledge the difference between luxury and necessity.  The moral of the story is to make your body art (especially body piercing) decisions based on what qualifies the technician or studio, their cleanliness, their experience, and what they offer in the way of follow-up care in additional to the actual procedure.

Are You a Unicorn?

09 3rd, 2010 Author: SirStab

Every now and again a client comes along you truly appreciate. A client that you feel totally at ease working with.  One that inspires even a most jaded piercer to rise to any challenge with gusto.  This rapport usually comes most easily to practitioners who are gifted with people skills of a ‘certain degree’, such that they carry on with most any human being as though they’ve been friends for years, even total strangers. I like to call these clients ‘Unicorns’. Rare, radiant, and a joy to be in the room with.  Those of us on the ‘supply’ end of body piercing know with certainty that there is a fundamental ‘reason’, conscious or subliminal, for having any piercing or other modification performed.  This reason ranges in profundity (wanting to have something special in common with a friend), all the way to being a pathway back to younger, or better days. For many piercers, fulfilling that need is the very reason they come to work every day.  Body piercing can be a difficult job, with days of “Yet another (body part) piercing…” that drearily dissolve into one after another.  Unicorns make all the difference in a piercer’s life.

Many clients I would call a Unicorn come to the studio clean, and have recently eaten a balanced meal; they know exactly what they want, and how they want it to look.  A Unicorn will listen intently to what their piercer is saying, and if they have questions will ask them when conversationally appropriate.  A Unicorn will comply with their piercer’s directions before, during, and after the procedure is complete.  Lastly, a Unicorn is willing to share their story with their piercer, many strange and beautiful revelations can happen in the chair, what will yours be?

Next you see your piercer, ask yourself this question: “How can I be this person’s Unicorn?”

There’s nothing like a Great Recession to bring out the cheap-skate in people.  If you are in the service industry (like me) you know that when times get tough the penny-pinchers get pinching.  It seems like every day there’s some tight ass coming into my shop asking how much for a piercing and when I tell them my price they react like I’d thrown a bucket of acid on ’em.  Immediately, they start spewing how they can get it cheaper somewhere else, telling me I’m way too expensive, etc. etc.  The problem with this b.s. story is that if that other shop is such a great deal, what the hell are they doing in my shop?

It never fails (after their little tantrum is over), they always end up trying to low-ball me with an amount they are willing to pay, figuring I’m desperate for their business.  Are you kidding me? Not only did this customer just insult me by telling me I’m not worth my fee, but then they want to ‘negotiate’?  Really think about this situation a minute; if you just spent the last five minutes telling a professional piercer how they’re not worth the money,  is it really smart to ask them to pierce you?  I don’t know about you but I know how the subconscious works.  That irritation and anger you feel after something like that (and all those choice obscenities you’ve managed to hold back) just might translate into a not so smooth piercing (if you know what I mean).  When I get hot like that I refuse to pierce anyone.  I’d rather sit through a chick-flick marathon with my eyes pried open (Clockwork Orange style) than help somebody like that.  My usual response to the customer is to suggest they either buy a body piercing kit (and do themselves) or get on their little blue scooter and pedal their butt to that other place that’s so wonderful.  As a kid, my dad had a saying I never understood, he’d say ‘Not all money is good money’.   Now I know exactly what that means.

Dear Aliens: You forgot the nipples

08 12th, 2010 Author: Pokee

Unauthorized shot of Marky Mark?

Before I say anything about this topic, I just want to clear the record here and say that I do not have my nipples pierced.  That said, I can tell you that there are more than a few dudes out there that have pierced their nips and don’t seem to have any problem with telling people about it.  As a card-carrying member of the heterosexual male class, I find it a bit of a gray area, when a man decides to do this.

Before you assume I’m a homophobe, let me tell you that I am pretty open-minded – I have to be as a body-piercer.  Some of the things I am asked to do would make the devil blush (more on that later).  It’s not that men piercing their nipples is shocking or strange, it’s just, well… unnecessary.  I mean, the fact that we (men) even have nipples at all is ridiculous!  Maybe back millions of years ago we suckled our young, alternating milk shifts with our women.  Or maybe we weren’t with women at all.   Maybe there weren’t women and we were giant, hairy, big-titted, earth-worm looking things with huge heads hopping around on a big single tail appendage.   Uggghhhhh – what a lame existence that was!  (I’m sure glad those aliens came along and cross-bred us to work for them.  Overall, I’d give them an A- for the job, the minus the get is for bailing on us and going home before they remembered to ixnay the dude nips.)

Another contributing factor might be that most of the male genital piercing started with the gays back in the day.  Either way, to each his own, right?  Unlike the piercer in the picture, I’ve reached a point in my piercing career where I can cherry-pick what piercings I do.  If a dude comes in and tries to whip out his winkie in front of me I have my apprentice handle it.  (However, it’s a totally different ball-game when a chick wants something done there, if you know what I mean, Jean?)

That’s all I got for now…

Pokee

How to handle a difficult customer: Part II

08 7th, 2010 Author: Pokee

Is this Pokee?

One of my pet peeves as a seasoned body piercer is customers that don’t bother following the aftercare instructions you’ve given to them.  How familiar is this: you’ve just finished a Mona Lisa (that’s what I call a perfect piercing) and you give ’em the run down – they nod their heads with every word you tell them about aftercare – and they leave the shop.  End of story, right?  Wrong!  Next day you get the tearful call that ‘somehow’ the body jewelry ‘fell out’, or they outright tell you they had to take it out.  Are you kidding me?  The only reason to remove a fresh piercing is if there is a raging infection, or if you need to have a medical scan done for an emergency situation – that’s it!

Some piercers just re-charge outright for a ‘redo’, no matter the reason.  Me, I’ll try to force a forgiving grin (even though what I really want to do is stupid-slap them) and try to re-open the hole.  Now if I have to bust out a new pair of forceps or prep, it’s going to cost them.  How much depends on the level of ignorance they’re demonstrating.  Most of the time I charge half of the original piercing cost.   No matter how you handle a re-pierce, remember they are your customer and the idea is to make them want to come back to you in the future (unless you don’t want them to).

That’s all I got for now,

Pokee

(Next, I show you how not all money is good money…)

How to handle a difficult customer (Part 1)

08 3rd, 2010 Author: Pokee

Is This Pokee?

If you’ve been body piercing for a while, you’re probably like me – been there, done that.  I’ve seen (and heard) just about everything possible from customers and I’m here to share my wealth of unfortunate experiences with you.  The most important thing I can start with is this;  make sure your house is in order, that means have your documentation up to date (blood-borne pathogen training, spore test results (if you have an autoclave) and your county Health Department registration certificate) available if  needed.  More and more health departments are cracking down and word has it that a surprising number of shops are not in compliance…

Anyways back to the subject (sorry, I tend to drift a bit sometimes…  probably all those paint fumes I inhaled back in the day…) okay, when you get a customer who seems nervous, or not quite sure they want to get pierced, do not pressure them into getting it done.  If you do, and something goes wrong (like they’re a bleeder, fainter or God knows what..) they will wake up off the floor and have you to blame.  When it comes to getting pierced, make sure your customer is ready and be sure to explain what is involved – even show them the needle and tools you’re going to use.  If you can’t the customer to calmed down, do the right thing for everybody, and turn them away.  I’ve had to turn grown men away that were tatted up to their eyeballs who kept asking me how much it was going to hurt.  Are you kidding me?  These dudes spent weeks under the gun and now they’re afraid of a piercing?  Hearing that kind of cowardice makes me wanna gnaw off my balls and chuck ’em in a lake!  Take if from me, if there’s any doubt or fear in the customer, turn them away.  You’ll both be glad you did.

That’s all I got for now,

Pokee.

(To be continued… if I can get back in here)