After work today I rushed downtown to get to Daredevil to get in on the $13.00 tattoo deal. I got my name on the list, along with that of a friend who was joining me, and found out that I wouldn’t be in the chair for a bout an hour and a half.

I’ve written about this deal before: on every Friday the 13th, the shop offers a special sheet of flash that you can chose from. You can’t ask for anything custom on the designs, and there’s only certain places they will work on : no necks, torsos, etc. The variation this month was that ther was a second sheet of flash that had a batch of “Daredevil appreciation” designs, mostly devils with the name of the shop worked into them. The “13” themed designs were all very sexual this time around, which seemed designed to weed out the less serious customers. I’ve gotten all of my tattoos from these events in the same place, along the inner surface of my right calf, meaning that they’re visible in the summer when I’m in shorts. When I looked over the sheets in anticipation I couldn’t get my mind around displaying rats fucking, or a mutant skull/hardon or a shemale pinup on a regular basis. So I mentally picked out a stylized devil and went out to have some pastrami and kill and hour or so.

When my friend and I got back to the shop, I found out that they had retired the devil sheet: the designs were more elaborate, the day had been long, and the artists were tiring out. I was in a jam: the only designs left were the raunchier ones, but I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to get stuck, given that I had missed last months opportunity. So I ended up getting the wimpiest design on the sheet, a simple 13, that for me is simply a commemorative marker. I was in the chair for probably all of four minutes. The is was my friend’s turn. She’d found something on the sheet that she really wanted and we went into the back room of the shop for her to get it. While we were there the shop shut the operation down, so we ended up being the last customers in the place. The artists were winding down, joking around. We heard that there was one design on the flash that no one had picked: a spurting cock with stylized wings. There was a tattooist who really wanted to do it and was trying to talk someone into it. He was offering to do it for free. My friend was finished up and we were heading out. I looked at the sheet and and the people around the shop started egging me on to get the orphaned tat: C’mon, it was going to be free. The thirteen I had just gotten was so small I hadn’t even felt that endorphin jolt. I was still hungry for the needle. So I got to ask myself a question I never thought I would: Are my tattooing addiction and inherent cheapness a strong enough combination for me to locate a spot on my body where I would be willing to have a permanent drawing of a spurting winged phallus?

The answer is no. I was teetering on the brink there, but ultimately my snooty design sense trumped all and it just wasn’t a nice enough drawing for me to get that jolt, even for free. The artist razzed me, but the manager of the shop was understanding as she ushered us out the door and and said to me “See you in November”.

“If not sooner” I replied.


Last night I found out that Daredevil Tattoo on Ludlow was doing another of their special offers today, so I had to participate. They’re the shop that offers $13 tattoos every Friday the 13th. This time around they were offering $50.00 tats and donating the full price to two charities: one a food for the homeless program and the other a no-kill animal shelter. So how could I resist? I hauled myself down there half an hour before they opened, worried that I might face a huge turnout, since the $13 sessions inspire lines that head up to the corner of Ludlow. Luckily I was the second person in the chair.

The guy who worked on me was thoughtful and focused and I liked his “bedside manner”. Un like the last two pieces I’ve gotten there, this one took close to fifty minutes, which is impressive when you think that their rate for regular work starts at $100 an hour. All the flash for the day was recession inspired, and I was turn between getting this and getting a pic of a hobo, which was a sweet drawing but too clean shaven for my taste. I’d have asked for some additional whiskers on him, but the rule on these days is that you can’t customize any of the drawings.

It may have been the price difference or the crappy weather, but customers seemed light. Things may have picked up this afternoon, and I think there’s still time if any of you New Yorkers want to run down and grab one.