Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Than Just a Tattoo

One by one, Sterling students lined up to be tattooed by a guy they’d never met before, a guy who beknownst to them had only a few needles with him. There was no way to properly sanitize these needles that penetrated many people’s skin causing a lot of bleeding. The man promised them masterpieces for a small price but what they got was more than they asked for.
Tattoos, almost everybody has them and nearly everybody wants one, so much so that people are disregarding the age restrictions at the risk of their health. 
Tattoo parties are a common occurrence for students everywhere. They take place in homes, basements, old warehouses, abandoned houses, parks and in the woods after curfew. And undeniably, the curfew law is not the only law broken at these parties.
In January, over Christmas break, one of these parties occurred in the basement of Joe’s home. There, over fifty kids pilled into the dark, damp room with loud music, hard dancing, “side activities” and a bathroom big enough for two. In that bathroom sat an unknown man with a tattoo gun.
 “These parties,” said one student, “are all the rage. Laws we break can’t be proved and we get a tattoo out of it. Sometimes you pay for them and other times you do something else for them. Everybody wins and we all have a good time.” But now that same student’s views have been changed. Jane now realizes that the ‘good time’ she was talking about caused her judgment to be impaired this last time when getting tattooed.
“Everybody said that [the tattoo artist] was Joe’s friend so I trusted them and went against my better judgment” she said. “I had a feeling about him that just wasn’t right and I wish I would’ve listened to that voice in my head.” 
Three students contracted infections, two developed puss build-up and four student’s tattoos are utterly unrecognizable. Jane was one of these students. She contracted a simple infection but it required hospital attention. Now her new ‘tattoo’ is a painful crater on her back.
 “Kids today” said one person’s father, “they blatantly disregard their own health. There’s reason’s why there’s an age restriction on this type of thing. You’re supposed to go to a reputable [tattoo] parlor with licensed professionals. They are required to have proper sanitation guidelines so infections and diseases do not occur.” But even with the catastrophe that happened that night, students are already planning the next party.
“He was just the wrong guy to bring to the party” said Joe. “Now we’ll find someone else and hopefully he’ll be better.” It’s comments like these that prove kids have no real regard for their well being; they just want have what they think is the cool thing.
But even with the upcoming party, some students have realized that the guy they got tattooed by could’ve caused more damage than he did. Ignorance ran their lives in a painful way but now some students are healing in a smart way. Those students say they will not go to these parties again. They’ve decided to wait until they are legal to get a tattoo from a professional.
But why would students put their lives at risk for a tattoo? What possible benefits arise from them and how can they be so ignorant to the hazards? Some say teenage rebellion but it’s more along the lines of irresponsibility. They think they’re young and indestructible and nothing can stop them but they’re wrong. The only way they’ll learn is when something bad befalls them… and by then, it could be something worse than an infectious tattoo.
*all names were changed to protect the identities and reputations of those involved*

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