Adventures of the Nose

My kid did pretty well in school.  Amazing how one’s standards can change.  Our deal was for him to get C or better on all of his classes this first semester, and if he did, we’d let him get his nose pierced.  He has been pretty steadfast in his desire to have a pierced nose for the last couple years.  It isn’t just a phase.We got his report card Saturday and took him out Sunday.

The place we went is on West Seventh.  It’s called Holy Mackerel.  It’s a kind of edgy and chic place. Like you might imagine a very talented but troubled hair stylist might be in charge.  There are tall, locked jewelry cases in the waiting area.  In each of these cases is a vast and interesting assortment of ear, belly-button, nose and i-don’t-know-what rings.

We were there for 30 minutes before the piercing dude showed up.  There was lots of time to look around.  I always forget about what a vast selection of tattooing and body-mod products and services there are in the world.  There were earplugs (like an earring, but with a gauge similar to that of a pencil or a garden hose)  some were quite beautiful, but I just can’t get over the idea that it’s simply to stretch one’s skin for the beauty of it. Probably post traumatic childbirth syndrome.  Stretching out didn’t make any part of me more attractive.

Jasper had lots of time to ponder all his options.

Over the reception desk were a lovely set of black and white still photographs of people being suspended by hooks in their skin. Jasper tried to warn me away form looking at those,  but it was too late.  “Mom, why would anyone ever do something like that? It’s so gross. Do they have some sort of mental/ psychological problem?” I allowed as how I thought that might just be right and how some cultures might do it as a part of a religious experience.

As we were admiring these we got to listen to what sounded to me like Death Metal records.  That’s right, records. There was a real turntable playing behind the receptionist.  One of the choruses was “Shut up you fucking bitch.” over and over.  Another song repeated, “Sleep with her friends, sleep with her friends’ friends.” It was loud enough that the girl behind the counter kept saying, “What?” when we were checking in.

Next to the check in desk are two additional cases.  Tall with glass on 3 sides. In it were more hugantic earrings, lip and brow rings.  Two simple black disembodied ears demonstrated different piercing option.  There were also simple black sculptures one of a penis and the other of a vulva, showing options should you want the head of your penis or your clitoris pierced.  There were pictures of split tongue body mods, insertions and scarring used to give one’s self horns or just an interesting scar.

Jasper got his nose pierced with a simple tiny black marcasite stud.  He says it hurt a lot more than he thought it would.  When I  had mine done in the late 80’s there were no dainty studs for the nose.  It was only gigantic, protruding  starter earrings which were used.  Now there are a million different places to buy jewelry for whatever part you have pierced.   It’s a good time to be young and silly.

The service was good, the conditions were very, very clean and they guy who did Jasper’s piercing was very nice.  It’s a little distracting talking hygiene with a guy with horns implanted under the skin of his forehead, dangly earlobes, a star implanted under the skin of his right hand and a giant black and opal plug just under his lip, but we got through it.

The price he quoted us for the earring was off.  He said thirty to forty and it turned out to be 60.  He didn’t discover that until the stud was in Jasper’s nose.  “Is that going to be ok?”  he asked.  I thought about it (jasper was buying and looking alarmed).  ”

Well, wow.  Jasper is paying for that…  What are our options, really?”

He thought for a second… “Mmm.  Not too many.  I could let him pay for it in two parts.  When could you pay the second half, buddy?”

Jasper was relieved there wasn’t talk of sticking a  new stud in his throbbing nose.  “How about 2 weeks when I come back for you to check it?”  ”

“MMmm, I’d rather have it sooner than that.” He  He ended up taking a very small discount (like 5 bucks) and we ended up writing the check for the total.

It was like every method of psychological warfare applied.  Loud angry music, freaky looking dude, throbbing nose.  We just wanted to get the heck out of there.  I can’t say I look forward to going back or that I recommend it.

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