Crunker’s Tatts & Toys

I awoke this morning with a strong, compulsory urge to get a tattoo–just had to do it. The spontaneity of it all excited me. Even the subject of the tattoo and where on my body I would place it came to me in one, single, abrupt spheroid of inspiration, just as I shook off the sparkling vestiges of a powerful dream.

I had always wanted a tattoo. Well, maybe not always, but I’ve wanted one, I know, since I was old enough to vote, and drink – legally (feh!). But I was checked by my brooding over the permanence of it. It had to be a meaningful subject, reflective of my inner sanctum, my id and my odd, something that always has been and always will be–me, regardless of the subsequent and inevitable changes that will undoubtedly ebb and flow throughout my life, redefining and refining me.

So I drove to Crunker’s Tatts & Toys, on Imperial Avenue across from the Chick-Fil-A, at around 11:30 this morning and it seemed it wasn’t open. I pressed my face and palms to the glass pleadingly peering inside.

“Gaaaaahhhhhhd Damnit!” I spat through my teeth, “do they keep the same fer-riggin’ hours as hair salons? Are you kidding me? Closed on Mondays? I had a dream I’d get my tattoo!”

I was so livid, I startled myself. Had I come to be like a lot of Americans when we think we can’t have our toys when we want them? However upon observation of the peeling window schedule, I saw I actually had a 1/2 hour to wait.


So I sat in my car and waited. And waited, and waited, and… But the thought that I would finally be complete sated my impatience.

I thought it all through–I was going to have a tattoo placed just above the superior aspect of the gluteal cleft, i.e. the buttocks, right on the sacrum. Oh, the bad-assed-ness of it all made my eyes water.

The master tattooist, named ‘Horst’, I had heard, whom incidentally I’ve never met before, finally pulls up in his 1957 black Cadillac Hearse, scraping the undercarriage, gouging more black top. He looked every bit like Nietzsche – THE Nietzsche, and he eyed me uber menacingly. I looked at him with my eyes without moving my head. Horst just sat there for a duration of minutes, absolutely still, just fucking staring at me, and I started to freak a little, until finally, I looked at him and nodded a greeting. With that, he jumped out of his hearse like his ass suddenly caught fire and I genuinely thought he was going to role my Toyota over – just pick it up and toss it the fuck over. I grabbed the steering wheel, hunched my shoulders and gritted my teeth so hard my jaw cramped. Instead, he just dashed into his parlor. I was beginning to reconsider my venture… but, Hell Naw–the fucker–I needed my tatt.

I walked in the establishment tentatively, eyeing the place over looking for snapping pets or booby traps or  bicephalic, cycloptic offspring propped in the corners with pointed teeth and foul tempers. However, there he was, shaving his neck with a straight razor without looking at what the hell he was doing, rather, he was leering at me through the mirror.

“Vel, I am hier unt you are dere unt vat do you vant den ya?” He demanded. The nerve-shredding noise of the straight razor scraping against his stippled neck only served to add emphasis to his surly attitude. Yeah, he was getting to me, and he knew it.

After telling him what I wanted he immediately dropped his razor and spun around, grabbing hold of the edge of the counter tops with both hands. His light blue eyes darted wildly about the room, he then grabbed the frayed edges of his Grateful Dead T-shirt and with one fluid, effortless motion, peeled the shirt off and threw it across the room taking out a few key-chains and other paraphernalia scattering them onto the floor. His torso revealed his consummate craftsmanship–as well as pierced nipples.

“Dis vil take some time” he growled. Horst insisted he shave me himself. I mean–he In-Sis-ted! And THAT added another $40 to the tab!

After 45 minutes to shave what, 10 square inches, I would be justified in charging him for his opportunistic liberties as I felt it a little unnecessary to grab the cheek of my ass while he razor-assaulted my freakin’ back. But, he is the artist and knows what it takes to achieve that creative nirvana. And besides that, he was going to complete me.

After 2.5 hours and $650–in freakin’ cash for crissake, (worth every penny) I was considerably sore from the  pummeling to my whole bod and weak from not having a lunch break. Horst was in the zone and could not be bothered  with such trifling luxuries like dietary sustenance. I observed the masterpiece–genius, absolute genius. So good in fact that I overlooked Horst’s creative liberty in making the neck of the Hula Girl’s ukulele resemble a large phallus.


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