On Prison Ink Both Good and Bad but Mostly Bad (Part 2 by Polish Avenger)
Polish Avenger – A software engineering undergraduate sentenced to 25 years because his friend was shot dead during a burglary. In Arizona, if a burglar gets killed, the accomplices get 25 year sentences.
I do like gaol tattoos, and had planned on getting at least one or two. While in the Joe Arpaio Hilton we experimented with the low-tech method. No Walkman motors were available to make the usual powered gun, so we went Polynesian style. Sharpened up a staple, mounted it on a pencil, and started digging.
But that method doesn’t produce very good results. Sure it gets in there, but clean lines are nearly impossible. Still, it’s enough for a couple of starter tattoos.
Being scared of carcinogenic soot, I ground up some pencil graphite for ink. For my first tattoo, I decided to face my fear of the pain head on. Some places hurt a lot more than others: elbows, ankles, and the sides atop the rib cage are about the worst. I cut right to the chase, pulled out my penis and carved a smiley face into it.
It actually didn’t hurt all that bad, just bled a lot. Like we talked about in Part 1, it has blurred and faded over the years, but Mr. Smiley still grins back at me every trip to the loo!
The second tattoo is one I regretted. Trying to impress an ex girlfriend, I drilled her name onto my ankle. Don’t ever do that. It just comes back to haunt you. Especially with a staple tack. It looked horrible. Of course she was unimpressed, and I was stuck with it for several years.
A normal person would have just got another tattoo over it, a “cover up,” which is a common thing. However the Polish Avenger can not be accused of being normal. No, I had to got he extra mile and erase it.
Erase, you say, how is that possible? Well, I don’t recommend this except as a last resort. When they really have to come off, there are ways. Our collective archive of prison lore turned up these methods:
1) Run an empty tattoo gun over it. Leaves a scar of the outline.
2) Tattoo lemon juice into it. Supposedly bleaches it out. I couldn’t find any.
3) Cut it off. Yikes!
4) Burn it off. Eek!
5) Sand it off.
Believe it or not #5 works pretty well. In the next instalment we’ll cover all of the gruesome details.
Click here for Part 1.
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Shaun P. Attwood