Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
I wouldn’t have thought I’d ever take the plunge. A tattoo? At this late date?
My wife and I always said we’d get identical tattoos one day, if we ever found the right design. We have kind of kitschy retro taste in a lot of things, so we imagined ourselves with some kind of cartoon toaster or a stubby little refrigerator waving its finger to some unheard music.
Years went by.
Then we landed on this little beauty in some magazine or catalogue. The cutest lil pineapple you ever did see, and playing a guitar to boot! (Or maybe a ukulele …. I prefer to think it’s a guitar.) Ain’t she adorable?
We had to wait till swimming season was over, but in September we found the perfect artist for our inkin’s. Brittney of Crimson Tattoo in Old Town Auburn, CA, whose shop told us as we peered in the window that this was the place for us. It’s in a beautiful old building, for one thing, but it’s filled with terrific vintage bric-a-brac and conversation pieces, like an old Mortimer Snerd ventriloquist dummy and a fire engine red coffin doubling as a coffee table. Brittany and her husband Jon own the place, and we knew the minute we met them that we had found our inkmaster.
We brought our pineapple photo in first to see if Brittney would try to copy it for us. She was delighted to. When she first saw the pic, she said, “Awww! Cute little pineapple with a guitar,” and I knew she understood us.
The big day arrived, and Sue and I went in with a little bit of apprehension, since we were tattoo virgins and had no idea what to expect. Brittney made us feel comfortable from the get-go, chatting us up as she applied my stencil. I would go first.
Brittney, by the way, is lovely and sports a lot of tats on all of her visible zones and I’m guessing a lot of her invisible ones. Jon too, so they know their stuff. I sat in the chair as Sue looked on grinning, then Brittney said, “I’ll do a small spot first so you can see what it feels like, okay?” And she did it, and you know what? It wasn’t so bad. But in half a minute or so she was drawing longer lines and I remarked to myself, “This feels like someone is cutting me open with a butter knife.”
I confess, it did hurt. If anyone ever asks me if getting a tattoo hurts, I’ll say, “Ja. Oui. Si. Yeppers, you better believe it does.” Of course, Brittney explained that men feel pain worse than women, so when Sue got in the chair she pretended it didn’t hurt at all just to prove the point. I think I detected a grimace now and then, though.
When I was done, Brittney took a picture of her work. I looked down at my arm and saw my happy little pineapple there, and I was thrilled with her. And when Sue was done we stood together and laughed like kooks at our new matching pineapple girls (at least I think she’s a girl).
Here’s a pic I took yesterday, after some of the redness had faded a bit.
So now we’re on the tat team, and we’re loving it. Are we going to go nuts and cover most of our dermis with pretty pictures? I don’t think so. Though a tasteful pomegranate flautist might be nice. Or a zucchini playing stand-up bass? A fruit-and-veggie band? I can see it.
If you’re ever in Old Town Auburn, hankering for a new tattoo, do not hesitate to drop in on Brittney and Jon (and colleague Poor Jeff) at Crimson Tattoo. They make it fun. They’re great to talk to while you’re getting inked. And they are rightly proud of what they do.
As for Sue and I, we’re searching for a good name for Miss Pineapple. Any suggestions?