I was pleased to see that none of my Springfield (Mo.) relatives were involved in this story, which involves a man who apparently went door-to-door there last week offering tattoos.
Now, if I were going to let a stranger who showed up at my house tattoo me, and I'm not saying I would, I like to think I would ask to see a license, or at least some evidence that he had tattooed before. But several Springfield women told the man to come on in, although they described the tattoo gun the man was wielding as clearly "homemade."
"It was wrapped with black tape, had a pin underneath it, had fishing wire going through it, you could tell it was a homemade gun," said a woman who asked that her name be withheld, but whose name is in fact Tamra Eason. She still let the man tattoo her, as did two other women in the same apartment complex. One of them passed out in a store the next day, and it turns out that the homemade gun has given each of them a homemade infection. They have been told to get tested for hepatitis and HIV.
"We just wanted tattoos, and now we're paying for it," said Eason. County health officials said it is always worth actually paying for it in advance, to make sure you are having a sterilized needle jammed into your arm by a licensed professional. A local tattoo-parlor owner not surprisingly also agreed that you get what you pay for. "Beware of deals in parachutes, brain surgery and tattoos," he said. Words of wisdom.