(Austin, TX) For the last several decades, the United States has been going through something of a tattoo boom, with people of all ages engaging in the fabulous past-time of stabbing themselves repeatedly with inky needles. With most of the population now covered from head to toe in sweet delicious ink swirls, tattoos are the new norm and there’s literally no going back (that’s kind of the whole idea). Today we are profiling one local man who just recently got his fifteenth tattoo by the name of Keith Jennings. The only thing is, Keith keeps forgetting that being stabbed repeatedly kind of hurts.
“Yeah, I was like ‘ooh ouchie,'” Keith told us after getting a large upside down cross tattooed on his upper arm. “I just always wait long enough between sessions that I completely forget how much it can hurt to have the same sharp object poked into your skin over and over and over. But how would I know?”
Turns out, Keith isn’t alone. Just at the tattoo shop we were surveying, 40% of people told us that even though they had received tattoos before, they often forgot that the experience was painful right up until the moment of the initial needle strike.
“I had taken the summer off from getting tattoos so I can lay out in the sun and get my tan on,” one patron told us. “So when I got this Pikachu on my ribs earlier, I wasn’t expecting to shout out in pain like I did. I ended up messing up the whole thing, but that’s the risk you take when you get a tattoo I suppose.”
“I don’t know, it just feels like the brutality of daily life,” a goth customer told us who had just gotten a weeping ghost on their thigh. “But yeah, I was a little bit surprised when it went over my leg bones.”
Genuinely confused by this, we asked one of the artists at the shop if this was a common occurrence.
“Yes, we like to call it tattoo amnesia,” he said, rolling his eyes. “It makes my job really damn difficult to be honest. I just wish people would put two and two together, like, I’m poking you with a needle. It’s not rocket science.”
No, no it is not. And yet, we all want tattoos of rockets, so who knows if anything is real or true.