St Pete Tattoo Shop Guys at Green Bench Art Show

Tequila on the Beach/Tools of the Trade

Tattoos on the Beach

So, I’m hanging out at the beach in Clearwater FL, one tequila shot in, looking at the people, thinking about ink. Another day in paradise, as people say when they are only being half sarcastic. Half-castic. Sarc-half-stic, Did I say one shot in? That’s just an estimate.

My brain connects these dots: The beach is prehistoric. Prehistoric people made tools. There are a lot of tattooed people on the beach. Those two guys look like real tools. I can see two tattoo shops from here. I wonder what it would be like to tattoo in a shop in Clearwater FL using ancient tattoo tools. Damn, that’s smooth tequila.

I read somewhere that prehistoric tattoos were done with volcanic glass. Little cutting stabs of natural glass, over and over. Picture, if you can, your caveman tattoo artist, setting up in his shop in Clearwater FL, ordering supplies from the Volcano Brothers Supply or WTF-ever. Caveboy, the apprentice, is grinding up berries for color. The tattoo shop pet dinosaur/mascot is snoozing up front. The Flintstones drive by, courtesy of Fred’s two feet. Brontosaurus burgers for lunch again?

Hang on, shot time. God bless agave and I wonder what prehistoric liquor tasted like.

Where Was I? Oh yeah, Clearwater, the beach, tattoo shops and cavemen. Where there’s a will to get ink, there’s a way to apply it. Whether it’s volcanic glass and berries in my imaginary Clearwater Caveman Tattoo Shop, a Thai needle or bamboo spike and snake-venom ink, Maori shark teeth chisels and caterpillar ink, a Polynesian tortoiseshell rake needle and sooty ink, or the homemade electric tools and ink-pen ink used by our incarcerated brothers and sisters, people who are destined to be inked will discover a way to make it happen. Time, technique tools…and tequila. Paradise, indeed.