Full Coverage: Links From All Over (July 3, 2009)

[Kijiji] I’m warning you all right now, this is going to be an extra-stupid edition of our beloved news roundup. Like, seriously. There is nary a redeeming quality to be found among today’s record of idiocy, whether it’s the subjects of the stories or the fact that the stories themselves even exist in the first place. Let’s start with this Kijiji posting, beckoning one and all to contribute to this citizen’s tattoo portfolio by submitting to a full-facial tattoo. It is very important that this person pad his or her portfolio with a very impressive full-facial tattoo—so important, in fact, that it will be done nearly practically free! As long as you don’t want any tribal, of course. Tribal is for assholes.

[Help Me Sue] Oh Jesus Christ, if you are eating your celebratory (and mandatory, damn it) Independence Day fried chicken, you may want to put it down (or eat it extremely quickly) before clicking that link. First of all, there is actually a web site called “Help Me Sue,” which is just tremendous, and it evidently exists to help people wronged by The Man (or various men) find a lawyer appropriate for one’s respective situation. Well, someone is having some problems with a tattoo, from the looks of things (all [sic]‘d):

Myself and two other co-workers went to a new local tattoo parlor in Morgan Hill, California. We all got the same tattoo and we all got bad infections. Within the two days our ankles swelled three times the size and was oozing all the color and green stuff. We let it ride because we understood that the foot area was very painful in regards to healing. We went back to the tat shop to find the owner and his wife and showed him our feet. His first response was “Oh shit, he went way too deep, that artist is out of here. Don’t worry, he won’t be back!” At that point we told him that we were pissed and we were going to seek medical attention because our legs had became so sore that we had to miss work and the crust from our tattoo kept cracking and seaping. My friend was the first to go seek medical advice then myself. It was confirmed that it appeared we both had Staf infections and were given antibiotics for severl weeks. The artist finally cared enough to contact us and even admitted he may have went to deep and that he would only refund our money and fix it. He then told us that we would fix it at the shop where we got it beacuse he still worked there! We then decided to run in their business lic because they had one on the wall in the shop. It happens that they do not have a license but rather one is pending because the Enviromental Health Dept. still hadn’t inspected their facility.

And wouldn’t you know it, it’s actually a lot grosser than it sounds! There’s a nice little area of necrotic tissue pictured, which, as we all know, is the primary symptom of…a tattoo artist going too deep? What? Hey, I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure you don’t pick up a necrotizing Staph infection because your artist has a heavy hand. Anyway, folks, best of luck in your lawsuit. Care to make it class-action lawsuit? Eh? Eh? C’monnn.

[NJ Star-Ledger] So here’s a fun game to play: Go to Google News, type “Bagelhead” into the query field, look at the results, and then punch yourself in the dick/balls/ovaries/whatever hard enough that you will never, ever breed, thus saving your potential offspring from the horrid fate of having to share a planet with the reporters responsible for this new “BRAND NEW FAD” non-story. Apparently, some Japanese youths have started experimenting with inflating their foreheads with saline solution (as our old friends Jerome, Ryoichi and others have been photographed doing in the past), and of course, since something need only exist for it to become a fad, this is now a fad sweeping the sleepy fishing village of Japan. Oh, and apparently the people who are doing this are being called “Bagelheads,” because what would a dumb non-story be without the most outrageously stupid moniker imaginable attached to it? Hooray.

[Popcrunch] And finally, famous singer person Rihanna is going to jail, forever, for giving someone a tattoo. Apparently she thought it’d be a real hoot to pick up a tattoo machine while hanging out in New York and give some folks some little umbrella tattoos, except those photos were published (by the MEDIA), and now it’s been revealed that she was not properly licensed to be a tattoo artist, or something, so she will be put to death, the end.

Full Coverage: Links From All Over (June 22, 2009)

[Telegraph] Holy shit, you guys! It happened, it finally happened! Our long, national nightmare is finally over! After a solid week of mind-numbing idiocy and hilariously poorly thought out lies, one of the great dumb stories of our time has reached its logical conclusion. Are you ready for this, folks? Get a beverage, find a comfortable seat and let the warm sunshine wash over you as we collectively revel in what we can only imagine will be the last we hear of this foolishness, at least until Chuckles over there gets cast on Big Brother UK or something. Anyway, that whole canard about falling asleep in the chair at the tattoo shop? LIES, LIES, BALD-FACED LIES.

Kimberley Vlaminck had insisted she dozed off after asking the tattooist for just three small stars – then woke in horror to find her face was covered.


Amid a frenzy of media attention, she then pledged to sue the tattoo artist, Rouslan Toumaniantz, for the £9,000 she needed for laser surgery to have them removed.

She said after the tattooing last week: “It is terrible for me. I cannot go out on to the street. I look like a freak.”

But the 18-year-old has finally confessed she did not fall asleep, that she wanted all the stars and was “fully aware” of what Mr Toumaniantz was doing.

Ms Vlaminck told a Dutch TV crew: “I asked for 56 stars and initially adored them. But when my father saw them, he was furious. So I said I fell asleep and the tattooist made a mistake.”

And so ends the ignominious tale of a common boob. As mentioned above, though, if history has taught us anything, she will be back, probably on a reality program, or getting punched in the face by a big foam fist on some Japanese-style game show. We can only hope.

[Edmonton Sun] Last week, we mentioned the story of Zipp’s Tattoo and Museum, the Edmonton, Alberta, tattoo shop that has been shuttered for, among other reasons, miserably failing to meet basic standards of cleanliness, evidenced by the fact that this goon was tattooing animals in the same place as humans. This is typically frowned upon. Luckily, it seems like some good might come out of this! Mike Francis, owner of Little Buddha Tattoo & Piercings, is now trying to mobilize artists and shop owners in the area to be as public and forthcoming as possible with regard to their commitment to meeting safety standards.

[Francis] started a Facebook group for local studios to post spore test results of sterilization machines, inspection dates and other sanitation information for potential clients to check out while researching studios.

Francis, who laments the lack of licensing in the industry, said he’s intended to create the group for awhile, but the recent scare at Zipp’s Tattoo & Museum was “the final straw.”


The closure has been an embarrassment to reputable studios in the city, Francis said.

“What I’m hoping (the Facebook group) is going to do is people are going to investigate their tattoo studios around the city,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s me or (another studio), at least you’ll be able to go through it and see we do a regular spore test.”

While his studio hasn’t felt any economic impact from the incident yet, clients are clearly unsettled.

“My first appointment today was at 12 p.m. and the first thing out of his mouth was, ‘You’re using clean needles, right?’” he recalled.

In the description of the group, Sterile Tattoo & Piercing Studios In and Around Edmonton, he wrote, “As a studio owner, let’s try to change what others have destroyed.”

Well hey, this is a solid idea! Now, some may feel it’s an invasion of sorts and that this sort of disclosure may lead to a situation where individuals and shops are put into a position to preemptively prove their innocence rather than defend themselves against accusations of guilt, but it’s still hard to not see these sorts of actions as promising steps toward further acceptance in the public eye. Jason McDonald, the environmental public health officer who pulled the plug on Zipp’s, has the money quote at the end of the article: “There are roughly 50 studios in the Edmonton area and they’re generally in compliance and doing a good thing. I would get a tattoo in any of the studios open today. That’s the key message: this is a safe industry.”

[His Hair Clinic] And finally, some more good news. (Though this may be old news and simply news to me. News, news. News.) Apparently, tattoos are no longer just something you wake up with on your face after falling asleep in sundry locales, but they can also do some good if used properly! Like, say, the folks at His Hair Clinic are doing—now, grown men needn’t any longer face the gross indignity of receding hairlines! As you can see, the cosmetic scientists at work here simply give you a close noggin shave, then tattoo a realistic-looking hairline, giving you the hirsute appearance you crave. On the downside, due to these facial/head tattoos, these gentlemen will never be able to get jobs again. Sad.

Full Coverage: Links From All Over (June 19, 2009)

[Animal NY] Hoo boy, is this not just the most irritating story ever or what? OK, so, as we (and everybody) mentioned previously, 18-year-old Kimberley Vlaeminck allegedly went to Romanian tattoo artist Rouslan Toumaniantz and ended up with 56 stars tattooed all over her face. She claims she only asked for three and then fell asleep, which is just a preposterously stupid lie, while Toumaniantz says that she knew full well what was happening and only freaked out once her father or boyfriend or whoever lost their respective shit. Now she is suing the tattoo artist, because she wants the stars removed, of course. Is your brain leaking out of your ears yet? Mine is!

Anyway, my initial response to this mess of foolishness was that it was a hoax, because, come on: Nobody involved in this situation could be deranged/myopic enough for any of this to be real, right? Well, Toumaniantz is apparently a member over at BodyMod.org and posted this response, saying he did, in fact, tattoo this crazy person. Hooray.

Then, the girl said she felt asleep during the tattoo session. But :

1) Tattoo hurts,
2) Tattoo hurts more on face than on most other places,
3) Tattoo hurts even more on the nose than on the face,
4) Apart from the pain factor, the emotional impact of a first tattoo is huge, which makes it even less likely to sleep during such a session,
5) During this tattoo I had to ask Kimberley to change quite often her position, because the face isn’t flat and you need to always adjust the persons position and yours to be able to tattoo,
6) Kimberley did stand up many times during the session and did check up the work in a mirror,
7) We spoke during a part of the session,
8) The call log of her mobile phone and SMS activity could easily show that from the start of the session to its end she wasn’t sleeping,
9) And most importantly, a witness, being totally independent from both sides saw all the session from its start to the end, and confirms every word above. Kortrijk police made an inquiry, and both of us (me and the witness) were conducted shortly after Kimberley tattoo was finished to the police station, and both of us said exactly what did happen, and therefore gave exactly the same version of the events. Copies of minutes (in Flemish) we can provide.

So Kimberly was absolutely aware of what was happening during all the tattoo session and got what she asked, no more no less.

So that’s the end of it, right? Poor judgment on his part for tattooing an unstable teenager’s face, maybe, but she’s still a dirty rotten liar…right? Well, except for the fact that there is now some dumb Internet toy called The Kimberlizer, which allows people to decorate photos of themselves with the same star pattern as our young heroine, and…you see where this is going, don’t you? From Animal NY:

Among the few media outlets to interview the starlet is Belgian radio station MNM, who’s advertising agency, Famous, is behind the Kimberlizer. A French newspaper says the website, which allows visitors to digitally place 56 stars on their face via webcam, was opened in April, well before the story happened. Additionally, theorists point out that MNM’s logo is a star, just like the ones covering Kimberley Vlaeminck.

In conclusion, no matter what the truth ends up being, there will almost surely not be a more aggravating tattoo-related story all year. BME extends hearty congratulations to everybody involved. Let’s all take turns punching each other in the brains, forever.

[CBS 42] At last, our long national nightmare is over! Megan Fox, the most famous tattooed person since, I don’t know, the Memento guy, has decided to heed her mother’s advice and stop mucking up her body with the devil’s ink. Let us pray.

Fox recently announced plans to cover her entire right arm with ink – but she’s now backed out of the scheme insisting she won’t be heading to the tattoo parlor again any time soon.

She says, “They’re definitely addictive. I don’t have any that I truly regret yet, but I’m sure I will at some point.”

“I’m trying to refrain from going forward for that reason. I don’t want to be 40, looking at my arm in the mirror and going, ‘Oh my God – what did I do?’”

In exchange for this promise, Fox’s mom will now let her wear make-up to school and have sleepovers every Saturday night.

[Vancouver Sun] And finally, let’s finish this wretchedly awful news week with reports that yet another Canadian tattoo and piercing shop is giving all of its customers HIV and every type of hepatitis, except this time it’s not just a matter of lazy paperwork: The clown at the centre of this story is “Zipp,” the proprietor of Edmonton, Alberta’s Zipp’s Tattoo and Museum, who, well…

On a spur-of-the-moment whim and fuelled with a bit of liquid courage, Corinda got a tattoo of a Playboy bunny on her left hip two months ago.

Now, the 26-year-old is stepping forward to be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C after the health authority closed Zipp’s Tattoo and Museum shop at Whyte Avenue and 100th Street because of unsanitary practices and sterilization concerns over reusable piercing and tattooing equipment.

The owner told health inspectors he had been recently tattooing animals in his studio, but denied tattooing people.

The health authority is now asking people to come forward for testing.

Hey, come on! The guy is just trying to run your average illegal animal-tattooing dungeon. What’s the big deal? Prudes.

Charges are being considered by the health authority since Zipp’s –in business at another Whyte Avenue location since 1978–was also closed in 2007 because of unsanitary conditions and infection control. At that time, the health inspector said the risk of contracting blood-borne pathogens was considered low because the proprietor used single-use, disposable needles.


Health inspectors closed the tattoo parlour June 5 after noting the owner didn’t wash his hands before performing procedures and didn’t wear gloves.

Dirty and unsterile instruments were being used on clients, and the ultrasonic cleaning device was not being operated in a sanitary way. Ink went unlabelled and instruments, including needles, were improperly stored and handled.

In all fairness, the child laborers Zipp had “hired” to oversee the cleanliness of the shop totally dropped the ball. “Wah, my fingers hurt, wah, I’m hungry,” they would cry, long into the night, while Zipp tattooed pig after pig, laughing his terrible laugh, the end.