Nasty, Nasty Clients!
“The customer is always right suicidal”

This article is part three in a four part series of stories from piercers about all-too-common customers from hell. Click here to jump back to the main page of the article series, or continue on reading for this part.

Once a girl from Edmonton came in to our shop who had drilled a 4 gauge deck screw through her labret from the inside out. She came in after a few hours and asked us if it looked okay and if we could put some proper jewelry in it. “You should probably go to the emergency room.” That was the last we ever saw of her.

I had a guy who used a sharpened tooth of a comb to pierce his tongue. It was only a little crooked...

I had a guy come back in three days after I had tattooed him, and he had this black greasy substance covering his freshly done tattoo.. He said his grandpa told him the best way to heal a tattoo was to keep it covered in motor oil... My jaw just dropped, but he wouldn’t wash it off, and swore by his grandfathers advice... I could only wonder if there was a specific motorweight that should be used for best results.

I had a regular client that had been in jail for a week. She had held all 40+ piercings open with little bits of comb that she had inserted and burnt the ends with a lighter to melt them and keep them in. This includes genital piercings. I reinserted all of her jewelry for her, having to cut out the bits of plastic comb while she told me tales of sharing needles, gang rape, and other biohazardous activities. When I went home that night, I showered with Betadine from head to toe. Seriously.

Kilt pins!! I can’t even count the number of pre teens to young adults that I have had to replace out kilt pins from all over their bodies. I just can not imagine the dedication and perseverance it must take to push a very dull kilt pin through a part of your body. You got to give it to them there.

I saw a seventeen year old boy who implanted a 2ga receiving tube into his inner forearm.

I had a client come in with deep chest piercings that he had been putting some form of rubbery plastic line into that looked and felt a bit liked cooked spaghetti. He had gotten the piercings up to about a 00ga but the plastic was not bio-compatible. He had these giant deep infected holes with sticky white lines hanging out of it. It had taken him weeks to get all of that stuff in there but I told him that it was so infected that it just needed to be taken out.

I had a client come in with PA problems. He said it was really irritated and that the aftercare was extremely embarrassing. When asked what was he was doing, he told me he had other people urinating on his piercing. He had read that urine was sterile and flushed out the piercing... but he didn’t realize that it’s his own urine, not other people’s.

The worst thing I ever saw was self-done implants with sewing needles... oh wait... that was me and I was 14...

I saw a kid that tried to stretch his own tongue with the latch from an outdoor gate (the hook in eye-bolt kind). He came in because once he got the hook through the hole he couldn’t get it to move. So for a day he was walking around with a patio latch hanging out of his mouth. That procedure required cutting the material out of the tongue.

I’ve seen nurses use products from the hospitals that just completely seem to eat through the skin. The migration of the jewelry is so quick it only takes a couple days as if their skin is completely withdrawing from everything that is foreign in the area. Crawling away.

We saw a girl with a “home tattoo” that was done with metallic gel pen ink. She no longer has any color in the tattoo, but some really nice scarring and pretty dots all over from the metallic sparkles in the ink.

A few years back, we had this kid come into our studio with a badly splitting lobe... It turns out he had cut the holes into his ears with a normal pair of household scissors.

I had somebody came in with a nail through their tongue once, with a rubber band wrapped around each end to hold it in. Their tongue turned black around the “piercing” — I refused to say anything other than “please go to a hospital.

We had several kids come in after trying to “scalpel” their friend’s lobes themselves with a steak knife. They assumed we could stitch him up, and brought him in bleeding like mad. We told them to jet over to the ER, and they weren’t too happy with that.

A girl came in once after having her tongue pierced at a pager store and the tip of her tongue had started to necrotize. Apparently she was giving her boyfriend regular oral sex, even with her tongue the way it was... Her tongue was so swollen I couldn’t see one of the balls on her barbell. I hadn’t and still haven’t smelled anything so putrid in my life.

The worst aftercare I ever saw was cayenne pepper and urine. Turns out “her friend” told her that peeing in a cup, adding cayenne pepper and using it as a soak was the ultimate in healing regimes.

Some genius got scratched by his cat. The cat’s claw hooked into his earlobe and went halfway through. He pulled the cat’s claw out, thought to himself, “wow, I want an ear piercing right now,” and pushed an old earring stud the rest of the way through the open wound. That’s right, he let his cat pierce him. How tragically hip.

A sixteen year old male was escorted into my business by his mother. She had him by his arm in a forceful way and said in a firm tone Tell him what you did to yourself! So he pulled his pants down, right in the middle of my studio. He had driven a dirty nail through the shaft of his penis (was Jeff Foxworthy right about us here in Texas or what?). I am not a doctor ya know and I did not want the many liabilities.

I had a woman who was told by another local shop to use Listerine on her nipple piercings. She came to me with symptoms of mastitis a week after they were done. I sent her to a local urgent care clinic as she was feverish, and both breasts had what appeared to be large abscesses developing in them. I felt so bad for her.

This twenty-one year old guy was bragging to me about the branding he had done on his girlfriend. He made them sound amazing, so I asked him to bring her in sometime so I could see. He shows up a week later with a sixteen year old girl who has cigarette burns spiraling up her wrist. They looked horrible and you could tell the girl didn’t really like them. I was pissed.

I had a girl come in once that had taken a bicycle spoke and heated it red hot and shoved it through her upper cartilage once on each ear. To make things worse for jewelry she used some thorns off a bush and left them for quite some time. By the time she came in complaining of the pain, her ears had gangrened around the thorns! I took them out and dermal punched around the tissue that was dead and put plugs in and told her to go to the doctor for antibiotics. She came back a week later and had not washed them once nor had she gone to get antibiotics. They were still infected and I told her to go to the doctor or emergency room for medicine or never come back. I never saw her again.

I saw someone use lemon juice mixed with baking soda as aftercare.

I had a female client that tried to pierce her nipples by burning a safety pin until it was red hot and push it through. It seared the flesh to the safety pin... all kinds of bad news.

One of my clients made a thick paste of salt and water spread in a quarter inch layer on a navel piercing then bandaged in it place. This was repeated every day for many days until the pain was unbearable.

A friend of mine that I was piercing hit himself in the head repeatedly to “get psyched up” for his septum. Gave himself two black eyes. Genius.

A woman called in and said she had pierced herself with a sewing needle and asked if I sold jewelry to put in her navel. I said that I did and told her to come in. She arrived, looked at some barbells, and asked if I could put the jewelry in if she purchased it. I said “sure” and got her in the piercing room to find out that she had just pierced herself before she called the shop and made the trip with the sewing needle still in her navel!

I saw an eyebrow piercing caked with Vaseline to “keep all the dirt out”. The customer was a lawn service guy.

Next: Angry customers

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