Back in the day if you had a tattoo, you were stuck with it for life. Nothing could remove ink from deep within the skin’s layers. That, presumably, was – and still is – the reason youths across the globe must tattoo their girlfriend-of-two-week’s name across their biceps, lats or other more obscure body parts.
Likenesses of immortal heroes are good, too, if you don’t have a girlfriend. Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison or Alfie needled into you for ever and ever (and ever). Anything that looks cool on the wall at the tattoo parlour after you combined that eighth beer with a chicken vindaloo you didn’t vomit on your shoes is another decent alternative when you really don’t want to overthink these things.
Or, you could just tattoo a cat’s head on your shoulder. That’s what I did at the tender age of eighteen. Just so because we had five cats at home. I liked cats. Tattoo parlours were non-existent in my particular neck of woods. I liked tattoos. Eighties hair bands with their full sleeves of ink were pretty big in my adolescent’s rebel book. Fair enough.
Fast forward twenty-odd years and the cat had to go.
Good thing the development of ruby lasers has made tattoo removal a reality, and a rather booming business opportunity at that. There are more former teenagers yearning to say goodbye to Alfie than there are licensed technicians to serve them.
The pictures are in chronological order. I was treated every ten to twelve weeks. I haven’t included all process pictures because they pretty much look the same with minor differences. Frustrating,eh?
So how does laser tattoo removal work? It’s relatively simples. The laser emits light energy within specific absorption (colour) spectra to break down the ink particles in the tattoo. It feels rather like snapping a rubber band against the skin – certainly less painful than having the darn thing set in the first place. The treated area turns red afterward. You might pin-point bleed. That’s pretty much it. The scattered particles are cleared up by the lymphatic system and drained away into your kidneys or some such organ. Then you pee them down the toilet.
It takes eight to ten weeks for your skin to heal completely. Then you’re ready for the next round of shots. Blacks and blues are easier to remove than yellows, reds, or greens due to the available spectra. Everyone is a unique snowflake so it is nigh impossible to predict how well (or not) your system is going to dispose of the ink, though. Drinking a lot of water and little alcohol helps the removal apparently. That might explain things but we’re not going there.
The technician initially estimated I should be free after four to five treatments. It was not thus. Frustrating when suddenly, after 20 years, you want the thing to be gone NOW. Oh well. After seven treatments, I’m left to console myself with all the good times tatt and I had together.
In hindsight it would’ve been a good idea to think twice before submitting to a tattoo. Yes, indeed. Or at least choose a better-looking one. I also could’ve decided to have the tattoo put where the sun don’t shine to save a lot of money later. But who thinks of 2013 when it’s 1994?
Life seems a bit deadly as of late. The media keeps in varying degree churning out reports about deceased human beings across the globe. The amount of news coverage for a specific item is – as always – based on the novelty, proximity, number, and provenance of the dead, multiplied by human empathy tickle factor. Read the rest of this entry »
The world is full of bucket lists. These are articles that tell you how to max out on your life should you be diagnosed with terminal cancer. Being told you’re going to die ain’t fun, so you’d better make the most of the current event before you hit the bucket. Read the rest of this entry »
Word has it men don’t like yoga. This is no wonder. Yoga commonly occurs as part of a mind-boggling lifestyle that encompasses breathing, a nutrient-filled diet, and detoxifying cleanses to lift the tired spirit to another level. It represents many a thing an average man doesn’t wish to become associated with: tight outfits, vegetables, the downward dog. Read the rest of this entry »
I recently spent a week in Finland in November. The trip from Sun-scorched Sydney took a total of 22 hours and some eight or nine time zones. I spent the time comfortably stretched out over several seats in an almost empty airliner. I abused the complimentary drinks while watching a documentary about a mad British rock legend that made me snort and giggle. I fell asleep and woke up a few hours later with a sore head, feeling sorry for myself. Then it was time for the next almost empty airliner.
There are two types people on this planet: fat people and not-fat people. While these two may, at the first sight, appear to be mutually exclusive, they exist on a spectrum. It is entirely possible to travel from one end to the other, but it bears to note that this system is asymmetrical. It is much more common for a not-fat individual to trespass the gates to the land of lard than for a fat person to spontaneously turn into a shriveled-up shrimp. Why this should be the case is a mystery of the 21st century. Read the rest of this entry »