The Law of Pure Will

Posted: October 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

It didn’t take long after I left the nest of the parents before I started in with body mutilation.

Self-mutilation has always been a thing with humans.  Decorative, religious personal reasons.  Tattooing is hardly a recent invention.

So when I departed the Zombie Nurture for the cold, hard environs of UW-Platteville, I did it with a large collection of classic rock and a burgeoning interest in that new stuff, punk and new wave.  And immediately became known as Punk (Zombie). I was listening to Boomtown  Rats, the Cars, Elvis (not the dead one) and the Clash.  I met some people who turned me on to so much more music…

One of my buddies and I decided we needed to pierce our ears, like the folks we saw on MTV.  So we spent a morning drinking, then walked down the small town main street to a local jeweler (BUY LOCAL, ASSHOLES) and when we explained to the counter girl, she was cool.  But then the bitter old dude working in the back muttered “we don’t do males”  Counter Girl asked for clarification , and he said louder “WE DON’T DO MALES”

My buddy, being smarter and less drunk than I. said “what, your equipment can’t handle manly ears?”  The back room gnome ignored the snickers of the counter girl and reiterated ” We  DON’T DO MALES”  Ah, fuck me but we gave up and went back the Green House to drink some more.

LOL.  Weird, yes, but jebus in 1981 the gay panic was weird and crazy.  Earring?  Which ear?  how do you dress?  bandanna?  Which side?     God love us, but those of us into punk and new wave didn’t give much of  shit.

So when my GF and her roommate showed up, they offered to drive us down to a mall in Dubuque, where we got staple-gun pierces; she even allowed us to split the cost of a standard pair, since we both only wanted one ear.  She was amused that the jewelry store gnome refused….

My first visit back to the homefront, I sat with my Dad and drank some beers without it coming up, but then when Mom showed up she immediately shouted WHAT DID YOU DO?  moms are so great….

Subsequently, I moved to Milwaukee, which, as an urban  center, had no such qualms about pierced ears.  So having an earring (regardless of which ear) was hardly a shock. So at some point, after a night of drinking, I picked up that old piercing stud and drove it into a second piercing hole.

I have to say, upon waking up, Ow.

I then got into the local musical culture, where piercings and tattoos were hardly radical.  So I found two piercings in one ear to be weak;  and, predictably, used the same piercing stud to put a new hole in my other ear.

So there was time where I had earrings in both my ears, extra in one,  And none of it was very remarkable, even if I was wearing hoops or dangles.  At Free Hot Lunch shows, I had dangly pink palm trees that I wore.

It was in the past, of course.  I had a professor once tell me that I shouldn’t wear an earring to my interviews, which was not actually news.  But still,  I was one of the first guys to wear an earring in the downtown business culture. FWIW, I did not wear multiples or both ears, although my hairdressers have always seen and recognized the piercing scars…

This was occasioned because recently, I was curious, and found that my initial piercing was still valid.  The others, not so much.  I have not been wearing earrings much, being of an older age and finding it unseemly.  But nowadays, who cares? When I got my first job after college, an earring on a dude was a rarity, especially in the business world. But as a Creative Type, it was (barely) allowable.

Wife Sublime is not a fan of bodily mutilation, although she has multiple ear piercings as well, so a mixed message at best.  But otherwise, I suspect I would have some ink; the opportunity to decorate with graphics is intriguing, and Snag’s Mom has made it acceptable.  Albeit I would probably choose a location that is concealable under standard business/ business casual type of dress.  I don’t have the freedom that being an older Jewish Lady provides…

As an aside, that friend who joined me in our first piercings, allowed his to close due to parental pressure and joining the Army.  Years later, when he was out from under the overview of both, we were out for a night in his hometown, and found ourselves in the apartment of a couple of ladies, who were willing to do the deed (Piercing, you perverts).  So they did the ice, needle, potato thing, which was fine, but when the time  came to put a stud through the fresh hole, the raw flesh protested and the young lady was unable to make it work out. Craig, who was a tough guy, squirmed and cried and asked for me to help.  I grabbed his ear, pinched it hard, shoved the piercing stud through, then asked “are you ready?”  When he tensed up and said yes, I cracked up.  “Dude, I did it before I asked”

No point to this post, just kind of a reminiscense of times past.  Sorry for the lack of music videos (which none of you ever watched anyway) or other graphic content.  Also, sorry for the lack of constructive obscenity.  Will be back to fucking normal shortly.

  1. When I lived in western WI, my next door neighbors were artists. He did above average decorative carpentry finish work, she owned a tattoo and piercing parlor. He was her experimental canvas – every visible square inch (I didn’t inquire further) was inked or pierced. Earlobe stretched with a VW Beetle carburetor in there, skulls and bears. No weeping eagles, so there is that.

    My ear is pierced, although sweetie prefers I don’t wear a hoop and I don’t see the point of the eensy diamond stud she offered once, and with the stinkabetes I can’t get tatted now, I was always on the fence about that anyhow…

    And I’m old. Fuck, I’d feel silly with quasi-celtic calligraphy on my ass.

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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