A Modest Proposal for the D.C. Tattoo ‘Waiting Period’

punishmentD.C. wants you to make sure you really want that tattoo:

A mandatory 24-hour waiting period is among the provisions included in a 66-page package of draft regulations governing the “body art” industry released by the city Health Department on Friday.

If the waiting period is adopted, D.C. will become one of a very few places in the nation where a person cannot walk into a tattoo parlor and walk out with a tattoo.

I have a better idea. Let’s get tough on “impulse tattoos.” Instead of forcing people to wait a day to get the tattoo they’ve chosen, let’s turn the tables. Let’s instead make them get a tattoo that they’ll regret.

unknownYou don’t want to get your tattoo spellchecked before you have someone ink you? Fine. We’ll give you a tattoo riddled with spelling and usage errors.

You think a tattoo of “#sharknado,” “Robin Thicke Forever” or the URL of your LinkedIn profile will stand the test of time? Okay. We’ll give you a tattoo that enshrines your bad decision better than parachute pants or a Hypercolor shirt ever could.

You don’t want to spend even one day discovering if your tattoo artist can do a faithful, tasteful reproduction of your child’s face? No problem. We’ll make sure you receive a tattoo that screams, “Why didn’t I spend even one day discovering if my tattoo artist could do a faithful, tasteful reproduction of my child’s face?!”

These punitive tattoos imposed by the D.C. government will serve as a lifelong reminder of the choice they made and they’ll serve as a warning to others to seriously think about the tattoo they want before they get it.

Some might call this proposal “too much.” I think anything less is too little, too late.