Which is faster: the whirring wings of a hovering hummingbird, or the reciprocating needle of a tattoo gun? The truth is, who on earth would ever quantify this tandem? The reality is, I have no idea which is faster. The fact of the matter, or so I’ve heard . . . is the needle of a tattoo gun is capable of puncturing the skin at a rate of up to 30,000 times per minute. Which, for all you trig majors, is 500 times per second. Sooo, there you have it.
DO YOU REALIZE HOW FAST THAT IS?? The mind stammers as its fifth grade level computing power chokes on its own overheating membranes. Lobes rattle as electrical impulses spit-fire. We stare vapidly at the baseboards, attempting to relate this rate to anything. But we can’t, and so we roll over and let Tattoo Harry finish shaving the stubble off our neck in preparation for your “Bald Eagle” throat tat. He triple checks his machinery, and snaps the cuff of this rubber surgical glove tight. For those looking to curb their suffering, perhaps he’s also applied some topical anesthetic.
For those looking to intentionally inject indelible ink into their skinfolds, a numbing topical anesthetic sounds like a tremendous idea. As you would expect with any painful procedure, a numbing agent is a logical accompaniment. Dentists deal Novocain, and Tattoo Artists apply topical anesthetics. As is ever the case, tradition topples logic, and tattoo-conservatives have strong feelings against any sort of topical anesthetic that lacks a proof percentage.
The traditionalist also sees the tattoo process in full – respecting the pain, and perhaps enjoying, or taking pride in what the pain signifies. The ink dries, the skin has healed, and perhaps they’ve “earned” their new mark. Along the same thread, this cross-section may not pause to grasp precisely what the ink machine is doing to them. However, your author, dear reader, will happily elect the anesthetic the next time he’s in the artists chair!