Yes, loyal readers, your reward for coming back here to check and see if I ever post anything has finally arrived.
It is true, it has been quite a while since my last update. Long time readers may want to know what is going on, but I have a sneaking suspicion most of them are on email updates, so I imagine my stats look terrible on WordPress lately. Well, it ain’t Facebook at any rate.
The business is finally bringing a little money in. It appears that the pre-Christmas season.. not so good for new tattoo shops/art galleries. After Christmas, however, and particularly after the new year, I have been pretty busy.
Except today. Today is not a good day. I knew rain was coming, my legs have been screaming at me, just above my bad knees, for almost 48 hours. Bad enough today that I had to medicate. Bad enough that I missed work, ill, for the first time since opening the doors. I also realized today that Facebook status updates about the shop being closed is probably not good enough. I need to work out a deal with another neighbor who can put a sign on my door in case it happens again. And it will.
I am in the process of slowing down. I had my first injury that I never bounced back from last year. Mortality, and arthritis, are really starting to set in. And that is one of the reasons I am feeling so guilty right now about not being at work. I am letting myself down missing when I am not contagious. This is not McDonald’s.. heck, this is not even a law firm. If I am not here, who is going to man the boat? Nobody.
Right now we are in a spot where we are not making tons of money and thus have no extra bodies in the shop even when I am not there. On top of that, who can i trust to be there when I am gone anyhow? Not many people. I have recently been helping a friend along with learning how to pierce so he can come be the extra help as well, but it appears the interest and time needed to be involved in that are slipping away. I am starting to look at piercing as a non factor in my business. I may lose $20 a week by not doing it… and I am pretty sure my insurance would need to be increased to include any activity of that kind in the policy.
In short, I am starting to wonder if a piercer is necessary for my business at all. I am, however, beginning to explore the possibility of another artist in the near future. Now here I get to be picky. If I am going to split the profits from my business venture with someone, they are going to not only have to be good at tattooing.. but also likeable. I will not compromise on this issue… I will have no deadbeat scumbags working in my establishment. Except maybe me.
Now, the issue was brought up about my business and firearms. My position is clear, if I see your gun I ask you to take it to the car. Recent rashes of violence have not deterred me from my position, and something tells me a full contingent of armed customers would not be effective in deterring gun fire as much as increasing it. Do you need to be armed in my chair while I work on you? Ever consider that an accidental discharge would automatically make me the most likely recipient of your mistake? Then why demand to wear something that is more likely to harm me than anyone in the building?
No, I will not willingly take a wolf by the throat. If the danger is there, I will avoid it whenever and wherever possible. Regardless of intentions, firearms are never 100% under the control of their owners. Too many accidents have happened, too many people who have been shot that supposedly responsible gun owners were NOT defending themselves against. Too many hurt compared to how many saved for me to want to risk it.
You like guns? Fabulous. Take them to where they are welcome and more commonplace, like a shooting range. I am all for your second amendment rights, but if you are under my roof, then my rules apply.. as the old man used to say. Leave your pistol in the car, or better yet, at home. If you are too big of a paranoid coward to walk out your door in the morning without being armed, who says I want you in my chair with it anyhow? My property, my rules.
Recently, my property has come under the reach of others who would like to make their own rules for it. From the local nutjob who thinks he is the sheriff because he is on a couple of committees, to the neighbor landlord.. a fat redneck who likes to stick his pudgy nose in everyone’s business but not take care of his own.
Recently, an attempt to strong-arm me into turning on a security light behind my building fizzled. The “man of committees”.. let’s give him a name. How about “Steve”. Well, Steve came by the other day to let me know the nightlight behind my building was out and needed to be turned on. I explained that would cost $27 a month through the local utility company… and why should he care? Well, pudgy redneck neighbor landlord (Let’s call him “Randy”) had called him to complain about it not being on.
Well, apparently since moving into my building, Randy has been convinced that my clients will try to hurt his upstairs tenant and rob him or something. His upstairs tenant, a man with CB since birth but lives alone. Well, without the back of my building lit up, apparently he thinks it will be easier for my evil tattoo clients to slither up into his hallway to take him out. Its clear, you see, that my business is bringing a bad element to town. Pay no attention to the pawn shop that opened three doors down providing small change for video games to all the meth heads so they can get their next batch of sizzle.
I have heard this kind of stuff before, so its harder to get me to flinch nowadays. “Well, Steve,” I told him, “I will get right on that when either you or Larry pay the bill, or the city gives me a court order.” Until then, I do not have the money to throw at lighting my building, which is private property, up like a prison yard at night. The hilarious thing is it was not lit for years, but suddenly 6 months after I purchase the building, the motherfucker better get lit “or else.”
Likewise, the lady who is one of Randy’s “Tennants” is giving me the cold shoulder, and she has inhabited that storefront since 1979 without making changes to the exterior, yet I am the evil man who won’t go into debt $50k or more to remodel my building’s facade. Yes, you see, Steve wan not done with me. He insists we need to remove the circa 1960 sheet metal facade from my building to see what is going on underneath. His tricks are well-known.. he did it to another business. The minute you remove your sign board, he demands you apply for remodeling permits to put a sign back up. And during that permit negotiation, they tell you the sign is no longer historically accurate, and these expensive changes will need to be made if you intend to put up a new sign. (And lets not forget permit charges through the city to do so..) So the neighbor lady (remember her?) is no longer speaking to me since Randy and Steve’s strong-arm attempts are not working thus far.
No eye contact, no “good morning”, no nuthin’. Of course, when something heavy needs lifting or the guy with CB upstairs needs help, I will be expected to do the right thing regardless of how I have been treated by them. Until then, I get to fume over the audacity of someone who does not own my building telling me how to spend my own money to modify it. I guess I should not let it bother me too badly, since I have not received any court orders to do so. Yet.
So now I wait to see what the next act in this Ballet of the Absurd is going to be.