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Ed Driscoll

24-Hour Waiting Period Proposed for DC Tattoos, Piercings

September 7th, 2013 - 2:41 pm

That’s the District of Columbia, not Batman, Superman and other DC Comics-related logos, though obviously they’d be impacted as well, of course. “Some popular impulse purchases — tattoos and body piercings — could soon become less impulsive if District health regulators have their way,” the Washington Post reports:

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.

That’s exactly what Marcela Onyango did Friday afternoon, when she got her mother’s birth year — 1961 — tattooed on her rib cage at Fatty’s Custom Tattooz. It’s something the 25-year-old has been thinking about since her mom died three years ago, and she said she doesn’t think the government should make her wait another day.

“That’s stupid. I think you shouldn’t tell people what to do,” Onyango said. “We’re all adults. It’s not their business.”

The proposal is a sticking point for those who work in the industry, too.

It’s “honestly ridiculous,” said Paul Roe, who operates Britishink, a tattoo parlor on H Street NE. Roe, 45, testified in favor of a D.C. Council bill allowing the Health Department to regulate body art establishments because rules setting standards on hygiene, record keeping and licensing make sense, he said.

The waiting period, he said, does not.

“Why not 24 hours’ waiting time before shaving your head?” he asked.

Because that’s not permanent? But then, at the risk of starting an Internet Holy War, I’m of the belief, as Theodore Dalrymple once brilliantly put it, that tattoos are a “refutation of the doctrine that the customer is always right. In the tattoo parlour, the customer is always wrong.”

(Via Newsalert.)

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