Tattoo Artist Goes Rogue
Emergency personnel were greeted late this morning by the prone mortal shell of a young man, sprawled naked across the salon floor of Tinto’s Total Tattoos on East Porkknuckle Road, deep in the city’s Desmont District.
Decorously draped in one of the ink parlor’s towels, the body nonetheless displayed a vast array of varied skin art across the upper back of the torso, yet no other immediately visible indicators of foul play. Based on the not-always-synchronous eyewitness accounts of several of the tattoo parlor’s employees, detectives on the scene surmise that Manny Gelpen, the shop owner, founder and premier Inkster, inexplicably went rogue on the poor chap, rendering him unconscious, then perpetrating the horrifying (and confused) tableau upon his waiting flesh (all free of charge, no less). Gelpen then apparently fled the scene.
Investigators are not yet sure what could have set the tattoo artist off. Was it the client’s indecision of the sepia teddy bear clutching a scarlet valentine over the traditional blue-black barbed-wire armband? Or was it the interminable and increasingly testy quibbling overheard by staff: magenta over fuchsia? color-fill over cross-hatch? cobra over rattler? jade over celadon? skull over cross-bones? 'Mom' over 'Wendy'? seven over snake-eyes?
Perhaps we’ll never know.
A spokesman for the coroner’s office reported that full results of toxicology and other forensic lab tests would not be available for another 48 hours yet. And so, at this time, it is impossible to say whether the substantial amounts of soluble pigment the decedent was subjected to over such a short period of time may have poisoned him in some way, thereby causing or playing a role in his death.
Along the lines of a second theory, detectives have also not ruled out a possible intense reaction to extreme continuing needle pain, and the systemic shock likely to result, as factors in the fatality. However, earlier today, this reporter interviewed a Miss Gertrude Gilvray, an adult performer who dances locally under the stage name of Ms. Delores Delightfull, Denver’s Delectable Decorated Double-D Diva!, who dismissed such causation. “Honey, I am tattooed all over, including places it was hard to put a needle! And most of my ink was done in just a few day-long sessions, “ Ms. Delightfull cooed, “ I’ve had worse pain from a mammogram!”
Still others speculate that it may have in fact been mere fright that brought about the demise of the inked innocent. At the moment of seeing his new dermal decorations, he may have flashed forward to the excruciatingly embarrassing moment he would undoubtedly endure upon doffing his golf shirt in the men’s locker room, before the gaping, staring, disapproving eyes of the senior members of the elite and crushingly conservative Shady Lakes & Acres Country Club. Or worse yet, he might have envisioned his future ostracism at the upcoming lakeside Adult Rebirthing & Baptismal Dunking of congregants of The Most Holy Second Testament of the Pentecost Evangelical Communion of Righteous Souls.
The exact identity of the unfortunate is being withheld by police, pending notification of all of his previous evening’s drinking buddies.
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