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Wanna Piercing? by Anne

"That has to be the coolest thing I have ever seen." I said that, sitting in front of the television in the summer of my freshmen year of high school, watching MTV Sports play Terje Haakonsen, the Norwegian God of Snowboarding (I just melt). Terje talked, and from the camera angle and his nifty way of clicking his tongue around in a very Scandinavian manner, I could tell he had a metal bar through his tongue.. a.. a tongue piercing.

Now, in upstate New York (aka nowhere), this was something I was not tuned into. But, I was tuned in now.. at that very moment, I decided I would someday get my tongue pierced. There were three main obstacles. 1: My father wouldn't let me, not on his life. 2: There was no place to get it done nearby. 3: I wasn't old enough to have it done even if there was a place, and I couldn't just do it myself without handicapping my ability to speak for the rest of my life. But I didn't give up. I never do. I pestered my father about it for months and months and years and years on end.

Finally, by the time places had sprung up to get it done, my father gave in. This was recently. I'm now seventeen, a senior in high school leaving this september to go to college, where I would inevitably have this done. My father allowed me to get it done under two conditions: I don't stick my tongue out at him, and I don't make him pay for it. My loving mother offered to pay to have my tongue pierced, as a high school graduation gift, and I found a place called Central New York Tattoo Company in Baldwinsville, New York. It was a mere forty-five bucks, and as long as my mom came with me to sign the papers, I was in.

I got there, at the place, at noon about, as soon as it opened up. There were tattoos posted everywhere. I signed some papers, telling me things I already knew (I had researched this for three years, I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it and why I wanted it.. and so on and so on). Then, for the procedure. My happy friendly piercer, Al, came out from behind a doorway, a big man with too small of a blue tee-shirt on, bearded and tattooed from head to toe. I was nervous. He didn't help that much.

I sat down in the chair, a dentist's type chair (I don't hate the dentist or anything, so it wasn't a big deal for me). He made me sit up really straight, my head turned uncomfortably, my tongue sticking all the way out. He snapped on the rubber gloves, as some chick who was there to get her nose pierced stood and watched in awe, giving a play by play to my mother and her increasing heart palpitations. Then, he inked my tongue with some purple dye. He kept telling jokes about the pain index of this and all, and I was squeezing the hell outta the arms of the chair. He clamped onto my tongue with forceps (which unpierced people perceive as being like these humongous pliers, but they are just two silver bars held together with a rubber band at the end, no big deal). He told me to take a deep breath and... POKE... quick painful pinch (but quick.. it didn't hurt anymore than getting a swift punch in the arm). Up through my tongue came a silver ten-gauge needle. Then he fidgeted with the barbell, as I went "uugh.." and my tongue was held out by the needle.. and then as he pulled the needle out he stuck the barbell in. Viola! Screwed the top ball on, and I had lived out my terje-dream...

He showed me my tongue, which was nicely accessorized by a blue-ink smiley face he had drawn on my tongue, and then I left, with my spit cup in hand. I went out into the lobby, my mother almost died, the nose-chick's boyfriend was in total awe. "How could you do that? Are you all right? I mean.. wow.. it must have been so painful... I just could never do that.. I don't got the guts.." I had to laugh. I spit into my little spit cup and said "yeah, well, I'm a tough girl." It actually doesn't take that much.. but hey.. if that's what ya wanna think.. go right ahead. Tough girl rep? yeah, I can deal with that.

It was sore for a while, and it had swollen up big by the end of the day. But a week later, my tongue was back to normal, only now with a barbell in it. It makes people quiver. They think the pain index is amazingly huge. They're talking to a girl who hates getting blood taken and couldn't imagine the idea of allergy shots. Well.. I used to be that way. Now, I stick out my tongue, show the nurse, and say "yeah, after this, nothing's a big deal."