Tattoo Artists Give Lasting Inauguration Souvenirs
REBECCA ROBERTS, Host:
Matt Jessup is almost as excited about the inauguration as an 11-year-old with a video camera. Matt, though, is a burly 30-something with a tattoo needle. NPR's Amy Blaszyk visited his Washington, D.C., tattoo parlor. And oh, by the way, don't call him Matt.
Mr. MATTHEW JESSUP (Owner, Fatty's Custom Tattooz): Oh, well, my name is Fatty. That's the name I go by.
AMY BLASZYK: Fatty's Custom Tattooz is located in a four-story walk-up in D.C.'s Dupont Circle. It's a busy, vibrant neighborhood before the 2 million people expected to deluge the city for Tuesday's big event. Right now, Fatty is doing a full-sleeve tattoo on Washington resident Jason Benetti(ph). The tattoo starts with a massive skull at his shoulder, and continues down the arm to his wrist. Though Fatty appreciates repeat customers like Benetti, he's trying to attract new customers this weekend.
Mr. JESSUP: We're hosting an event that I'm calling "The Obamathon." ..TEXT: BLASZYK: This tattoo parlor, like others in the area, is trying to entice customers with a permanent souvenir of the occasion. At Fatty's, when you buy a $200 tattoo, you get one free - a free Obama or Inauguration tattoo, that is. But there's more.
Mr. JESSUP: The big prize of the weekend is, I'm going to be offering a portrait of Barack Obama's face for free.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. JESSUP: We have a party on Monday and do Barack Obama's face tattooed on somebody. That'd be the coolest, man.
BLASZYK: As Fatty smears petroleum jelly on areas he's worked on, wiping ink from the skull design, he admits that in the heat of the moment, people do a lot of things they regret later.
Mr. JESSUP: If Obama tanks everything and people want to get their Obama tattoos covered, I'm sure I'll be able to help them with that, too. ..TEXT: BLASZYK: After all, change is more than a campaign slogan. Amy Blaszyk, NPR News.
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