Anyone who's seen 'We're the Millers' knows the humor to be found when stupid people make stupid decisions. While we agree it's funny in the movies, it's rarely funny in real life, especially if you're the one who made the bad call. At Cardinal Tattoo we already have policies in place against hand, neck, and face tattoos for novice tattoo collectors; no names of significant others unless you're married; and no hate/racist/homophobic/gang tattoos. We're doing our best to help those who need it the most:
You know, idiots.
Unfortunately we're not getting a lot of help from some local shops who either think it's funny or not at all unethical to take someone's money while throwing a monkey wrench in someone's life.
It wasn't always so. There was a time when a widely agreed upon tattoo etiquette was in place among the few tattoo shops in existence. With the invention of the tattoo reality/game show and subsequent explosion of tattoo's popularity in mainstream culture, a contamination of tattoo etiquette has occurred. As the demand for tattoos has gone up, people outside the culture have sought to capitalize on our industry and the number of tattoo shops owned by someone who doesn't actually tattoo has gone from almost zero to far too many in less than ten years. The result has been catastrophic.
The quality of the work has suffered, as has the respect for those unwritten rules against destroying young peoples' bodies. It's a common thing now to find tattoo shops that will tattoo or pierce anything that isn't illegal on someone, and many times that line is crossed as well. When tattoo becomes more about money than art, those who don't care about it will prey on the ignorance of others to make a dime. No Ragrets, indeed.
For that reason, we at Cardinal Tattoo respectfully reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who we feel is incapable of making a reasonably good decision regarding permanently altering their appearance. We do this for business as well as personal reasons. We do it because we love our industry and our culture and don't want to see it further watered down or destroyed by people who don't. We do it because we want our clients and friends to know they can trust us to provide them with a tattoo they can be proud of for the rest of their lives. We do it so we can sleep at night. Perhaps the most important reason we may refuse service is also a part of the problem:
Because some people won't.