Branding: An Informative Example
always liked the idea of having a random looking gash on my chest. It just makes me look like a crazy.... motherfucker. A few ideas popped into my semi-intelligent mind at first, like taking a Spyderco C10 serrated tactical folding knife to my left pectoral. My lovely, infinitely more intelligent, evolved girlfriend suggested I should probably have such a scar burned in. Her reasoning was that the end result would be the same as my idea without loss of blood. Thank you, Jorie. Your scientific reasoning and logic has saved me many times over. Enter branding, hardcore amateur branding. After thinking about it for less than two weeks, I was FIRED up. I'd done little research on burn care. One of my co-workers at the hospital said I should not try to treat third-degree burns without a doctor. Still didn't change my mind. I called up most of the tattoo shops in Milwaukee and they all said it was illegal to do it in Wisconsin. Fine. There was no way I was spending more than ten bucks to get this done anyway. I grabbed a wire coat hanger and made it so it had a handle that I could use to press the line onto my chest. The surface that would be breaking the skin would have to be rid of all the paint, easily filed off. The end result would be a scar about 6-7 inches long and about 3-4 times wider than the diameter of the coat hanger. Keep that in mind when doing your homemade brandings: the scar will always turn out a heck of a lot wider than the tool used for the procedure (the length stays pretty much the same). I went to Walgreen's and got some Betadine and some Kerlix 4x4 12-ply gauze sponges. They would be all I needed, as after 5 days, no dressings or antibiotics were needed, just daily cleanings and making sure the wound was kept happy. NOW for the process: Nothing fancy, just heavy, homemade, impulsive-as-hell, Wisconsin dairyland-style branding. Yee-haw. I simply put the surface that would be burning the skin over the cranked stove. I don't think the temperature really matters. Some people say it needs to be red-hot, while others say something else. As long as you get it in there deep enough and until you don't feel pain, you'll be fine. I'm not sure about what the specific heat of the metal was or anything important like that was. I know after 15 minutes, it was damn hot. Sorry if I'm not too detailed there, but that's just what I did. I basically left the metal (cleaned of course) on the stove for 15-20 minutes, stood around waiting for it, took a piss, washed my hands, came back and pressed the heated end into my chest. After 10 seconds the pain was gone; five seconds after that the sizzling and popping of the skin stopped. I was surprised how hard I had to press the metal into the skin. Whereas I thought that it would melt right though, it instead had to be pressed in there rather hard. The part that sucked was yanking the hanger out of the skin. Since much of the heat from the wire was gone, I had to pull the metal out of the skin rather abruptly. I had to pull hard. Consider getting your branding tool red hot to avoid flesh sticking to it; it'll make the process smoother. The pain sucked like it was supposed to, but it's not something that'll make you pass out or go into shock or scream or get combative. I'll put a sprained wrist or a torn rotator cuff as more of a pain in the ass than branding. Branding don't even make you flinch. I guess everyone's reaction and pain indices are different, so don't trust me. The healing took a short time and has healed well and evenly from the fact that I left the scabs alone. Some people like modifications that have meaning. I'm all for that, but this one was different. My random branding is just that. Random, and plain scary looking. This is not one of those modifications that has all that much meaning. Some of my friends thought I was losing it. For Jorie it's one of those "even if we break up someday I will never forget you since you're so incredibly dumb" things. As one of my good friends from college said 10 minutes after I'd done it, "It's soooo METALFVCK." Yes. It is, and it scares the hell out of some of the trendy, pretty-boy, 'Crombie Zombies and spoiled GAP-girls that I go to school with. If you're looking for scarification that means something, don't read my account here, because my big gash doesn't mean shit. Just thought I should share that both as a public service to those wishing to brand themselves and needing information.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 Dec. 1999