So, why should kids have all the fun?
It's the one piercing I don't remember consciously having wanted and certainly one I never dreamt I'd end up getting. I'd seen them on other people, of course - after all, it's one of the commonest piercings these days. Somehow, I suppose that over a period of time, the sudden unexpected sight of one of those little shiny metal balls glinting away in the dark recesses of someone's mouth somehow struck a chord in me: I read up all about it here on BME, and one phrase seemed to stick in the mind...."This is a fun piercing" Be that as it may, I couldn't quite imagine the folks at work seeing the 'fun' side of it - I mean whoever heard of a respectable professional guy in his fifties with a metal bar through his tongue? I had in fact tentatively broached the subject once before, at Toxic Shop, in Birmingham. "Sure , we do loads of them - we put a clear plastic retainer on the top so no-one notices, and you just swap it for a metal bar at the weekends and have some fun: we get no end of lawyers, businessmen..." he made it sound like the most natural thing in the world! So why not? I've never been one for doing things in half-measures, and one day at the beginning of December last year, I found myself looking through the venom gallery on BME. Wow! - I found out a bit about them and decided. I rang up my favourite studio - Piercing World, at Nuneaton - and asked. 'Sorry, we don't do them' was the reply. Apparently the problem was one of veins being in the way. F or a few moments, I was tempted to disregard the answer, and go elsewhere, but then having thought a little more I came to the realization that while venoms may look attractive, they'd be considerably less easy to conceal, and that was a major factor, work-wise. So, I rang back, booked myself in, got on my bike and hot-footed it over. When I arrived, everything was all set up. I took a swill from the famous "This is the worst part" plastic cup-full of Listerine. Eurghhh. I had a second try, to see if maybe it might be an acquired taste. It isn't. Considering they're a multi-million-dollar company, I can't help feeling they might shell out a few bucks to pay someone to find an ingredient to make the stuff taste a little more palatable. I was marked up: I asked for a placement as far back as it would go, so I could hide it from prying eyes, and opted for a titanium barbell for the initial jewelry. I had the clamp put on, and although I'd been worried about having an involuntary reflex gagging reaction, that didn't happen. The needle went through with no more than a sensation of soreness - a bit like when you eat something hot and spicy. I rinsed out, dribbling uncontrollably rather than spitting, and was giving my aftercare instructions. Talk as little as possible, lots of ice-cold drinks.. water, soft dri nks, beer..."Beer?", I asked incredulously. "As long as it's ice-cold, yes". Perhaps this wasn't going to be so bad after all.I'd prudently taken the week off work, and so although my speech was very slurred for the first couple of days, I got by. Eating, though, was something else again. The first couple of days were fine....iced water, soft drinks, soup.... But then I tried to graduate to something more solid - it was only pot noodles at first, but I soon found I'd lost the ability to eat properly. Everything just gave me the sensation of chewing cardboard. Maybe I was just too nervous of accidently hitting my tongue barbell against my teeth; I don't know. I just remember that during those few weeks around Christmas I was so miserable! I thought I'd never be able to eat food or taste anything properly ever again. I have never (before or since) come so close to taking a piercing out.Originally I was told that the usual period for a tongue to heal sufficiently for a shorter barbell to be put in was two or maybe three weeks. I pop ped back to Piercing World from time to time to check on the swelling, but it turned out to be a total of five weeks before I could get mine downsized to a more comfortable shorter one! It was some six or seven months later - this summer, in fact - that I first thought of stretching it. Getting a larger barbell I found was a bit problematical; mine was only a 1.6mm, and I could only find (on a day-trip to Birmingham) places that stocked a 2.4mm. While that may not sound a lot, in practice it proved, even with the assistance of tapers, an insurmountable problem. So in the end, disappointed though I was, I ordered from Cold Steel a 2mm barbell. Installing it myself was a bit fiddly and tricky but I refused to give up, and now I'm delighted to report that I now have a tongue bar that feels like I was born with it. Perseverence definitely pays! And fun it is! The effect of playing with it inside your mouth is a bit like constantly sucking on a boiled sweet..Mmmmmm. I've so far resisted the temptation to stick it out at people for the sheer shock-horror value. The only time it's visible really is when I eat, or if I deliberately show it to anyone - in normal everyday speech and face-to-face encounter it remains undetectable. Nice!!
submitted by: Don
on: 12 Nov. 2001
in Tongue Piercing