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The sad tale of my scrumper

been considering a new piercing for quite some time, and when I woke up on this particular morning I knew instinctively that I had to be pierced. Usually I will formulate an idea for a new piercing, research it for months and then go ahead with it. I took a close friend and began the hour long drive into the city, heading for The Piercing Urge. Even at this point, my mind was not entirely made up. I wanted either a scrumper piercing or a pair of 8ga conch piercings. Sydney that morning was packed to the gills. I had somehow forgotten that the Gay Mardi Gras was that night, and the city had already just about reached peak capacity. It took another hour to make the 20-minute walk up Oxford Street to The Piercing Urge. A quick review of my finances confirm that I couldn't afford to have both conches done, so I decided on the scrumper, resolving to have my scrumper done at a later date. The Piercing Urge is easily the best piercing studio in Sydney. I spoke to Bob, who I always see and explained to him what I wanted. He was happy enough to perform that piercing, but he did warn me that scrumper piercings have a tendency to migrate out over time. I was already aware of this, so we began selecting jewellery. I settled on a 14ga barbell, 5/16" long. I chose the barbell partly because I did not want people at work to see it, and also because I thought that a barbell would be subject to less irritation, lessening the chances of migration. Bob agreed with my decision. He told me I would have to wait about 15 minutes while he autoclaved the barbell, which was fine with me. I sat and chatted with the other staff there, who became extremely interested in the procedure, asking me if I would mind if they watched the procedure. I told them that it didn't bother me at all, so I sat with my friend and calmed my nerves. About 15 minutes later Bob told me that everything was ready. I went into the piercing room, (as I had on so many previous occasions), and lay down in the chair. Bob informed me that he was going to give me a little local anaesthetic, since the scrumper is such a fiddly piercing, he didn't want me to jerk my head in pain at an inopportune time. He sprayed a little into my mouth, which immediately started to go numb. He had his apprentice hold my upper lip back, and it was then that I realised what an uncomfortable procedure it was going to be. Bob fastened the clamps to the web of skin, and told me he was about to pierce. He slid the needle through in one smooth motion, and followed through with the jewellery. He tightened the balls and we were done! Despite feeling virtually no pain, the sensation of the piercing made my eyes water. The experience of the piercing was more uncomfortable than anything. I was trying to remain calm while I had one person holding my lip back, Bob's big hands in my mouth, tightening the balls and all the while breathing around everyone's hands. However, to Bob's credit, he performed the piercing extremely fast. From the time the needle broke the skin to the time the balls were on and tightened was no more than about 15 seconds, so my discomfort was kept to a minimum. Back out at the counter Bob gave me the usual aftercare instructions: No oral contact, no spicy foods, rinse your mouth with salt water or diluted Listerine after every time you eat etc. I was already familiar with these after having had my tongue pierced. Bob gave me the usual discount, since I am a regular customer, I paid, thanked him profusely and I was on my way. For the first 12 hours or so after the piercing it bled slightly, but I helped keep this to a minimum by drinking a lot of chilled water. For the next four days I rinsed with diluted Listerine after every meal, but for some reason, it was still pretty painful. I reasoned that the Listerine, even diluted, was irritating the fresh piercing. I switched to using salt water and the problem seemed to clear up. Eight days later, I went out to a club with some friends and ended up drinking way more than I should have, and when I woke up the next morning, the scrumper was burning like hell. I rinsed with some salt water and it began to settle down. After another week it felt pretty much healed, there was only occasional pain if I bumped it, so I began to lay off the aftercare, and everything seemed fine. Sadly, it was only shortly after this that I was looking in the mirror and I realised that my scrumper was sitting a lot lower than it had been a week before. There was no question of the fact that it was migrating, and fairly quickly too. Two days later I was at work when I felt something strange in my mouth. I spat it out, it was one of the end balls of the barbell. The rest out the barbell fell out of the piercing too. I raced into the toilets and spent a futile twenty minutes trying to re-insert the jewellery, which proved impossible. Holding your lip back with one hand while trying to insert such a short barbell with the other, all the while working in reverse in a mirror proved to be beyond the limits of my dexterity. Eventually, I just gave up. I pocketed the barbell and went back to work. It is now two months on, and there is no lasting physical record that the piercing was ever there. There was some minor swelling as the holes closed, but this disappeared swiftly. I do miss my scrumper though; I miss the sensation of it sliding across my gums as I spoke most of all. I can't say that I didn't half expect this to happen. I knew that there was every chance it would migrate, and even if I had been able to get the jewellery back in, I would have lost it before long to migration. I just never expected to become so attached to such a small piercing. I may re-pierce it someday, but chances are it will migrate again. I don't regret having this piercing at all, because it has been a valuable experience for me, and I have learned a great deal from it. If you have any more questions about this, feel free to E-mail me. [email protected]


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 26 April 2000
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Bob+Moore
Studio: The+Piercing+Urge
Location: Sydney%2C+Australia

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