My cousin was 15 at the time, and wanted a tattoo. Since he was a minor, he needed parental permission to get one from a tattoo parlor. They thought tattoos were a work of the devil, so my cousin was forced to find alternate means of self-expression. His friend came to the rescue with some improvisational creativity.

First, he took a guitar string and sharpened it to a point. He unraveled the sharpened guitar string, and put ink inside it (the kind you would find in a Bic pen without the metal tip) took the motorized part of an electric sewing machine (the part that moves the needle up and down), and connected them. He plugged it in, and set to work, putting my cousin's girlfriend's initials on his arm. It hurt badly. Two days and a trip to the emergency room later (when his parents finally found out what had happened), he discovered that nickel actually forms microscopic hooks when you sharpen it, so the nickel guitar string was ripping his skin apart from the root cells up. The doctor was amazed an infection hadn't formed.

He now has a Bic red ink scar on his upper arm spelling out the initials of a girlfriend he went out with for only one month after he got the tattoo.

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