D.C. Tattoo Parlors Offer Lasting Inaugural Memories

Kristi Keck, CNN, January 19, 2009

For those who want a more permanent way to showcase their support for Barack Obama, Washington’s tattoo parlors are ready to help.

“There’s nothing more memorable than a tattoo,” said Matt Jessup, better known as “Fatty,” the owner of Fatty’s Custom Tattooz and Body Piercing.

His shop is celebrating what it has dubbed the “Obamathan,” where customers can get a free “Obama ’08” logo tattoo if they buy another tattoo worth $200. The Obama tattoo, Fatty says, is worth $70.

“A lot of people are feeling very inspired and taken by this moment in our nation’s history. And for many people, they are in town for this historic event, they want something to remember it by,” he said.

At Fatty’s and other tattoo shops in the area, there have been multiple inquiries about getting inked with an Obama image, they say, but only a few people have actually gone through with.

The most popular choices so far have been the Obama logo, the word “hope,” and the now iconic red-and-blue Obama hope poster by Shepard Fairey.

T.J. Mohler, who works at Jinx Proof Tattoos, said business has been up as people flood the city, but only “about two or three” customers have gotten an Obama tattoo. One of those people is Mohler himself, who opted for a 5 x 7-inch Obama image on his leg.

“When I look back in 50 years, it will remind me of the time and how excited everyone is,” Mohler said.

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Fatty’s also offers a removable option–the Obama piercing. It’s an orbital ring with a blue bead that costs $44, in honor of the 44th president.

And if a customer has a change of heart post-tattoo, Fatty says all is not lost.

“Come on back and I’ll cover it up with something else,” he said.

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