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The Official, No-Bullshit, Hard Times Tattoo Aftercare List

Ah, getting a tattoo. Next to having your first vehicle vandalism charges dismissed, getting a tattoo is one of the most thrilling and rewarding experiences for any punk, young or old – especially for those having stumbled upon a stable career where their superiors are cool with visible tattoos.

Here at Hard Style we boast the most badass, tatted-up staff in the history of journalism. As such, we’ve put together the definitive tattoo aftercare list. If you want the tats of a true scene legend keep reading!

Implement A Marketing Plan

Within 5 to 10 minutes of the final needle prick you NEED to post a picture of your sick fucking ink all over social media. We can’t stress this enough! This is the best your tattoo will ever look so you want maximum exposure. You only get one shot, so make it count. And no matter how you edit the photo, make sure you #nofilter the hell out of it.

Anyone who doesn’t like or respond to your post should be considered a betrayer and a backstabber. Fuck them.

Unleash Your Pain Management Strategy

For non-punks, play up how much getting your new ink hurt and how the pain is an integral part of the process. For actual punks, remember that you’re hard as nails and barely felt anything. At no point mention that you had to take two breaks during your hour-long-session to scarf down a Milky Way to make sure you didn’t pass out.

Get That Ointment Flowing*

Find a corner market with no security camera. Grab your ointment of choice and shove it down your pants, then snatch a tall boy from the refrigerator and make a run for it. When the clerk gives chase, yell, “I’m sorry” and drop the can — no glass bottles, you don’t want any broken glass to suddenly massage this situation into an armed robbery.

You get your moisturizer, and the store clerk gets the perceived satisfaction of stopping a beer runner which means they’re not calling the cops. Win-win.

*Get fragrance free. You don’t want to smell like flowers.

Related: Help! My Anti-Swastika Tattoo Is Just a Swastika Until I Can Afford Another Session

Hunker Down and Scab

Find someone you don’t like very much – perhaps someone who didn’t like your tat photo – and crash at their place while your tattoo heels, peels, and scabs. Leave the remains of your nasty healing process in their bed… that will really show them. If you are unable to gain access to their bed, the couch cushions are another perfectly acceptable place to leave your dead skin.

Something to consider: You’re probably not going to be invited back to this person’s house, so why not steal some records or something while you’re at it?

Be Fiscally Responsible

By now you should be all healed up so it’s time for the final step. Call your credit card company and dispute the charges for the tattoo. Tell them your card was stolen from a local corner market. Explain that there’s no way you would ever get a tattoo. Tell them it’s a religious thing, that usually shuts them up.

What if the shop finds out? Well, they will when they lose the money. But so what? You’re not in a Russian prison, it’s not like they’re gonna repo your tattoo.

There you have it, The Official, No-Bullshit, Hard Times Tattoo Aftercare List! Now get out there and get tatted! And always remember: hands and face first!