Wednesday, May 18, 2011


11:30 PM and still a full house
Last week it was Friday the 13th. While the day is normally associated with bad luck and awesomely terrible horrible horror movies, a lot of tattoo artists have turned the tables.

Cathedral Tattoo (249 E. 400 S. in Salt Lake City) decided that they were going to do small, flash walk-ins all day long and spread good luck instead of bad. They had tons of custom designs for people to choose from starting as low as $13 and ranging up to $80. Seemed like a great idea and on top of that, some of the proceeds for the day would be going to Cause For Paws, an organization to help find homes for shelter animals about to be put down. They advertised it on the Internet, cleared their books and hoped for the best.

They had no idea what they were in for.

Dan C in the coveted #1 spot
When the 5 employees (4 artists and a shop manager) showed up an hour before the doors opened, there were already around 40 people waiting outside. They set up shop, devised the ticketing system, opened the doors and bedlam ensued right away. Okay, maybe not that bad. Everyone was patient and understanding while Jake, CJ, Tyler and James got to work.

I showed up around 3PM and there was still a line around the workspace that stretched out the front door. I grabbed a ticket for Jake (number 30) and decided to head home for a bit, rather than wait at the shop all day. Before I left, I asked Mike what number Jake was on, he consulted the sheet, looked at me and said, "seven."

I laughed and headed out. Ran a few errands, cleaned my apartment a bit, took a nap, showered, grabbed some dinner and went back down to the shop around 9PM. Jake was on #19. Not having much else to do, I decided to stick around and hang out.

The shop stayed full the entire night and by the time it got close to my turn, it was 1:30 in the morning. By that time, everyone was worn out, but pressing on. Knowing I had to be awake and at work in a few hours and that there were still a few people after me, I gave up my spot so they could get tattooed instead.

As much as I wanted at Friday the 13th tattoo, I decided I'd rather just get a bigger better tattoo another time—a time when I didn't have to wake up three hours later. So I made an appointment, bid everyone at the shop adieu and headed home with no new zaps anywhere.

While I don't have anything to do with Cathedral Tattoo professionally, those dudes are some of my closest friends and I was genuinely thrilled to see how many people wanted to spend their Friday waiting around to get tattooed. Everyone that I talked to that night was gracious, respectful and understanding of the wait and I never saw anyone pitch a fit and storm out. While there were a few people that never came back when their number was called, even more stuck around and gutted it out.

By the end of the day Jake, CJ, James and Tyler had tattooed for nearly 14 hours straight and collectively done close to (if not a bit more than) 150 tattoos.

Everyone had fun and good luck had been shared with tons of grateful people. Here's hoping they do it again on the next Friday the 13th.

And if they do, I'm camping out the night before.

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