Yesterday I talked to the laser guy. His name is Damian. I have come to the conclusion that laser tattoo removal is a) subjective and b) wildly variable. In that I've had three descriptions of the pain levels involved and each one has been quite different. Folks are unanimous that it heals fast but seem to have different ideas about how the pain scale works. So I'm going to go in with no expectations and just grit mah teeth. He says it'll take around 40 minutes which is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I'm also taking this estimate with a grain of salt. It seems most of it's likely to be sorted in one session but some of the darker stuff in the centre of my back may take longer. Luckily there's a plan B.
Anyway, I'm booked in for Monday, since it's a supposedly short duration procedure with an also-short recovery time. After that (and after Joel's visit) I will be able to get the final touch-up work done on the scar. I knew this would be a long process going into it and am prepared to take the time to make sure it comes out right. And am getting amusement from the number of highly-tattooed, pierced bodymod folks that end up staring at my back and scratching their heads every time I go in there.
Meanwhile, the whole Tiki Taane thing is also providing amusement. I mean yes, there's a more serious side here. But really? Exactly what is achieved by arresting a performer for singing a song? Even if he was intentionally winding them up, by arresting him and marching him out in front of a bunch of people who also resented their presence, they've made themselves look like dicks and most likely increased his popularity. And in answer to Greg O'Connor, I think any 'right-thinking New Zealander' should probably be thinking about whether the current government is doing a good job, whether the opposition has its shit together enough to be worth voting for, what they want our country to look like and who they should vote for in the coming election. Personally, I think our country should look like one where cops aren't that easily wound up and perhaps where trade negotiations that affect us are not done in secret.
And having grown up in this culture that respects understatement and dislikes up-yourselfness, I can't help but think that by reacting the way they did, the police have lost more respect from the people. If they had responded with amusement to the jibe, grinned and got on with the job, everyone would have been "Hehe good sorts, those guys." Instead, they got offended and threw their power around. Yes, I know, two months ago I was saying that getting offended at a joke you're the butt of is valid. But the difference here is in the power relationship. The marginalised person who is the butt of a joke doesn't have the power to do what the police did. We all know the police have power that other people don't. If they hadn't used it, if they'd done what they were there to do and then left with a cheery wave, they would have shown that they are strong enough not to need to use their power. Instead they showed they were insecure by using a power display that was out of proportion to the 'crime'. And that makes them look like dicks.
Sorry guys, you blew it. The best thing to do now is to apologise, admit you overreacted, and get on with your job with a cheery wave.
And it has to be said: TWO MORE SLEEPS!