Got a Tattooed Tit, Say Number 13

Friday the 13th has long been condemned as the unluckiest day of the year by those who are superstitious. Though it only occurs two or three times per year, the ominous occasion garners a substantial amount of fear, with many people opting to “play it safe” and stay home. Some of the more extreme believers simply refuse to get out of bed. The economy even feels the effects of Friday the 13th: it is estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars is lost in commerce because people choose not to fly or conduct business as usual.

For tattoo collectors, however, Friday the 13th is something of a holiday. In ye olden days of western culture, tattooing was quite common among European sailors, who were already a superstitious bunch. Each design held meaning: a sparrow for every 5000 nautical miles traveled, roosters and pigs for safety. In the early 20th century, the U.S. government announced that no man would be admitted into the Navy if he possessed an “obscene” marking on his body. Accordingly, tattoos of naked women became a hot commodity.

In keeping with tradition and superstition, many shops today offer special Friday the 13th flash with discounted pricing. The cost? $13, with a lucky $7 tip. Some shops may have slightly higher prices, depending on the chosen design and its size and placement. Either way, the day marked by bad luck is a solid opportunity to get a fun piece of work on your body.

And yeah, the price is cool, but the designs are usually even cooler. Typical flash includes symbols of superstition like horseshoes and black cats, as well as other morose biddies like daggers, skulls, and gravestones. This past Friday the 13th was in June, and shops in all corners of the world had their flash out.

So why stamp yourself with an unlucky symbol? Tattoos are already considered taboo to begin with, so it only makes sense to run with it. There’s even folklore which dictates that having the number 13 tattooed on you meant you were already damned: that way, if Bad Luck sees the mark, it would pass you by.

Not only are Friday the 13th tattoos fun for the recipient, but they also prove worthwhile for artists. On a day where many typical businesses see profits lost, tattoo shops offering a 13th promotion actually see an influx of customers because of the holiday. This can mean dozens standing out the door to over a hundred people lined up around the block. Better get there early, though- appointments fill up fast.

Triskaidekaphobia? Screw it. Friday the 13th should be cause for celebration. Just remember: Although the day can be a time of fun risk-taking, err on the side of caution when choosing a shop. Do your research and find a reputable artist, not your friend’s older brother working out of his kitchen. And FYI, the next Friday the 13th is in February, just in time to take your sweetheart in for an everlasting gift. Can’t wait that long? Lots of shops offer similar promotions on Halloween.

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