Some people say tut-tut, there oughta be a law, and some people break the law to fix it. I am referring to the law against tattooing in Oklahoma, the last state in the Union to have such a ban. The law was recently changed, thanks in large part to a frustrated young artist named D.J. and several of his buddies.
Al Lindley, a local Democratic Representative in Oklahoma City had written legislation to legalize and regulate the profession and bring it out into the open. It languished in committee for seven years.
DJ and Co. said "fuck this shit" and opened up a tattoo shop storefront with bold signage and flashy graphics right out in broad daylight. They commenced to giving tattoos. To cops and prosecutors and bikers. Hell, everybody gets tattoos these days, even your very own Oilfieldguy's daughter is a tattoo artist in Lost Wages, Nevada.
His open and notorious defiance of the law was short-lived however, and I watched on the teevee as they froggermarched DJ and Co off to the pokey.
"Dood," one of the wayward tattooers said to the cameraman on his way to the squad car, "the law says, like, permanent markings, and like, they got lasers that can remove tattoos, so we feel they aren't so permanent."
I grinned and shook my head at the obvious stoner argument. Still, I admired their pluck. Tilt on, dood!
About a week or so later, the defense attorney had her chance in front of the camera. She viewed it as a constitutional issue involving freedom of expression, and her clients method of expression was tattoos.
Now that, my friends, is an argument. Seems Lindley's languishing legislation got some wind beneath its wings, and that is how a bill becomes law.
DJ, and a small group of defiant "outlaws" challenged the system, risked the loss of freedom and fundage for what they believed was a righteous cause.
Can we all give a polite golf applause to our modern day Don Quixote's?
But this is not the end of the story. You see, I have softened you up, perhaps invoked a hint of admiration for DJ. I met him through my daughter who is good friends with his wife, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Seven of Nine, and they have a new baby.
The other night DJ was having a barbecue at his house with several friends. In the crowd was a recently separated young lady, whose ex-boyfriend showed up with several friends un-invited. Harsh words were exchanged, and the jilted boyfriend broke a baseball bat over DJ's head and stabbed him with it.
DJ is young and tough, but he will have to continue life without a spleen, his recovery will be slow, but he will recover. He has no insurance, a young wife and a new baby. Last time I checked it costs between 40 to 50 thousand dollars to have a spleen removed.
I plan to pass the hat. I won't be putting up a donate button, because a) I'm too fukkin' stoopid, and b) I do not care for any money to pass through my hands. We will be having a benefit for DJ next month at a local eatery. For those in the blogosphere, check back here and I will give mailing info to an account we will set up for him.
I'd like to show this guy some love, dragging Oklahoma into the 21st century and protecting a damsel in distress. What's not to love?