Wineka column: Ink and drink — what possibly could go wrong?

  • Posted: Monday, December 23, 2013 1:06 a.m.

SALISBURY — Things just happen in the course of daily events that are impossible to ignore, and you have to put a recent decision by Salisbury City Council in this category.

The council struck a blow for all “scratchers” last Tuesday when it voted to allow alcohol sales at a tattoo parlor — specifically, Inksane Tattoo on South Main Street.

Now I know this sounds like a bad combination — ink and drink — but I think the council got this one right.

It’s such good news on so many fronts you have to list them:

• Economic development: One of Inksane’s owners, Johanna Jones, said “it would be really great to take our little area and make it more of a community and add art and culture.”

What says art and culture better than being able to drop in for a glass of wine, relax on your stomach and have the tattoo artist masterfully inject pigment under the skin to flower out “My mom is an angel” on your butt?

• Quality of life: It seems craft beer, not wine, will be the secret, however, to rejuvenating this “Five Points” area. Inksane assured council it will be selling craft beers made in North Carolina — not any of the cheap-crap, watered-down stuff.

Just say “craft beer” these days and you automatically have a going business with a higher-class of clientele.

In fact, if you tattoo “craft beer” on a bicep, you will attract more ladies than saying you love otters and quiet evenings by the fire on your profile.

• Medical research: At least one council member, Maggie Blackwell, expressed concern that drinking before getting a tattoo might thin the blood, cause the tattoo to fade and, overall, impair a customer’s judgment.

First off, let’s just say there’s never been a bad or regrettable decision made in connection with any tattoo.

Second, Inksane’s Mike Jones informed council having a beer just before receiving a tattoo won’t change the blood’s consistency. Artists do have more bleeders, he reported, when customers have drunk heavily the day before.

Rest assured, Inksane will serve as an important laboratory in the ongoing research into this thin-blood, thick-blood question.

• Looking after our military: As one of the Post editors observed, think how many Navy men with a night on shore got drunk and decided they should have tattoos.

Don’t ever take this option away from our fighting men and women. Tattoos and alcohol, when you think about it, are downright patriotic.

The one caution I might interject about the combination of spirits and body modification deals with grammar and bad spelling.

The internet is full of examples of message tattoos which failed to have a copy editor.

Under the influence of some good craft beers, how quickly “My mom is an angel” could become “My mom is an angle.”

Or “Too strong to lose” might disintegrate for all time into “To strong to loose.”

While I personally do not yet have a tattoo, I have nothing against them. I enjoyed John Irving’s book “Until I Find You,” which is pretty much dedicated to the subject.

My youngest son also has a tattoo on his ankle that has the copyright symbol followed by 1988, the year he was born.

Not bad. I’ve often wondered what I would say in a tattoo and where on my body it would go.

I like Heidi Klum’s line, “Sometimes you’re in, sometimes you’re out,” and can picture it gracefully scribed over my belly button.

But I also think I’d prefer something more country — a phrase like “Them that don’t pluck don’t get chicken,” or “The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune.”

Round me up a craft beer. I have a decision to make.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or

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