I am a Canadian tattooer. I own my own studio on Bowen Island called In The Flesh Tattoos, I also work downtown Vancouver at Adrenaline Tattoos on Granville street at Nelson. This is a picture, and written diary of my everyday adventures. freaks onlineAbout Me Tattoos Ask me anything
Monday morning 9am, I barely slept all night, but was anxious to talk to Larry. I dragged myself out of bed and made the phone call. Larry said he hadn’t found anything yet, to be fair he had only been at the shop for an hour, but he said he had made about 20 phone calls so far. It sounded as though he was also running out of options and I was starting to sweat. He said he has one more number to call and will phone me back when he knows something.
You see we have been staying with my son’s paternal grandfather, or my ex’s dad. Rob is a wonderful man, and has been a saint, but he was returning to work from his holidays on Monday night after spending the last 10 days with us, and wanted us to leave. To put it mildly the feeling was reciprocated. Rob started making suggestions on Friday that we box up our belongings and tow the mint RV that just needs brakes to the scrap yard and fly our defeated asses home. HE also made numerous daily jokes about how it was nice to see us, but it would be nice to see us leave. We hadn’t even overstayed our original visit time yet. These sorts of suggestions and comments only fueled my dismay, and made an already uncomfortable situation more so. Eventually, almost in tears we had some words. I said that if we were imposing I would get a motel until the RV was repaired then and only then would we go on our way. Rob changed his tune, realized my feelings were hurt and said we could never impose.
Larry phoned us at noon and said he had located the parts. He started by saying “let’s get something straight I am not the one doing the work for you”. Wondering what he meant by this I said I understand. I believe he was saying this so I would understand the frightening price quote. He said one rotor would cost $580.00 and we needed at least one caliper the brake pads and the seals, plus shipping duty and tax. The end result was a $1408.00 bill before the cost to reassemble. Good news is he would have the parts here the next morning.
The next morning the parts were there just like Larry said. We drove the hour and half each way to get them and drop them off at the shop that had the RV. Before we left Larry’s he had us make sure the other guys would be able to machine the rotor and balance it properly before they did the job. They assured us it would be fine and we brought them the parts. The next day it was all done just as promised and for a deal at $560.00 OUCH. At this point I didn’t even care I just wanted my house back. We paid them and left, said goodbye to family and friends then really left. The RV now has a new shimmy when we stop, but we stop!.…we will see what happens. We are now happily headed east to spend Canada Day in our nations capital, Ottawa……… We just arrived in Ottawa stopped saw smoke and realized the engine caught fire…..OMG!
Our trip to Ontario has lasted longer than we had planned. It was actually only a couple of days extra, but when you have no choice but to stay it makes it feel a lot longer; constantly obsessing over only one thing for days and days until you have a cold sore large enough to have its own gravitational pull of other cold sores, An infected tattoo so bad it requires a 10 day bout of antibiotics leading to a yeast infection and under eye bags large enough to carry the contents of a whole family vacation. Or perhaps I have pissed of a gypsy somewhere or been the victim of a Voodoo curse and now this is just my luck.
You see what actually happened is when we were ready to leave Wal-Mart in North Bay Ontario after a guest spot at ReThink Studio we heard a heavy grind in the front driver-side wheel area. I’ve heard this sound in vehicles before, like when I was a low income twenty something and I had ignored my brakes squealing for so long that the pads had actually worn themselves down to just rivets creating and irreparable ocean effect on the discs. Although similar and with the same exact outcome this was not due to my continued negligence. It turned out that the caliper had seized and then the other scenario played out, but much more quickly so we didn’t notice. Then when we noticed we decided to limp it all the way to Oshawa, which is probably another 350 kms. I didn’t really think that it would be a huge deal, I mean it’s only brakes how hard could it be?.
We called a client of mine that I had met in Winnipeg at Living Canvas Tattoo named Lukasz who said that he was a mechanic. He and his lady Tare-Lee told anecdotes about their friends inviting them for dinner and always mentioning they should bring their tools. They happened to be on vacation to Winnipeg when I met them and were from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). So immediately I thought of them when I had car troubles in their stomping grounds. Lukasz was instantly on the hunt for parts and whatever would be needed to fix the RV, this was a daunting task no matter where you stand. We found that the part number matched another part number for a newer vehicle and ordered the parts. They were the wrong parts.
This was about three days from when I was tattooed in North Bay by a newer tattooer who I had let use my machines and what resulted was an unfortunately over worked butterfly. I figured it would be fine but it was getting noticeably more red, swollen and painful. By day four I was almost unable to walk without tears and was leaking profuse amounts of what I was calling plasma but was later informed was puss. I decided it was time to take a break from the motor-home troubles and seek medical attention after talking to my friend Tai who gave me an educated guess that I was suffering from Cellulitis. No not the cottage cheese bum but a serious bacterial infection that if left untreated can turn to necrotizing fasciitis or Flesh Eating Disease. Tai was right and I was immediately prescribed a strong antibiotic to take for 10 days. I want to be clear that the bacteria was not the fault of the tattooer he was very clean, but because the tattoo was overworked it couldn’t create a protective scab layer and all the bacteria I came in contact with after leaving the studio was able to make its way directly to my bloodstream; I know, gross. Now, leg wrapped and being dealt with we got back to the RV shituation.
We started calling auto repair shops to see if they could source the parts for us and do the job. We were stonewalled by at least 7 shops saying they didn’t have the equipment for the big vehicle or weren’t interested in doing the job. I was feeling at the end of my rope, it had now been almost a week. We were staying with family, so I decided to have a shower and think. While in the shower a scene from the movie From Dusk Till Dawn suddenly came into my head. It was the scene where they all go in to the strip bar “Titty Twister” and the bartender says they can’t stay because the bar is for truckers and bikers only. The dad says he is a trucker and points to his motor home outside and shows his special license. An epiphany, call a truck stop!. I finish the shower and call a truck stop and they refer me to Harpers in Oshawa.
At this point I still believed we had the correct parts for the job, and Harpers said they could do the job that day, amazing!. We drove the RV to Harpers and they said it would be done that afternoon. That afternoon they phoned us with bad news, we had the wrong parts, but they should be able to find them no problem in the next couple days. By the next morning they said they had located the parts they should be there today and they will have us fixed up and on our merry way by the next morning. The next day around noon Harpers phoned us only to tell us that they too had ordered the exact same parts that we had brought them in the first place, also the wrong ones. They said it may take some time to find the right ones but not to worry they will keep us informed, “don’t panic, we will take good care of you”. The next day at around 10:30 I phoned them to check on their progress, they said they couldn’t find the parts and we were on our own, but they have a number of a guy in Mississauga if we want to call. Fucking wonderful, now the RV is on blocks nothing can be done and they have exhausted all their options, FUCK!.
Ready to cry or go on a murder suicide mission at a dodge dealership as some sort of revenge for making a chassis of such hard to find flux capacitor style parts, I decide to use the provided number for Larry’s Auto. Larry says in 30 years he has only once not been able to source parts for any vehicle and that’s because there were none left in North America. He sounds confident, but we have to drive the parts to Mississauga so he can be sure to order the right replacements. Trevor takes off immediately to get the old parts and drives 1.5hrs to drop them off. When he arrives at 5:10pm Friday Larry is closing up and wont be able to do anything until Monday. Before he leaves he pulls the brake pads out of the box puts them on the counter and says “oh, I’ve never seen ones like these before” ugh.