my oldest and dearest…piercings, that is

well, ALMOST my oldest…

…the oldest “non-ear” ones, i mean.

of course i’m talking about my nipples.

(anybody feel awkward yet?)

they’ve had a bit of a checkered past with me, at least piercing-wise. when i got my chance to “audition” to be the night guy on a local radio station (the word “audition” is in quotes because i was, in fact, already hosting the later night show, loved it, and had been doing so for months after inheriting the show from the butthole surfer’s gibby haynes, who’s show i produced for its late night run) i wanted to start with something memorable, so i decided to do on-air body piercing. at the time a morning show on a competing station had done it, but those guys had their interns do the “dirty work” (i.e. get pierced) while they stayed on mic and described it. i planned on actually being the one to get pierced, while still staying on mic to describe it.

i went to see my buddy bear:


this is a more current pic, he was a bit younger back in 1995 when this all went down

he told me whatever piercing i wanted to do would be free and that he would comp me my jewelry. i had two piercings i’d considered and the nipples won out for two reasons:

1. it was two piercings as i wanted ’em both done, so i would be getting double the shit for free


2. the other was my tongue, which would kind of fuck up the rest of my audition week, i figured…

(it should be noted that a few short months later when they let me go over some budgetary bullshit that i got my tongue pierced to signify the end of my radio career (i reprised in 1998-99) and i was only swollen where it effected my speech for only about an hour or so)

so i went with the nipples. i was nervous the day of and concocted what i thought was a brilliant plan – i would pierce one OFF the air, during a commercial break, so i knew what i was getting myself in to, then i would do the on-air thing a bit more prepared.

bear vetoed that plan.

he had brought along another world renowned body piercer, alan falkner, who’s girlfriend happened to strip at the same club mine did, as did kramer’s for anybody curious, but that’s not how any of us met, it was just unfortunate (we later realized) coincidence. anywho, his plan was to do a tandem piercing, whereby two piercers line up, clamp up (ouch) and then pierce simultaneously:


again, a google image for illustrative purposes only, not a pic from back then

this kinda fucked me, but to hell with it – still getting double for free, so i went for it (i have the audio of this somewhere around here) but we had a problem that i never would have guessed; apparently, for a dude, i have kind of large nipples. not in aerola diameter or anything, just the actual nipples. so the half inch fourteen gauge rings he brought were a bit too small for comfort and, as a result, grew out rather quickly…

…that’s just as unpleasant as it sounds.

i kinda liked ’em, and i’ve never been one to walk away from free shit, so a bit later in 1996 we re-did, this time with circular barbells, larger diameter, and all was well. at one point i decided i wanted to go up to twelve gauge, so i had them both taper stretched…

…don’t ever do that. learn from my mistake.

but they held up well until one day i was wrestling with calum (rott mix son o’ mine 1996-2007) and his claw caught one of the circs…i made a noise, curled up in the fetal position, and all one hundred-plus pounds of calum was pouncing all over me with apologetic affection – nice gesture, not helpful.

soon there after it started to grow out and reject and so i took it out. six months later (the second annual juneteenth bbq in 1998) and you can swap an ex’s teeth in place of calum’s claw (and another verb for “wrestling) and the results were the same with the ring being removed once it grew out to the point of one side coming out of the FRONT of me.

not cool.

i decided if the world was gonna go shithouse on y2k i wanted to have ’em in, so a cool guy named john, who had taken over for bear when he was out on medical leave with bum kidneys re-pierced both at an angle with straight barbells in late december 1999. third time was the charm!

until 2012 for the right one, that is, which i guess snagged something in my sleep, woke me up, and the soon thereafter started to reject, out to the front, more scar tissue, and was removed. the left one is still where it was put in 1999…sorta.

hard to believe in retrospect that they survived all the stripper abuse in the early 2000’s, but they did…but i swapped the jewelry on the left one this morning to match the new one that got put in friday replacing the rejected and removed one from 2012. while it feels great to be back “in balance” and have ten piercings again the ufw and i agree that if either of these start to migrate i’m gonna pull ’em both and just quit. there’s more scar tissue thanks to multiple piercing attempts than anybody should have, so after this i know when to say when…

…now let’s never speak of my nipples again. seriously!

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