Stick it in your ear Piercing: When you decide to get a hole in your earlobe, what have you told the world about yourself?

February 02, 1997|By ROB HIAASEN

Yes, I have talked to my parents about my decision. M parents positively agree with my decision to be pierced. ... I have not lied about getting my parents' permission.

-- Form given to minors at a California body-piercing shop.

"Hey, Mom."

"Hi, son."

"We're all set for Florida. Still leaving Friday."

"Looking forward to seeing you'all, dear."

"One thing, Mom. I got my ear pierced."

- Phone conversation with a Mrs. Hiaasen of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

IT WAS A small but lovely memorial service for Mrs. Hiaasen of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Upon learning of her son's "interesting" decision, Mrs. Hiaasen had fallen gravely ill. The official cause of death was acute embarrassment.

It was her son's doing. The boy didn't get permission before permitting the young woman at The Gallery to put a sanitized gun to his head and shoot a hole in his left (L-E-F-T) ear-lobe. The bullet of choice was a stainless steel stud. Didn't catch the shooter's name.

Getting your ear pierced at 37 is much like buying a red BMW 325 at age 37. Clearly, a man is going through a "mid-life crisis," which is what people call any unscripted actions a man over 30 makes.

"Don't younger people get their ear pierced?" his mother said.

"What's the meaning of this? Are you trying to tell us something?" his sister asked.

"Are you turning it every day?" said his other sister, the practical one.

Then the dreaded G-word was uttered - no, whispered. "No, this isn't a 'gay' thing." The boy had, however, received conflicting information on this delicate front. "Left is right and right is wrong," is the catchy, homophobic saying. But darned if the boy almost didn't remember it right - or wrong.

What if he had pierced his ear on the "wrong" side? What if people thought, God forbid, that he was ... that he was ... oh, it's just too unspeakable. Oh, talk about the Big Daddy of mid-life crises!

No, the boy had to be sure. Moments before his ear lobe was held at gun point, he quizzed a real man working behind the earring counter at The Gallery. The man could set the boy straight.

"So, if I do this thing, what side do I get pierced?"

"Whatever side you want. It doesn't matter anymore," he said.

"But I heard left is right and right is ..."

"Right."

"Right is right?"

"No."

"Right is wrong?"

"Correct."

Secure in his masculine decision, the boy proceeded with the piercing believing "left is right" and "right is left," which is also correct. The scientific findings were then forwarded to the boy's mother, who said:

"What?"

He also reported that puncturing a hole in the flesh produces what a primary care physician might call "discomfort." A patient would call it "a short-lived but intense jolt of pain."

At The Gallery, a gaggle of just-pierced teen-agers had sworn "it didn't hurt." They had lied to their elders, of course.

Scarred for life, the boy felt that only a winter vacation in Fort Lauderdale could heal his wounds. Get some sun, rest the lobe, see the family.

"What's next - a tattoo?" his sister said.

"Be careful. I pulled my earring once and ripped the hole open. Needed a plastic surgeon."

"Is that the right side?"

No, it's the left side, which is the right side, allegedly.

Whatever. It's not important anymore.

What's important is the small but lovely memorial service they had for the late Mrs. Hiaasen of Fort Lauderdale.

Rob Hiaasen is a feature writer for The Sun.

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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