What's the world coming to?

July 06, 2002

IN MICHIGAN, the latest fad in body modification has had dentists gritting their teeth. Members of the state dental association had seen enough injuries and infections from tongue splitting -- you heard that right -- that the group sought to outlaw the procedure.

The proposed ban had tongues wagging, from civil libertarians to oral surgeons to tattoo artists with forked tongues. State Rep. William J. Callahan focused on the potential risks: "Your tongue swells up to the point where it closes your airway. You wind up with a speech impediment. This is not a joke." But lawmakers voted down the ban.

So, mom and dad, when junior comes home from Ocean City this summer with a serpent inked on his shoulder, a nose ring or a stud in his belly button, remember: You could be living in Michigan.

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