RECORD STORE TALES Part 245: Metal in my Ears
and bonus “Shit LeBrain’s Dad Says”
Even though ear piercings on men at the record store were against our backwards “body piercing policy”, I thought for years about getting my ears pierced. Thought about it, never really did anything about it. This inaction went way back, even in highschool I just never got my ears pieced. I came close on summer holidays after graduation. Today, My Favourite Aunt still blames me for the day my cousin came home with his ear pierced. It happened like this…
Summer holidays ’91, my cousin was visiting from Calgary, Alberta. By coincidence, my friend Bob had decided to spend a few days at our cottage with the whole family, which was cool by me. Bob was like family. My cousin liked to be active. He was never the type to sit quietly. Or do anything quietly.
He kept telling us that wanted to get his ear pierced. We decided, “Hey, why don’t we all drive into town, and the three of us get our ears pierced?” We found a hair salon on Queen Street in Kincardine, Ontario called The Clan that did ears (gun-style). Somehow, on the way there, Bob chickened out. He said, “You know, I’m starting my new job next week. I don’t think I want to go in there with an earring on my first day.”
“Are you…what are you saying?” I asked.
“I’m not getting it done. You can get yours, but I can’t go to a new job like that.” Bob was standing firm.
Feeling my backbone melt away, I said, “I’m not doing it either.”
“WHAT?!” Bob and my cousin both said in unison. “You’re chickening out?”
“I’m not chickening out!” I protested. “We all agreed to do it. If Bob’s not doing it I don’t have to either.”
My resilient cousin said, “I’m still doing it.” True to his word, he did. The crap hit the fan when we got back to the cottage. Why was he the only one with his ear pierced? The questions came fast and furious. I was accused of “tricking him” and “suckering him in”. But I didn’t trick anyone.
I simply chickened out.
I still thought about getting an ear piercing, on and off, but the point was moot since the record store did not allow piercings on men. Obviously this policy couldn’t stand forever or they’d never be able to hire anybody. Finally after much petitioning and complaining by many, the day came when they changed their policies regarding earrings on men.
I knew the only person who would still give me a hard time about an earring would be my dad. Sometimes people would ask me, “Why don’t you get an ear piercing?” and I’d usually respond, “Because my dad’s retired and I don’t want to give him a heart attack.”
My friend Shannon promised to help me to soften the blow. She accompanied me to Tora Tattoo in Waterloo, where the young lady there (Shelley) pierced both lobes with 10 gauge rings. I was pretty happy with the results. My dad was not. Upon entering the house, his only words to me were:
“I sure hope those things come out!”
No dad, I had them solder them in. Jesus Murphy!