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The wonderful aspect of counselling is the diversity of the clients I encounter daily. There are the teens searching for educational/career options. People from twenty to fifty looking at changing careers.

The latter are the most challenging to help while the teens are usually fun/risk takers.

The teens have a whole knew language for me to learn: Wass-up?, you hear what I'm saying? sweet, you know? and if you do clue in you are - oh so gay.

Many of the teens (mostly females) have body piercing in their eyebrows, ears, chins, belly buttons, tongues, lips, noses and nipples. Nipple piercing the very thought makes me cringe.

There are stainless steel rings, beads and barbells sticking out all over the place.

Recently many of my clients have been sporting tattoos along with the piercing.

I am a coward when it comes to my doctor giving me my flu shot. I can't understand the why and how people use their body as an art form.

I called Victoria Malin, manager of the Blue Dragon Tattoo Co. and she was very kind to grant me and interview. Her dad Frank established the business 21 years ago and Victoria is carrying on the tradition.

75% of her clientele are women who adorn their bodies with flowers and lady bugs. The men are into arm bands, old English lettering, sports logos in a rainbow of colours.

The tattoo artists pride themselves on doing original works of art that the clients have devised to adorn their bodies.

In the past the image of one with body paint were bikers, sailors, army guys. To-day we have lots of moms and daughters/dads and sons coming into together. Medical personal, lawyers, fire/police persons, students, pensioners are all looking to be creative and adventurous.

Body art isn't cheap with the minimum charge for a tattoo off the display board at $50.00 plus GST. Custom work comes in at $100.00 per hour. The stainless steel surgical needles are used only once. All of the artists wear vinyl gloves to protect the clients and themselves

Piercing your tongue rings in at $65.& a nose job costs $35.00. Victoria told me that the pain only lasts a second. Sure. There are oral and written after care precautions to prevent infection. It takes 2-6 months to heal a belly button incision. The body piercing isn't permanent- it leaves only a small scar. Tattoos are for ever and can be removed only after very expensive laser surgery.

There are age restrictions-18 with photo I. D,. Children under 16 need parental written permission.

The Dragon employs five artists who have many years of experience (5-17 years) doing their thing. Victoria introduced me to Manson - a fantastic creative artist. He loves his work of transforming the body into a post card painting. For him the back is prime real estate; a big flat unencumbered statement looking to be developed.

Stacia a frequent poster cover customer granted me an interview. She had a beautiful lion with wings on her right arm/ shoulder that grew into a Tiger Lille on her breast.

For her tattoos are beautiful personal choices of adorning her body. Her Information Technology clients accept & admire her for her individuality.

Piercing/tattooing, doing your thing is in vogue. If you got it you can flaunt it.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com