There in the tattoo shop, after a long-drawn-out buzzing noise, comes a sobering shriek. The indecipherable scrawl that was on a crumpled bar napkin two hours earlier is now on your left bicep. A displeasing wrong-time, wrong-tattoo scenario like this deserves rectification or better yet, prevention. Become a smart tattoo shopper. This weekend, at the 14th Annual South Florida Expo at the Deerfield Beach Hilton (100 Fairway Dr., Deerfield Beach), every type of tat will be on display when reps from 45 continental tattoo shops converge on one convention hall. In addition to gawking at body art, catch eye-popping fetish shows and live music by Hep Cat Boo Daddies, Slip & the Spinouts, and Hollowbody Hellraisers. Also on tap: an assortment of flesh pulls and tandem suspensions for spectators. Among tattoo aficionados, pain is a beautiful, wonderful experience to share together; for the rest of us, sufficient pleasure can be derived from a distance (AKA avoiding needles and instead, gazing at the person hanging on flesh hooks from a crane). The tattoo contest will include categories such as Best American Indian, Most Unusual, and Best Fantasy. So start sketching on those bar napkins. Hours are noon to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Admission costs $15 per day, or $30 for a three-day pass, and proceeds go to Joe DiMaggios Children's Hospital. Call 954-427-7700, or visit sofltattooexpo.com.
Fri., Aug. 14, noon; Sat., Aug. 15, noon; Sun., Aug. 16, noon, 2009