Oblivious to the scrutiny of a dozen or so onlookers, at 7:07 p.m., Joe Amato plucks the 400th needle of the day from the stainless-steel tray. He swivels on his stool back to his subject, Tim McDanel, who is lying shirtless on his stomach in a fully reclined dentist's chair. In one easy motion, the 21-year-old Amato pinches a fold of skin on McDanel's back with one latex-clad hand and slides the needle through it with the other. His expression hidden behind a surgical mask, Amato deftly fits a titanium ring into the base of the needle and then pulls out the shaft, leaving the ring in its place. McDanel, playing a game on his cell phone, doesn't seem to notice. Amato rotates again, drops the used needle into a sharps container, and selects... More >>>
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For Tim McDanel, boredom was the chief drawback to the nearly ten-hour piercing marathon.