Darrah Is A Dumb Name
So, I’m to entirely sure how to meet new people. I mean, at my age, it’s kind of creepy to just walk up to someone without knowing her age and say, “Hi, I’m Andy. I want to know you.” I guess it’s always been that way, but it becomes really exposed when you start to think of how you actually meet people. All of my friends are seeing girls now, and when I ask them how they met the girls, they often reply with, “You know what, I don’t know.” I’d like to have one of those ‘I don’t know’ meetings. How do they happen?
There’s a girl from Indiana that I don’t care to meet named Darrah Kinnaman. Indiana is a state, in case you didn’t know. It’s one of those forgettable states like Idaho and New Hampshire. Indiana is the nineteenth state to join our ‘more perfect union.’ That’s about all of Indiana that I care to learn about because frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than twenty-five minutes thinking about Indiana in my lifetime. But Darrah Kinnaman is from Indiana. Aside from having a stupid name, Darrah spent some time in 2008 in Panama City Beach, Florida. She was thirteen at the time. When she was there, Darrah got an upper cartilage piercing. That is how this relates to anything I remotely care about.
While on vacation with her parents in absentia, Darrah meandered her thirteen year old self into a place called Island Tropical Department Store. Here, she got her upper cartilage piercing. Upon returning to her exciting home in the nineteenth state, her ear was swollen and in violent pain. Her parents took her to the ER where she spent two days for treatment of an infection caused by the modification. Her ear is permanently disfigured now, and a lesson has been learned. This wouldn’t be interesting to me if the story ended there. But it doesn’t. And that’s why I’m writing about Darrah Kinnaman from Indiana.
Darrah’s folks are suing the department store that modified her upper cartilage. The lawsuit alleges that the joint didn’t properly inform the thirteen year old that upper cartilage piercings are high risk, and also that they didn’t properly inform the lass how to care for her new mod. The family is trying to garner medical expenses, future medical expenses for surgeries to repair the mangled ear, and some extra green for the girl’s pain and suffering.
Darrah is an idiot. I guess that’s not entirely fair because I’m sure I did some dumbassed shit when I was thirteen. If I could remember. Which I can’t. Shit, I don’t even remember what I had for breakfast. But yeah, she’s an idiot. Why? Because she got a cartilage modification at a department store. I don’t know much about the Island Tropical Department Store chain because I don’t live on a tropical island. It sounds nice though. Maybe they sell those phones made out of coconuts that the Professor used on “Gilligan’s Island.” Somewhere, though, in this girl’s youthful intellect something told her that getting modified in a department store was a good idea. We all know that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’ll talk about why a little later (that’s called a tease!), but for right now, let’s just say that Darrah brought this on herself.
Then there’s the parents. OK, I get it. You had to take the girl to the hospital. That must have sucked. Yeah, I get it. She had an infection that took two days of hospital treatment to remedy. That must have sucked too. But this type of lawsuit is everything that is wrong with the attitude of this country. The girl made a mistake, and she is paying the price for that mistake; but in the synapse of the parents, the fault is the responsibility of the department store for not making her fully aware that cartilage piercings are a difficult animal to wrangle. That’s kind of bullshit. I place fault on the department store, don’t get me wrong. We’ll get into that, but the idea that the store has to pay for an underaged girl’s poorly cared for modification is absurd. This country is so ready to blame someone else for everything. No wonder why everyone is broke. Everybody keeps trying to take that guy’s pie piece from him as soon as he gets it from that guy, who got it from that guy, who got it from that guy. I swear there’s only maybe a three dozen actual one hundred dollar bills in this country that just keep changing hands from one asshole to the next in lawsuits. Did the department store start the issue that resulted in the folks’ paying for the girl’s care? Absolutely, but suing the department store isn’t the answer. Suing the department store could have been so easily avoided.
How you ask? Simple. Education. I talk about this quite a bit, I know, but if kids were educated about the proper way to modify, then situations like this wouldn’t happen. It’s an issue of avoidance rather than reaction. Here, there is reaction. Girl gets infected. Parents react with lawsuit. Wouldn’t it be a wiser idea to have the edification to avoid the situation before it happens? Someone in this girl’s reality ought to have told her that, first off, getting modified at thirteen is a horrible idea; and secondly, getting modified at a department store is asking for trouble. Just because a place provides a service doesn’t mean it is the best place to reap that service. Sure, you can get sushi at the mall food court, or you can go to the five star joint in Center City. Where’s the wiser choice?
Why isn’t the department store a good idea to get an upper cartilage piercing? Ill-trained, under-qualified modification butchers. That’s why. Modification is an art form. It is a study and a lifestyle. It is something that speaks to years of practice and intricate focus to perfect, and even still, it’ll never be perfected. Just because you have the tools doesn’t make you a carpenter. Having a department store provide modification services is like having the Gap provide plumbing services. It makes that little sense to me. Upper cartilage piercings, though a very common mod for people, aren’t the simplest modification to do; especially if a joint is doing it with a piercing gun. (I won’t get into that rant again.) Cartilage is hard connective tissue. It’s more akin to muscle than it is bone, if you study the biology of it. As a needle passes through it, it doesn’t make a clean incision as a needle through flesh. It cracks the cartilage if not done with the utmost care. This is probably what happened with this girl. The hard connective tissue cracked, spidering smaller fissures through out the tissue where nasty little things that make you sick set up camp. Obviously the girl didn’t clean her mod properly, and the nasty little things matured and grew and infected her ear. Yes, the department store is at fault for performing the service poorly, but the girl is also at fault for allowing the mod to become that diseased by not caring for it. The parents claim that the department store didn’t instruct her how to properly care for the mod. That’s fair. But any idiot can figure that something that just cut through your skin ought to have your captive attention. Or am I giving too much credit to the everyman? We live in a world of information. If they didn’t tell her, she could have learned somewhere else.
This kind of bullshit happens way too often. Fuck the parents for being sue happy, and fuck the girl for being an idiot. She deserves the infected and disfigured ear. There’s no culpability in people anymore. She fuct up, now she’s paying the penalty. Kids need to learn that this type of behavior is a bad idea. They need to learn that there is a reason way people devote their lives and careers to modification. Because it is an art that is to be honed and perfected over a long timeline; not something that some minimum wage employee can learn during their week long training class with poorly acted videos that explain sexual harassment. These young people also need to learn that piercing guns are bad news and ought to be banned, and that it takes a person of skill to modify any part of the body; from those as complicated as a hood, to those as simple as a lobe. How can someone be as dumb as to think that getting modified in a department store is the best course of action? Again, I give people way too much credit. I ought to tour the country, talking in high school health classes about body modification. It ought to be a part of health class because impulsive young people are getting hurt for avoidable reasons. Stay beautiful, kids.
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