Quick question: How are you with needles?
If you answered, “Not good,” you’ll probably want to skip this story.
Still with me? Then here goes:
On June 7, body piercer Bill “Danger” Robinson and sideshow performer/fetish model/pin cushion Staysha Randall broke the Guinness World Record for Most Body Piercings in a Single Sitting. From noon to 7:28 p.m., Robinson stuck 3,200 industrial strength needles (18-gauge, 1.5-inch) into Randall’s shins, calves, back and arms, beating the previous record of 3,100 held by some guy in Texas.
I stopped by Inktoxicated Tattoos on West Tompkins Avenue around 1 p.m. to check on Robinson and Randall’s progress. And there was Robinson, sitting beside a cart of needles, with E-Z Lube (to make the needles slide in easier) and gauzes (to soak up extra blood). He was wearing a green tank top, blue surgical gloves and white plastic arm covers. Randall, his pin cushion, was wearing a purple and white lace thong and red duct tape pasties.
They’d been going for about an hour, and they were only at needle No. 233.
“I want to get this done in six and a half hours,” Robinson said. “It’s not just about getting into the record books, it’s about staying there.”
Every time Robinson stuck a needle into Randall’s right calf, her left leg kicked in agony. She was sober and, obviously, in pain. She couldn’t drink (alcohol thins the blood), and she hadn’t taken any painkillers or sedatives. She fought back by biting onto a paper towel covered in Saran Wrap.
“The plastic is so I don’t destroy it,” she explained. “Well, actually I already destroyed one. The calves are the most painful. My skin is really thick there, and we’re going close to the Achilles tendon.”
Next time you step on a fitting room needle or next time your nurse tells you, “Looks like we’ve got to do a little blood work,” just remember: You’ve got it easy.