Salt Lake City Tattoo Convention: On the Road in Utah

By Nicki Kasper
Utah… The land of snow-capped mountains, red rock country, terrible beer/beer laws, crazy Russian cab drivers, and… magic under wear?
Salt Lake City is a nice short trip from Portland. I took an early flight out that Friday morning with the hopes of getting checked into my room and set up early. I was set to get tattooed by Jo Harrison first thing that day, and my goal was to be set up before we got started. Unfortunately, UPS had other plans for me…

The show opened at 3 p.m. and my boxes weren’t delivered until about 5 p.m. I got tattooed while I waited, and then hurried over to sweet talk a hotel employee into helping me get all the boxes to my booth. And by “helping me”, I mean rolling 250 lb of magazines to the opposite side of the building next to the hotel for me. It was clear that he didn’t want to do it, but my girl charm won and in the end, he got a fat tip and everyone was happy.

By the time I got my booth set up, it was about three hours into the first day of the show. I was relieved that the magazines showed up, but disappointed to find out that the banners didn’t make it and wouldn’t be there until Monday. Perfect.

Kent said he would text his “buddy” to help me make a banner. [Enter snazzy dresser, Johannes form Black Stallion Tattoo.] He’s incredibly nice, and was trying to help me figure out a solution with the banner situation. In the end, Kent emailed me a logo, I forwarded it to Kinko’s, and it was scheduled to be picked up the next morning before the show.

Now… you would think taking a cab to Kinko’s to grab a banner real quick before the show would be an uneventful errand, but not for me. I ended up with an older Russian cab driver, who I quickly realized was completely bat shit crazy. He took me to Kinko’s, and I told him I wanted to pay him and walk back. That’s where it got ugly. Originally, I told him I needed him to take me there, and bring me back.

Then I figured out that he was nuts. He ended up following me into Kinko’s (a very small and very packed Kinko’s, I might add…). As he followed me, he was yelling at me and making a scene. He yelled, “You wait! You wait! I’ll be back in seven minutes! You don’t leave here!” all in a very thick Russian accent. I could feel my face getting hotter and hotter as everyone started to stare in confusion. I finally said “Ok! Just go!” I thought I could get out of there before he came back. Fail. He pulled up as I walked out. There was another scene, and it ended with me running down the road and him chasing me on foot! What the…?

Crazy Russian cabby and terrible beer aside, I had a pretty good time in Salt Lake City… It had been a few years since I had seen Jo, it was nice to catch up, and I managed to meet some new friends, which is always fun.

I was happy to finally meet Jojo Ackerman, Thad Ritchey, and Doc Dog. Super nice guys! Johannes, Caz Williamson, Ezra Haidet and I had dinner and hung out Sunday night. Our dinner conversation was a mix of funny topics that included magic under wear (a Mormon thing), inappropriate artwork for children’s bedrooms (A father bought Caz’s scary wolf painting for his two-year-old son’s bedroom. Weird!), and “epic cleavage” (an odd compliment I got from a woman walking by our table while we were discussing the inappropriate questions I sometimes get about my chest piece. The timing was hilarious.) Good times, guys! Oh, and… Ezra, I totally owe you a beer.
Until next time, Utah… Keep rockin’ those magic undies!

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