There’s no place like home with tattoo parlors

There are a lot of tattoo parlors in Durango, and I was wondering why we call them “parlors?” Why not a tattoo shop, a tattoo store or even a tattoo office? It seems a little odd when a business name refers to a room in one’s home. – Thinking About Inking

It would be even more weird if “tattoo parlors” were named after other rooms in your house.

What about “tattoo den?” Pass the Tums. There’s something dyspeptic and oh-so-1970s about a “den.”

Think dark wood paneling, shag carpet and a lamp with a wicker shade hanging from a chain, flanked by a macramé owl on the wall.

A den is an ideal place to read Johnathan Livingston Seagull and watch reruns of “Adam-12” on a television that has a bunch of giant glass grapes perched on top.

In other words, a den is no place for permanent body modifications.

Likewise with “tattoo foyer” or “tattoo pantry.”

“Tattoo great room” is just plain pretentious, as is the notion of “great room” in general.

With its needlessly lofted ceilings, energy inefficiency, oversize furniture and wasted space, the once-popular “great room” has been dismissed as “the McMansion’s signature space” and a fad that peaked in 2007.

Maybe it’s fitting that a tattoo could be applied in the now-passé “great room,” given the fact that some tattoos, particularly those using names, are permanent reminders of temporary feelings.

Meanwhile, a “tattoo rumpus room” might have merit. Then again, maybe not.

“Tattoo nook” sounds like a spastically bright franchise that does images only of Hello Kitty, Smurfs and unicorns with rainbows.

“Tattoo powder room?” It’s just plain wrong.

So tattoo “parlor” it is. And that’s just fine with the nice folks at Skin Inc. 14 Tattoos and Piercings.

The ink establishment makes its mark by parlaying parlor parlance into a place where people are comfortable in their own skin.

“We like ‘tattoo parlor’ because it has an old-school feel,” said Richie Rosenlof, the piercer and manager of the parlor on Camino del Rio across from Town Plaza.

“A parlor is where you invite guests to hang out and enjoy. That’s why we have a pool table, Foosball, TV and couches,” he said.

“It’s all about comfort – and it makes it social. You know, a place to relax. A parlor.”

Another name for parlor is drawing room. How fitting is that? After all, drawing with ink is what tattoo artists do.

durango colorado

The Mea Culpa Mailbag offers two interesting side notes to recent writings:

Our good friend Jim wondered why in last week’s column on rural electrification, Action Line took liberties in defining socialism.

(How ironic is that – taking “liberties” with “socialism?”)

“You kinda watered down the definition,” Jim emails. “One has to wonder why.”

As expected, Action Line must take the low road, blaming lack of space for lack of detail.

Of course, socialism is the collective “or governmental ownership” of production and distribution of goods. The government part was left out.

Leaving government out is what foes of socialism want, right? But that’s not the reason for a deficient definition.

If Action Line spent his allotted 600 words on being comprehensive, insightful, balanced and fair, there would be less room for snarky comments, innuendo, absurd conclusions and undisciplined balderdash!

Next, loyal reader Mike Alcott shares his experiences after reading the column about “overnight skateboarding.”

“I have received four tickets in the past eight years for skateboarding,” he laments. “I’m a real estate appraiser in town and also teach skateboarding lessons, daytime of course, through the Durango Parks and Rec.

“Skateboarding “is my mode of transportation, and I will not stop using it as such. I have told a judge this after receiving an $83 fine for my third in-town ticket here in Durango,” Mike writes. “I can’t believe you can recreationally smoke weed (yet) skateboarding is still in the gutter. Quite the bummer, Durango, and the state of Colorado.”

Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you can put a leash on the dog days of summer.

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