That thing Tuna whips out

As you know, since I’ve spoken of little else and at this point you want me to go down like Kanye’s mom, I am having surgery next week. They sent me a strongly worded pre-op letter with all caps like your grandma’s Facebook posts…

…telling me to not take aspirin for two weeks prior (sent one week before the surgery) and DO NOT WEAR JEWELRY.

Okay, Quaker.

When I went to my doomsday doctor for the doomsday pre-op appt. (honestly she is the least-reassuring person in the county), I mentioned that I’ll take off my many priceless jewels but that I have not one but two daith piercings for my migraines that can’t come out of my ear unless I go down to the tattoo parlor and have them removed with, like, pliers. You should see that thing Tuna, my piercer, whips out.

Also, again with tattoo parlor. Have you enjoyed that new hit single, Camptown Races?


“Well, you’re really going to have to take those out, and that procedure has a strong chance of killing you,” said my World’s Least Reassuring Doctor. “Which won’t matter because you’re dying of ovaries anyway and there’s a strong chance the receptionist will go after you with her machete as you check out.”

Seriously. She is sans reassurance.

By the way, that soup picture up there? I’ve been following this page on Reddit called OldPersonFacebook, which features ridic things old people do on, you know, Facebook, and every day I collapse into those kinds of giggles where the dog checks on you. I realize I’m like five years from being an old person on Facebook.

Anyway, after leaving the doctor, who is out shopping for a vulture to hook to the end of my bed as she wheels me to surgery, I headed to the tattoo


to have my piercings removed. There was a gentlewoman behind the desk with a fashionable nosegay, if by nosegay we mean a giant disc in her nose. I told her about my upcoming surgery and the entire place stood up and screamed


and then she told me a lot of people come in with this dilemma. I guess you can get, like, electric shock when you keep jewelry in or something? Dr. Doom muttered something about cauterization before suggesting I get my affairs in order and offered me several coffin liners to check out, so whatever, I’ll do what she says. As opposed to the grandmother I’ve turned into, who refused to admit she had dentures on and had surgery with them in. Can you imagine? Oh, so my fake teeth go down my throat. At least I looked my best!

I sat on one of the endless leather couches at my tattoo parlor

and watched other people look for tattoos in a giant book of, you know, tattoos. I just recently read there’s a tattoo artist in I think New York who fashions tattoos from old lithographs, and dude, oh my god, I think that’s so beautiful.

“Hi, honey, I’m ready for you,” a bearded man said, who looked suspiciously like Tuna but wasn’t. I mean, he was huge and had six thousand holes in his body, but because I have careful powers of observation, I concluded he was ANOTHER large piercing guy.

“Oh, is Tuna not here?” I asked, as if Tuna lives there and can’t possibly have other things to do, like be in tartare.

“Nope, it’s his day off. I’ll take care of you, sweetheart.”

I know women get insulted when people call them honey and sweetheart but I always just love it. Perhaps it’s because I’m narcissistic

[whole room stands up and screams, “WE KNOW”]

or maybe it’s because once you’ve known me for 12 seconds you know I am not a sweetheart, but I am always delighted by it. You get an older black lady calling me those things and I melt into a puddle of comfort.

Why can’t my doctor be like Tuna Helper up in this bitch?

In case you’re not well-versed in body piercing, and I feel like you’ll forgive me for saying I see most of you as pretty vanilla middle-aged women who aren’t parading around with their parts pierced beyond that wild Saturday afternoon at Claire’s Boutique circa 1979, I will explain where the daith is.

Okay, touch the top of your ear. You know the next ridge down? That’s your daith. That’s what I have pierced. I heard it’s an acupressure point that helps migraine, and I called several piercers in the area and it was only Tuna who spoke intelligently and knowledgeably on the subject. Also, he was honest. He told me some of his clients saw a huge difference and some were like, This was tiddlywinks.

I figured it was worth $40 to try, and I swear I’ve head less-frequent and less-intense migraines on that side. Then just two weeks ago I finally got the other side pierced, not knowing I’d have to remove it.

And lemme tell you what. Getting your daith pierced? Hurts for a long time after. Like, you can’t lie on that side for months. So you can imagine how I was looking forward to removing the stubborn barbell in there with giant pliers, then sticking a piece of plastic in there to keep the hole open till after my surgery.

Did you know I’m having surgery?

Taking the earring out on the old piercing was cake. It still takes awhile cause that mother is in there, and Tuna Helper and I discussed why he’s a piercer. As a kid he was obsessed with National Geographic magazines, and got very into rituals that welcomed you into manhood, which often includes scarification and piercings. So first he worked on himself and now he pierces old white ladies with migraines.

Anyway, I won’t torment you with the deets, but let’s just say he told me the worst part would be removing the earring on the new side, that I’d feel “a lot of pressure.” Why do they say pressure when they mean pain?

And let me tell you what. That earring must have been a Taurus, because stubborn? And he was right. It was hurty. When he finally got it out I was glad. It was like 15 minutes trying to remove that barbell up in m’daith.

Then he had to take this tiny plastic tube and sort of…repierce that area to keep it open. And this is where I will abstain from making you faint and let’s just cut to the part where I said, “Oh my god let’s let it grow back. Seriously, let’s give up.”

“Are you sure?” asked Tuna Helper. “I really do hate hurting you like this.”

Maybe I need to hang around more motorcycle piercing people, because they’re way nicer than the I-have-a-degree-in-arts types I hang with now and their cynical selves.

In summary, I have one plastic earring on the old side and absolutely nothing on the left side, as I was too big of a delicate flower to keep trying to put a plastic hoop in there. The end.

Oh! But before I go, June says, never reaching the end, spending nights in white satin coffin liners.

My boss, crnt., is purchasing school-spirited shirts for herself, her spouse and their twin sons who are somewhere between 5 and 9 years old. She asked if you guys would pick shirts for them, and each one can be different or they can all be the same style.

Also, boss, crnt., don’t get mad at me for not knowing how old your kids are. You know how I am. They’re little. But going-to-school little.

Okay, here are the choices.

Here is also a link if you want to see them better than this.

I always want to like hooded sweatshirts but in reality they rip my glasses off my face whenever I remove them, so.

Okay, now I’m really going.


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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

53 thoughts on “That thing Tuna whips out”

  1. Wait. You haven’t had the surgery yet? I mean we’ve talked about it. Ears and belly button pierced. Tattoo on foot that hurt like a m’effer.

    I expect/hope that jist doing a new piercing on the other daith will be easier than poking aboit with the plastic.

    Oh. So when’s the surgery?


  2. This middle aged vanilla does have a belly piercing.

    I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments but needed to add two pertinent things:

    1. I think you need to date a Tuna or his Helper. Or someone like that. (Not advice. It’s my opinion and since it’s my birthday you must listen to me!)

    2. Let Boss crnt. know this is the same company my son’s school uses. They run small and the shirts are chintzy. That said, I like the the jaguar busting through for the young boys and the same for mom in the long sleeve tee.


  3. Loved this post. You write like my brain often thinks…stream of consciousness…with every little thing leading to something else…sometimes related, sometimes not. Drives other folks nuts, but I know what I mean!! Great conversation today. We will be on a cruise ship next week and, generally, without reliable wi-fi. But I will hold you in prayer for a successful surgery and quick recovery. All the best, June!


  4. I just fainted [slowly getting up off the floor]. OUCH, OUCH, OUCH! That sounds awful. You are so brave, June. And funny, another great post. My aunt and I decided (she talked me into) to have our ears pierced. We went to Macy’s in the mall, I had mine done first, she chickened out. I never let her forget that. They used something that looked like a leather punch on a handle that had small gold studs with sharp points. It felt like they just shoved them through my ear, but I remember that thing clicked, must have been like an automatic staple gun. Seems like it did hurt That the only piercing for me, because I’m an old, vanilla lady.

    I vote for the v-neck shirt with the horizontal stripes on the short sleeves. All the family should dress alike.


  5. This was a great post, June. But I got nothing to give but letting you know you made my day a little bit funny. Thanks.


  6. Old-aged vanilla woman here. Got my ears pierced at the mall when I was 18. No other piercings, yet. I’ve threatened a tattoo but haven’t followed through as those things are expensive! I have a nice scar on my achilles tendon from surgery and wanted to do a zipper over it but am too old and too cheap.

    I wish you had told us about the upcoming surgery June. Maybe we could have given some advice or traveled up to wring our hands in the doorway.


  7. I vote for the jersey t-shirt for boss. The bands on the sleeve are super cute, and it’s the only one with a flattering neckline. And I was all set to be like, hey! I’m not a middle-aged white lady! But I’m a 33 year old white lady in an 89 year old white lady’s body. I count.


  8. I didn’t know you were having surgery, why didn’t you tell us! I love Tuna. The people and places you talk about always make me want to move to your area. Maybe I should just check out those types of places near me first though. I love stitchfix voting and clothes reviews. For this I love a nice v neck jersey. I am hardly middle aged in my mind, I’m only 45 going on 25. I got my 2nd ear holes pierced circa 2019 at Claire’s. I am wild like that.


  9. Got mine pierced in college, then got a nickel allergy so couldn’t wear earrings for a long time. Then along came hypoallergenic and I got my earrings back. Gold no longer bothers me.


  10. My fashionable aunt had a piercing gun and did my ears when I was twelve. My 15-year-old wanted the cartilage at the top of her ear pierced and on the recommendation of much-more-holey friends, I took her to a tattoo parlor and I was super impressed by the hygienic nature of their work and how awesome the guy was as he explained everything. I agree your doc could take bedside manner lessons from Tuna Helper.


  11. Never even had my ears pierced. Grosses me out. I pass out easy. Passed out when the doc put contacts in my eyes. Took 4 yrs till I could get them.

    Quaker reminded me of my son Tank. My kids don’t get a cell till high school so in junior high he told everyone we were amish.

    Thanks for clarifying where your piercings are. I thought they were down below in your nether region. Ha!


  12. Was glad to see your comment you are going to get it re-pierced, should you recover. I was worried for that side of your head.

    Also, thank you for the reddit mention, am now following and chuckling at my desk..

    897. I looked up the lyrics to Camptown Song and that led me to Oh Susanna and wow I didn’t realize there was a really bad word in there and I sang those songs as a kid and why do so many things I liked when I was small and naive turn out to be racist?


  13. Beth from the woods having never had surgery and rarely go to doc(once every 15 yrs or so)knock on wood but has accompanied parents to the doc says:

    Can you imagine if Tuna or Tuna 2 had the bedside manner of your doc. You’d probably punch ’em and walk out the door. So your doc knows they have you hooked.
    Usually with docs that are no nonsense their staff tries to make up for it by being extra kind and helpful. You aren’t getting that either?


    1. Actually, her nurse is really cool. Although she did comment that based on my biopsy, I probably “wouldn’t have been able to handle” childbirth. WHO CAN?


      1. Guess she never heard of an epidural. I had one for as my mother says “female surgery.” I was numb from the waste down for 24 hours. I had an uterine biopsy, too. Just to the extra giggles my cervix was stuck closed, I felt oddly proud of myself when the doctor told me I had a high pain tolerance.


      2. Has she had a biopsy done?! Has she given birth?! Please don’t take this as an insult, but I would think a biopsy in your 50s, without the hormones to thin out the cervix, like child birth, is horribly painful. I’m not saying child birth is not painful. I’m just saying there should have been some type of sedation for that procedure!


  14. Koala Raspberry killed me with ” I think of her twat nearly every time. I have never been inside that one.” hahahah.

    Vanilla, slightly past middle-aged, unpierced. My cousin pierced my ears when I was 13 at my aunt’s kitchen table with an ice cube, a sewing needle and a potato. Those suckers were infected for MONTHS. On the plus side, they never closed up. I haven’t worn earrings in years, but could still put them in with ease if I wanted to.

    I don’t need to follow Old People on Facebook because I have M Mom on Facebook. She’s worse than a teenager with her phone out CONSTANTLY. I’ve had to scold her in church, at dance recitals, funerals… last weekend we were at a baby shower and I had to “PSSSST put that thing away! ” my own mother. Her favorite activity is to READ US things that she sees on Facebook. She thinks everything that gets posted is coming in a private message to her. Old people got no business on the internet!

    Your grandma and my MIL with false teeth – VANITY OVERCOMES DEATH!


    1. Also too and etc. Why is boss buying the family matching shirts? Did I miss something? Are they a performing troupe of some kind?


      1. Quite a lot of schools now have regular “Spirit Days” for the kids – where all the kids wear their school colors, mascot, &/or aforementioned spirit clothing items (which can also include hats, bags, scarves, jackets, etc.).

        When there are school events, like fairs or sports events, school spirit wear for the whole family is also encouraged!

        The school also typically uses any money raised from selling the clothing or other items to get new things for the school, like computers or subsidizing field trips, depending on need/other funding.

        The only reason I know about this, since I don’t have kids, is that all of my friends kids have various themed school days/events for clothing & always seem to remember this the day before. Pajama day is typically a favorite.


  15. Old Plain Jane Mom here suggests to your boss that she go with matching tshirts (the classic “Proud to be a Jaguar”). The kids will wear them a lot and she and spouse can wear theirs occasionally at school functions and then for yard work in a few years when the kids go on to another school.
    Yes, I am a mother and a teacher who has worn many an old school tshirt for yard work.


  16. I am a vanilla, middle-aged woman who got her ears pierced in the middle of a jewelry store on Nantucket, in 1975, without my parents permission. I fainted after the first one and fell off the stool, they pierced the other one while I was on the ground. Good times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think, if I ponder carefully, I got mine done in a department store in downtown Saginaw, before Clare’s was a thing. If my father is here he can share with us the charming result of that.


      1. His name is honest to god Tuna. I mean, that’s what he calls himself. I don’t know if his parents looked at him in the nursery and said, “He looks like a Tuna.”


  17. Okay, Quaker killed me. Also I am an old white lady but I’ve had greater than 5 piercings and a tattoo. So there.


    1. I mean, that whole vanilla description was about me more than everyone else, although I figure most of us can relate. I do have a rebellious (wait for it) flower tattoo on my ankle. I’m practically Ruby Rose, over here.


  18. Shirts, long sleeved Proud To Be A Jaguar tees, matching for all. I don’t have kids to match with, I think it would be fun. I did have matching tees with my late husband at times. The My Dog Walks All Over Me with dog foot prints ones were my favorites.
    I got my ear pierced the first time by the nurse at our family doctor’s office. She applied ice and used the extra long posted 14K ball earrings we purchased at the near by jeweler. I was thirteen and it wasn’t bad at all. I went to the mall and had second earholes done with that evil gun in a small accessories store when I was twenty-three (1982, living in Jersey then, doc in Philly retired).
    I have been witness to a tatoo being done and a boob being pierced, along as a voyer of my wild friend B. She did not invite me along for her labia piercing. I pass that wildest tatoo parlor every time I am leaving my shrink and I think of her twat nearly every time. I have never been inside that one. I asked to see the book of “down there” piercings at the boob place. My vanilla ass was just being nosy. No wild piercings for me.


    1. The balls are sharpened
      I still have them. I offered to reopen my new guys closed ear piercing. He declined. He thinks it will look silly at 68. He may have a point.


  19. On the t shirts: v neck or raglan for boss, white tee or raglan for dad, black tee with proud to be a jaguar for a kid if kid doesn’t dig the pink (this is what my son would like because he’s very into plain plain plain, but maybe a tiny bit cute). Pink tee if kid is like my youngest (who would like the pink, but she’d prefer gold glitter, bedazzles, and ruffles).

    I sort of want to get a cool ear piercing, but I’m a very uncool mom type, so I worry it would look silly. I used to be much more adventurous in my college years and early twenties, which is why I ended up with a tattoo I hate. I hope your piercing won’t close up completely and you can get it placed back in after your surgery. I also hope Dr. Doom and Gloom is able to do everything laparoscopically. She really does seem to have missed the day they worked on bedside manner in med school.


  20. I’m a fan of the 3/4 raglan, for matching shirts.

    My daith is still healing. I got it done in November, not for migraines but just for fun. I’m glad he was able to get the plastic holder on one side for you. Will you re-pierce the other side after your surgery? Are you having surgery?


  21. “…I see most of you as pretty vanilla middle-aged women who aren’t parading around with their parts pierced beyond that wild Saturday afternoon at Claire’s Boutique circa 1979” — surprisingly accurate, except it was one of those middle of the mall hallway set-ups and it might’ve taken me until sometime in the ’80s to get up the courage. #chicken

    The shirts: Proud to be a Jaguar V-neck jersey style for the boys, black Proud to be a Jaguar t-shirt for the Dad, Pink shirt for the Mom because it’s probably cut in a more flattering way than the others. (If this is a two Moms household — you only said spouse — two pink shirts.)


  22. If you were to perish during this ovary-palooza, I ask Pam to STRONGLY consider having this on your headstone:

    “Why can’t my doctor be like Tuna Helper up in this bitch?”

    Or at least on a sash draped across your self as you lie in state in Greensboro while your millions of adoring fans (like me) travel in a pilgrimage to pay homage to you. This in-stateness should be for at least a week, because we have to travel and some should be assigned to arrive early to ward off any flowers being sent with sentiments like “she lived, she laughed, she loved.”

    God bless on the hard core daith manipulation, I can’t imagine!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Nice soup June. I am a generic middle aged white gal reader, one who was tragically called Nana by a stranger last week, a bullet I thought I’d dodged by not having kids. Stranger be dead now.


    1. Snort laugh. I had a ten year old’s kid say, “Sorry, mam” to me after her uncontrolled brat hit me with a dog toy while I was checking out dog collars. I was old enough to be her mother but I still did not like it. I prefer it from teenagers, which rarely happens here in the rude Northeast.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pediatrician pierced my ears in the 3rd grade. I guess my mom was going to the most experienced person she knew.


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