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Gutter Depravity

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Nekkid Nate D-O-double-G is spinning something by The Briefs, followed closely by the Clown Prince of Rap, Biz Markie, with his plaintive '80s hip-hop hit "Just a Friend," when I catch sight of the PHX's supposedly boy-crazed LaLa Vasquez chatting up this va-va-voom vixen Nicole, who has a body shaped like a glass Coke bottle, and a sexy tattoo of an image from the erotic pop artist Olivia on one arm. Seems Nicole bartends here on Saturday nights, and slings ink at Tempe's Rebel Art Tattoos the rest of the week.

"Hey, I thought you gave up chicks for Lent," I crack at the J-girl's expense as I approach the pair.

"Stick a urinal cake in it, Kreme," harrumphs the Jettalator. "I was just quizzing Nicole about the tat biz. Could be a good move for me."

"You mean working for a living?" I jibe, then, turning to Nicole and her figure-8 frame, "How long have you been painting bodies permanently, Nicole?"

"Nine years," she answers. "I guess I've got a little bit of experience."

"I just think it's awesome that we girls are coming up in the tattoo game," enthuses Jett. "Do you mostly end up tattooing guys or girls over at Rebel Art?"

"It's a whole range of people, from kids right out of college to grandmothers," she responds. "It's really diverse."

"What's the wildest place you've ever inked someone?" I inquire.

"I generally don't do anything below the waist," she replies. "I did it once on a male friend of mine, and that was the last time. It's too difficult. I don't know if you guys know this, but your, uh, appendage will tend to shrink up and run away from me when I try to tattoo it. Or it'll go to the opposite side of where I'm trying to go."

"With Kreme here, you'd also need a really, really powerful magnifying glass," snarks the Jettster. "Sorta like those people at the state fair who write your name on a grain of rice."

"Oh, you're a riot, Jett. A real laugh riot," I tell her, then ask Nicole, "Do a lot of guys want that done to their wangs? Sounds pretty painful to me."

"Well, there was this article about two months ago in the College Times on female tattoo artists," she explains. "After that I had all these guys calling asking me to tattoo their stuff. I tell 'em, 'I'll do it for a thousand bucks if your mom holds it.' So far no one's taken me up on it."

"Hmmm," I say, scratching my chin. "Someone else's mom, maybe . . ."

Nicole's got places to go and people to see, so she cuts us loose, and we head back to the bar for refills from Meleah. There we run into our bud Brad Henrich, owner of TT Roadhouse and Shady's, and we tip a jar with him. Also in the hizzy tonight are Amy Bowling of Plush Living in Tempe, as well as two of the most talented painters in P-town: Jason Rudolph Peña and Jules Demetrius, both of whom recently left the Alpha Monster collective to start their own collaborative project called The Minutemen, which they spell "M1NUTM3N," maybe to separate themselves from the border-patrolling dillweeds of the same name.

I score a pint of Newkie Brown, Jett cops herself a bucket of vodka-tonic, and after self-lubricating, we decide to brush up on some of these here roller-derby babes. Soon we're conversatin' with cuties Joann-Thrax and T-Wrexxx. They inform us that the Renegades will soon be appearing on A&E's Rollergirls cable show this March 6! They shot the episode about six months ago -- a bout with Austin's Allstar Army. But the gals won't come clean on who won the match-up.

"I can't give away everything," Miss Thrax tells us. "You'll have to watch the show. I can tell you one of the girls came back with a black eye, and there were a few others who had bruises and scratches. But come see it with us! We're gonna have a viewing party at Sugar Daddy's when the show airs."

"Cool," coos the Jettster, again seeming to forget her new status as a non-bi-breeder-bizzahtch. "I love watching hot chicks whale on each other."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons