Ski Masks (from Tattoo Man),
Good Time Charlie’s, East Los Angeles
By Good Time Charlie
Tattooing one Friday or Saturday night, the shop was packed. Standing room only. All of the sudden, the door opens, a little guy immediately melts into the crowd, and shortly after follows a small group with ski masks, waiving pistols saying “Where’s the punk?”
They flushed him out, snatched him up, jammed a piece in his ear and said, “you wanna die right here?”
I laid my machine down, threaded my way through the mob and said, “Hey Man, nobodies dying in here. First of all I don’t want the heat around, and second, I don’t want to clean up the mess.” From behind one of the ski masks, came the words, “Hey man, Charlie’s right, this ain’t his beef.”
So they jerk him out the door, and a girl comes over and said, "You're not gonna let em take him are you?" I told her, "Are you kidding? These guys take care of their own. For all we know, the weasel burned one of the homeboys, and he has it coming."
Anyway, someone else said "Here's his watch, it came off when they were jerking and pushing that guy out the door." I said, "Okay, I'll hang on to it, in case I ever see him again."
After they left with him, an old customer of mine from Orange County said, "Charlie ya know, I followed you around (I had a Neptune back piece in progress on him at the time) because I like your work (Jack had finished it later on), but let me tell you something, when those guys came in with guns, me and my girlfriend thought to duck out the back door, thinking it was a robbery. Boy I was wrong, There were guys from one side of the parking lot to the other side, lined up, with baseball bats or something else. Nobody's leaving till they get their man."
They let him live because he came back for his watch, but he wasn't handsome anymore. Face looked like he'd been eating a hand grenade, lips, nose and brows resembled mashed potatoes.
There was an arms dealer next door and another guy around I heard would give someone that last ride to the desert for a price. Another time an arrogant ass from Orange County was talking crap, against our warning, and was shot out front, not in our shop. Out of Respect.
- Story taken from "Tattoo Man, The Story of Good Time Charlie's"