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Want a Free Tattoo? Then Sit Tight and Let the Bedbugs Bite

Sure, you COULD get a tattoo the old-fashioned way, but why bother? Colored ink is old, outdated, boring and expensive as shit. Luckily, creepy, hungry, terrible bedbugs will do it for you, and for free!

Let entymologist Matt Camper’s instructional video show you how. His intent was to use his arm as a guinea pig to help train dogs to sniff out bedbugs elsewhere, but you don’t need some silly excuse like “science.” Art requires no excuse to exist!

And it’s so easy. All you need is a jar filled with about a thousand starving, angry bedbugs, and pathological self-hatred. Place a film over the top of the jar, one thin enough to allow the bugs access to your moist, delicious flesh, yet thick enough so they don’t escape and start swarming and eating and plaguing all over the place.

Place some paper over the film, with an outline of your tattoo cut in the middle. Camper chose a bunny rabbit, but you can pick anything you want, as long as it fits over the film and you promise never to speak to another human being ever again.

The next step is to turn that jar of flies upside down, and stick it right on your arm. The bugs will almost immediately begin eating you alive. You’ll probably want to panic and pull away at the very first tickle, but don’t. Just remind yourself, over and over and over again, through clenched teeth and while fighting back tears of agony if you must, that these children of God aren’t eating you out of spite — they’re creating art! You’ll thank them later on, provided you don’t chuck the entire jar into a fire first.

Keep the jar on your arm until the bugs are all fat and blood-gorged. No clue how long that’ll take — if the bugs are hungry enough, you might finally have time to catch up on your Netflix queue.

Once they’re done, wait a couple hours until your beautiful new tattoo begins to take shape. It will almost certainly itch like crazy, but ink tattoos itch too, so don’t expect a lick of sympathy from the “eww, fuck bugs” crowd.

24 hours after the bloodletting stops, you might find your once-gorgeous design has transmogrified into a giant, swollen red blob that’s somehow even itchier than before. This is perfectly natural — your body is simply adapting to the blood loss, working rapidly to heal the injury, and slowly coming to grips with the realization that it can no longer rely on the brain for anything.

After another 24 hours, the swelling should die down, leaving behind only hives and bitemarks. This is the “awkward puberty” stage of your tattoo — the pattern is difficult to detect, the bitemarks are mainly bumpy and rigid instead of smooth and flowing, and HOLY FUCK DOES THIS ITCH KILL ME NOW GYAHHHHHRGH.

Finally, 72 hours or so after your turn at the jar, your tattoo should look very much like a tattoo created in a parlor, albeit one that only had red ink in-stock that day. You’ll still have to deal with some annoyingly itchy hives, but your pain level will likely shoot way down. Unless, of course, you hacked off your arm in a panic once the 24-hour swollen blob set in. Such a setback might earn you an unneeded ouchie or two. Luckily, you still have a whole other arm if you ever want to try again.

Enjoy the shit out of this while you can, by the way. Much like a henna tattoo from the Far Side, your bug bite art will only survive a few days before your body completes the healing process and returns you to normal. Or however normal a guy who allows a thousand bloodsuckers to bloodsuck for hours on end can be, anyways.

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