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$13 Friday the 13th tattoos offered at Chicago shop

December 12, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko | RedEye

It's the only Dec. 13 of a year ending in 13 anyone will see in their lifetime, and a Chicago tattoo shop is offering a permanent reminder on the cheap. 

Royal Flesh, an Uptown tattoo parlor at 4005 N. Broadway, will be inking patrons with $13 Friday the 13th-themed tattoos from noon to midnight Friday. Norman Bengel, 26, of Bucktown is an apprentice at the shop who helped organize the first-of-its-kind event. He said it will be a "make or break" marathon of tattooing for him and fellow apprentices, and he hopes the lines will be out the door. 

"It being the last 13th of 2013, it's the last time anyone is going to see that 13/13 line up," he said. "We want to play off the little kitchy fun that it is."

Bengel, who goes by "Stormin' Norman" while he tattoos, said with tip, most 13 themed tattoos will be $20 total. He's drawn up several designs, from a "13" inside of a pentagram to Pokemon that incorporate the theme. He said the number means something different to everyone. 

"The number 13 has unique and sometimes sordid past being associated with bad luck, superstition, triskaidekaphobia, or being seen as evil when connected with the horror genre," he said in an email. "Thirteen also symbolizes maturity, has significant spiritual and religious lore, ingrained in our entertainment and the unlucky 13 can be a sign of independence."

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