A Vermont tattoo shop is giving away free tattoos of Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose White House ambitions have energized many across the country, especially in his home state.
Aartistic Inc of Winooski and Montpelier is providing the small, simple line-drawing tattoos free of charge to Sanders supporters who want to "feel the Bern" permanently. The tattoos show a likeness of the glasses and sometimes-mussed hair many associate with the candidate seeking the Democratic party’s nomination.
"If he wins, I'll have all the compensation I need," said tattoo artist Tyre DuVernay, the owner of Aartistic Inc. "He's the only candidate we have who'll give us a chance of getting what we the people actually want out of a president."
Sam Green, an employee of the media services department of Castleton University, traveled to Winooski Friday to get a free Sanders tattoo on her calf.
"It's part of Vermont pride," Green told necn. "Bernie's one of the proudest things. Maple syrup is great and everything, but Bernie is a pretty excellent part of Vermont. I might put him a little bit above [maple syrup]. I don't know about Ben & Jerry's, though. No comment on that!"
Green was one of several dozen Vermonters this week alone who have come to Aartistic Inc for a free Sanders tattoo. DuVernay said he has many more bookings still to schedule.
On the opposite side of the political spectrum, Bob Holmes of Seabrook, New Hampshire, told necn's Alison King last month that he, too, would give away free political tattoos, as long as they displayed Donald Trump's name, face, or "make America great again" slogan.
Holmes said he is eager to cast a vote in the New Hampshire primary February 9 for the billionaire business mogul to receive the GOP nomination for president.
"He's not a politician," Holmes said, describing one reason he admires Trump. "He says every single thing that every person is thinking, but doesn't have the guts to say it. As a business owner, I like the fact that he's a business owner and that this country has to start to run like that."
DuVernay said many takers of his Bernie Sanders freebies are drawn to Sanders for his passion in decrying income and wealth inequality.
"Bernie's our man," DuVernay said. "There's a lot of money behind the other candidates. And as soon as the money starts to flow into their pockets, they're already compromised."
As for Sam Green, her support of Bernie Sanders is now indelible.
"I had a good time," Green beamed, leaving the tattoo parlor with a bandage on her calf.