White Sox fan sues for backward tattoo

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox fan Gina Bebis wanted to use part of her body as an homage to her favorite team, but the tattoo turned out to be as disappointing as what happened on the field for the South Siders.

On June 5, just before the Sox went on a run that would eventually take them to first place in the American League Central Division, Bebis went to have the White Sox logo surrounded by purple clovers tattooed on her thigh.

One problem: the tattoo was applied backward, which mirrored what happened to her team after the All-Star break.

Bebis, who underwent numerous laser removal sessions, is suing the tattoo shop and the artist for an amount not to exceed $50,000 for the cost of the laser removal, the cost of a cover-up tattoo, and money for the pain and suffering she endured from the laser treatments.

Attempts to call the tattoo parlor went unanswered, and a visit to the shop proved fruitless.

According to the suit, the artist prepared a proof of the design, which was approved by Bebis, and the artist proceeded to ink the tattoo on Bebis' thigh.

So was the proof placed on Bebis' backwards?

"Yes, it seems [the artist] applied the proof flipped over, and that is how it ended up backwards," said Bebis' attorney, Daniel Fabbri. "We can only speculate as to that, since it is such an obvious mistake on his part, we can't come up with any other possible way he did this."

A few artists at Insight Studios in Ukrainian Village -- who asked that their names not be used -- were willing to shed some light on how something like this usually is avoided. They claimed that before using permanent ink, the artwork would be stenciled on the body and approved by the person receiving the tattoo. They were adamant that this is standard practice and a step that is never skipped. It is unclear whether a non-permanent stencil was ever done on Bebis' thigh for her approval.

None of the artists at Insight confessed to ever making a similar mistake, though one artist claimed that he had one client who wanted a tattoo of his child's name. The customer wrote down the name, had the ink done and left satisfied. However, the next day he returned after his wife yelled at him because he had misspelled his child's name.

The artists from Insight also said when inking letters, they're more concerned with the 'art' of the tattoo rather than the actual spelling of any words, so it's plausible that a transposed word could go unnoticed, unless the customer speaks up.

In fact, this is not the first time a Chicago tattoo has gained infamy. Nearly five years ago, Sam Hacker intended to tattoo the word 'CHI-TOWN' on a customer. However, after going through the appropriate steps, all which were approved by the customer, the word 'CHI-TONW' ended up being tattooed.

Hacker claimed that he was less concerned with the spelling and completely focused on the intricate art of the old-English style font the customer had requested. The tattoo actually gained so much notoriety that it became a fad for people to request the misspelled version.

This can only mean that there will be numerous sightings of upside down Blackhawk logos and backwards "Go, Cubs, Go!" tattoos scattered across the Chicagoland area in the near future.