Garmin points the way to Mercy Seat.

Turn Left for Exposure 

Garmin points the way to Mercy Seat.

We already know that the portable navigation devices made by Olathe-based Garmin can kill Godzilla-type monsters. Thanks to ads that began during this year's Super Bowl, we understand that Garmin can turn you into a 100-foot-tall, monster-slaying superhero — and still help you from getting lost on your way to the West Bottoms.

Garmin's most recent print campaign shows that its GPS device is manly enough to draw respect from tough guys. That's the idea from a magazine ad running in Outside and other publications: In it, biceps-baring guys cringe at the sight of a bald guy getting a tattoo of a $482 Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx.

But take at look at the ad's setting. We here at the Department of Burnt Ends didn't need a computerized map to tell us that we'd been inside that tattoo parlor before: Mercy Seat tattoo studio at 16th Street and Grand. The ink artist? That's Mercy Seat tattoer Andrew Milko. And the jacked tattooed extra in the paperboy hat lingering in the background? That's DJ Rico, who spins a Thursday-night punk residency at Karma.

Milko says the ads were shot in January by Garmin's in-house ad team. Most of the muscleheads were cast by the company. But he added Rico as a walk-on when the art director said the scene needed more beef.

Milko's only stipulation: The ad had to follow health codes. He wore surgical gloves, and his tools were assembled and sanitized according to regulation, even though no blood was drawn. "It annoys me when people use tattoos and don't put effort into how realistic the scene looks," Milko says.

For their trouble, Milko and Rico each scored a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. Milko admits that he has yet to open his. "I should probably give mine to my wife. She gets lost a lot," Milko jokes. But he and his lady know Kansas City's layout too well to need a Garmin. "We go places, and I'm like, shit, I have a GPS. But I guess I don't need it in midtown Kansas City."

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