I realise that that might have sounded sarcastic, but no, I think they're great - I have tattoos, Mrs Dandy has tattoos, the Mini-Dandy wants tattoos. I've even designed the odd one (the very odd one in some cases)
Tattoos, tattoos, tattoos...
There are a few things that are still legal that are so divisive, there are two standpoints, you either love them or you hate them. No, hang on, that's Marmite... Marmite AND tattoos? Actually no, there are three standpoints, People either love, hate, or have no strong opinion on them at all.
Sorry, I came over a bit 'Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition' there didn't I?
Right, today's Blog's going well so far isn't it? Do you get the feeling that I haven'y really thunk it through?
Do you know someone with a tattoo? I don't mean one jabbed into their skin with a pin melted into a toothbrush handle by someone called Fat Malcky in the exercise yard of your local Government internment Centre during Exercise Hour. I mean a work of art, often costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds, performed by a qualified, registered artist under sanitary conditions with some degree of skill.
Is that person a baby-eating psychopath? Chances are that they aren't, chances are that they're well adjusted people who would not think twice about giving you their last carrot if you were short of one for your Sunday Lunch, or for use during a quiet night in on your own (Either way, they won't want it back).
So why the general vilification of the tattooed?
Well, I think it might be because the general populace, the huddled masses, Jane and Johnny Vanilla, can't tell the difference between tattooed people and people with tattoos.
What do you mean you don't know the difference either? C'mon people, work with me here!
Tattooed people are those who think about it first, ponder long and hard whether they should get some ink, think carefully about the content and placement, decide how it can be covered if that's a concern for them in their chosen sphere of employment, save up the money, listen to the artist's opinions and suggestions about subtle changes that can be made to improve the design, sit quietly and still, biting their lips as the job is done, then religiously following the aftercare instructions and ending up with a product that they're all to happy to show off.
People who have tattoos are those who, for instance, after Jeremy Kyle has finished, think 'I know, I'll have a duck tattooed on my eyelid'. Hunt down the back of the sofa, fail to find enough cash, raid their kids' piggy-banks for the fiver required to get it done by 'Our Sonia's boyfriend's brother' who does it in his bedroom at his Mum's house with a kit he bought from eBay, get the bus to some dismal Council Estate, wait for the shell-suited scrote to get back from scoring himself some weed, find out that he doesn't know what a duck looks like and then get convinced that what they really want is to have his thirteen year old, pregnant, girlfriend kiss your backside and then get it tattooed over, Manage to get the price down to three-fifty by showing him their cleanest Primark bra (But not doing what he wanted them to do to get it for free, because even they have standards), then going back to their council flat, letting it get infected and scratch at it until it looks like Nigel Lawson.
Easy mistake to make for the uninitiated I suppose...
As is becoming traditional, I leave you with a story told to me by a tattooist of my aquaintance.
One, quiet, sunny afternoon, a squaddie came into his shop and asked for his unit's insignia to be tattooed on or about his person. First of all, he didn't have a copy of what he wanted, so the artist Googled it and printed it out. He couldn't decide whether he wanted it black and white, or full colour, so the artist quickly did a black and white copy so that he could choose.
Then he couldn't decide where he wanted it, and after about three quarters of an hour, he decided to have it on his bicep. He took another half an hour to decide how big he wanted it.
After all of these questions, the artist thought that maybe a tattoo wasn't for this particular person and tried to convince him to go away and think about it, but try as he might, the squaddie was immovable, he wanted it done, and done now, so that it was healed for when he was sent back to... Erm... Afghanistan or wherever.
So an hour and a half later, the deed was done, the squaddie was happy, the artist was happy that the squaddie was happy, money changed hands and they went their seperate ways.
All was well until the next day when the phone rang at the studio.
'Hello, Circling Dragon Tattoos, how can we make you more attractive?'
'Oh, Hi, I came in yesterday and you tattooed my unit's insignia on my arm?'
'Yes, I remember... Is there a problem?'
'No, no, it's great, really, there's just one thing...'
'OK, what's that?'
'Well I've tried on my fatigues shirt, and it won't roll up high enough to show it off, so I wondered if you could move it down onto my forearm, .'
The tattooist was still laughing when he put the phone down, walked out of the shop, and threw himself under a bus.