Thursday 10 July 2014

Tattoo you

Funny things, tattoos.  I'm not too keen as, what looks sharp and pert on a 22 year old, looks blurry and saggy once that 22 year old has moved on a few decades.  And how many people have spent £££ getting them lasered off having decided that "Gary and Lauren foreva" was a really bad idea once Lauren had dumped Gary 3 weeks later?

That said, I do find them quite fascinating.  I'm often tempted to ask people exactly why they chose the design they have had indelibly inked onto their skin and - often more pertinent - why they chose the location...

Take, for example, the Tramp Stamp.  If you don't know what that is, lookee here.  They range from the fairly innocuous...

Through the quirky: 
To the tasteless:
Landing up at the frankly disgusting:
I'm not sure who coined the term 'Tramp Stamp' or why they should be viewed as the mark of a tramp. Anyone help out with that?  Interestingly, if you look up the term on Urban Dictionary, it offers the following alternatives:-
tattoo slut whore tramp ass antlers skank stamp ass ink lower back tattoo tatoo tat ho hoe trampstamp body art bullseye butt tramp stamps back

Tattoos are, of course, much loved by celebrities, including our own Cheryl Cole who spent the cost of a small car on having her arse covered in roses. And let us not forget David Beckham who has practically made himself into a walking art gallery:
I would...

I know I said I didn't like tattoos, but there's always one exception to the rule...

Occasionally, I have been known to take a sneaky photo of a tattoo that really puzzles me.  I did that recently whilst standing, bored, on London's overcrowded Euston Station, waiting for a train.  This guy was in front of me and I really, really wanted to tap him on the shoulder and say "excuse me. What exactly made you wake up one morning and think 'I know, today I'll get a galleon tattooed on the back of my left leg'?"
A colleague tells a great story of when he was in the British Army, stationed in Hong Kong for a while.  He and a mate decided to get tattoos when drunk one night.  So they stagger off to the local Chinese tattoo parlour. Colleague opted for a pair of angel's wings.  His mate, Graham, asked for his name in Chinese characters.

Some months later, they were back in Blighty, stationed up north somewhere and badly wanted some chips* one night.  Off they go to the Chinese Chippy. The lady behind the counter looks at Graham's tattoo and smirks.
"Hey!" she says, pointing to the Chinese characters on his arm, "what that say?"
"It's my name," said Graham proudly.  "It says Graham."
"Ohhhhh," replied the lady.  "That no say Graham!"

*French fries (for my overseas readers)


  1. We are of a similar opinion - I really don't like them tbh - especially the big ones, and especially on women. I love that story of the smirk and we're left wondering now! xx

    1. Yes - I would love to know what poor old Graham really had written on his arm! xx

  2. You have sent me back to one of my all-time favourite albums, 'The Who Sell Out', in particular track 7.

    1. Had to go off to my good friend Google to find out what that was. According to Wikipedia, Track 7 is "I can see for miles" but I am guessing (wow Sherlock!) that you were referring to what Wiki insists is track 5 - Tattoo? Must away to Spotify and have a listen....

  3. I don't like them whoever they are on. Yes they look passable when on firm flesh but gravity comes to all of us. I don't like them on David Beckham either (but then his fine features haven't aged well either, I don't think...).

    I think I've told you this story, but when we were up at a family horse camp years ago, one of the waitstaff had a word tattooed - incorrectly. it was strange word to have as a life motto anyway, something like "Remonstrate" (I'll ask kevin what the word was) esp if you were working at a family camp, handing out tired salads.

  4. Kevin just reminded me what the word was -Solidarity....spelled Solidaridy. Oops, and in fact I think we might have been the ones to tell her. Aren't we nice? Hope we tipped her well, poor woman

    1. Haha - I am guessing the Tattoo artist worked phonetically then? That's the exact US pronunciation - when our American cousins try to do a British accent, I have to tell them off for the hard 't' - always the soft 't' in an English voice!

  5. I don't like tattoos either. They are way too permanent, and often ugly. The dark blue ink on pasty skin does nothing to enhance it really.

    I expect the Chinese characters spelled out something really gross. :)

    1. It must be a joy to be a put upon Chinese tattoo artist, earning pence every day who is finally able to get his own back on drunken British Squaddies!

  6. I think my comment has vanished, I'm having trouble with commenting lately!
    I said I think I'm in the minority in that I'm fascinated by tattoos and don't dislike them but I'm scared of the permanence and would never have one for that reason - I would if it would only last a couple of years. Maybe I need a kids transfer....?
    And David Beckham looks good to me although I think I'd prefer him bare (of tattoos!)

  7. I'd quite like David Beckham bare Jay, with or without tattoos!

  8. Not keen on them either but can appreciate people are fascinated by them and get addicted too. Watched a great programme the other week, Billy Connolly's Big Send Off, all about death etc. A big fan of tattoos himself, he visited a parlour which did tattoos for people as tributes to loved ones. One girl had a huge peacock tattoo because she loved her grandmother who had an estate full of peacocks. She later found out her grandma had hated the peacocks and kept trying to get rid of them. It doesn't really sound it but it was a really funny and yet poignant moment.

  9. I would never get one but they do fascinate me because I really struggle to understand people's motivation for them - I get the girl with the peacocks (poor thing) and tributes to loved ones etc but a galleon???!!

  10. WHen in India at 19 I went off to get my much wanted tatoo and the tatoo man wasn't we were moving on that day I was deeply upset, I wanted my tatoo and I wanted it now........after crying for a couple of hundred miles I was eventually persauded by my distressed boyfriend that the universe clearly didn't want me to have a tatoo and to this day I have accepted their rule!!

    1. I bet you're grateful now YAH! My daughter is due back from a month in SE Asia tomorrow and I'm dreading what "decorations" she might arrive home with as she's been threatening to get one for ages :(

  11. Hi..are you only on twitter or something now? 'cos I don't do tweeting.......

  12. Yes, where are you? Keep popping over here, seeing tattoos - am bored of tattoos now. Hope you are all ok and well. Miss you x

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