Scared For Life

I just got back from Eastbourne. Forgive me for saying this, but I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere with a denser concentration of people in poor health. Eastbourne seems to be the place to be if you’re physically or mentally incapacitated.

I’d been in Sussex for all of three hours before my friend-on-crutches and I schlepped over to a country pub in Kent for a poker tournament. I won! Well, I actually came second, but once there was only two of us left at the final table we agreed to split the winnings, a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush.


Needless to say, I met some odd characters. My favourite was a big hard biker who is in the process of opening a tattoo studio. We chatted about tattoos for long enough for him to give me his business card.

trible art specialist2

Scarred for life, you say?

Then I took a closer look at his t-shirt: he’d had a couple of hundred made to promote his tattoo shop. The tag-line read, ‘Of cource it hurts!’

You bet it does.

He showed me a tattoo he’d done to himself. It was unbelievably bad. The patchy shading went over the outline. The colour scheme was horrible. The design was reminiscent of what you used to sketch on the front of your notebooks at school.

(I’m talking about the imaginative end of the school-jotter sketch genre… y’know, trible designs, not crude pictures of an ejaculating penis, although everyone loves the classic spurting bell-end, don’t they?)

Out of hope more than anything, I asked him who would be doing the actual tattooing while he was taking care of day-to-day business. Well… he’s going to be a sole trader.

I began to wonder if I should warn him of how many lives he was going to ruin, but I’m a bookish weakling who tends towards diplomacy, so my next and final question was whether you need a license to be a tattooist.


Now: given what you know about this man’s level of literacy, how much money would it take for you to enter his shop and ask him for a freehand tattoo of a boy floating down a river on a raft, with the legend Huckleberry Finn navigates the Mississippi River underneath?

I’d consider it for £50k. It couldn’t be worse than the worst tattoo ever, right?


Finally, I would like to note with some delight than when you search Google for bell end cartoon, it comes back with pictures of Tony Blair. Of cource!

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5 Responses to Scared For Life

  1. mieke says:

    i did not know that that was what a bell end was… go tony!

  2. recoder says:

    Oh, Blair is the very personification of a bell-end, no question.

    It’s a very English slang term used predominantly by 12 year old boys, so you’re forgiven your ignorance. But I’d image the crude cartoon is universal. In fact, I bet if man landed on another civilised planet, the first alien public toilet they visited would have a picture of ejaculating alien genetalia drawn in marker pen on the wall.

  3. Amardeep says:

    That truly is the worst tattoo ever.

    Funnily enough rich, i was asked today to design a tattoo for someone other than you 🙂 I fear it might be the second worst tattoo in the world ever. I should not have this kind of responsibility and neither should the illiterate man from eastbourne.

  4. Ray says:

    1. Advice -> advise, Licence -> license

    For each pair, one is a noun & one a verb. Purleese, if we’re getting picky about literacy, redact your piece immediately.

    2. I am getting old . . . I always believed that a bell end described the normal distribution curve. Maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong.

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