Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Thursday 2 January 2014

Ink and Incapability

It's less than three weeks since our last tattoo story, but this week's papers have produced a gem too good to ignore.
Mum Michelle Elliott, 36, said: “I was horrified. It was the worst tattoo I’d seen."
If so, she probably hasn't visited failblog's 'Ugliest Tattoos' page, but this one is pretty dreadful. Mrs Elliott's main objection, however, is that her son is 17 and thus under-age. As Kent Online helpfully explains:
The Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 makes it an offence to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 except for medical reasons. Robin has no medical reasons.
...as if, given the right medical justification, the NHS would endorse hideous back-street inkings as well as the precisely-placed dots needed to line up radiotherapy equipment.

As for the poor innocent lamb at the heart of the story:
He had the tattoo inked on his upper right arm at LoveTattoo in Dymchurch High Street, for £5, last August.
Caveat, as they say, emptor. And, as if the £5 charge were not warning enough, this is the establishment in question:

(Photo: Kent Online)

The article is interestingly vague about the exact inspiration for the design:
Robin chose sergeant’s stripes in honour of members of his family, such as uncles, who had previously served in the Armed Forces.
If it is a  tribute to UK servicemen, then the stripes are not only poorly-executed, they are upside-down. (The US army used to have them the same way as us but flipped them in 1902 to the points-up version current in popular culture - and, presumably, tattoo parlours).

The Elliotts have responded in the now-traditional fashion and set up a facebook page calling for the business to be closed down. Their choice of name is certainly unequivocal:
The LoveTattoo Hate Group grew to have 518 members but Shepway council understands that the business is now shut.
This means that, as well as ceasing the tattooing operation there, it will no longer be providing the other services its owner advertises online:
we also offer, Dermal filler, Botox,
and we sell items like jewellery, ornaments,
and everything I think is worth selling..lol
Oh, and,
learn to heal with laying on hands on body with the help of signs and spirits ...
And, according to her listed interests, you'd be welcome to pop in for a haircut or a tarot reading too. Shutting the shop may not stop her in her tracks, however; as she says on skillpages:
tottooing [sic] is one of my hidden skills.I just love to ink ...anything...i welcome tatt parties&home visits as i am mobile...hey got one jet? why not
I'm sure most of us can think of several reasons, not least this one:
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. (Wikipedia)
None of this will restore young Robin's previously unblemished hide, of course, but one hopes at least that he has learned a valuable lesson for the future.


  1. "If it is a  tribute to UK servicemen, then the stripes are not only poorly-executed, they are upside-down. "

    Ah, but they'll be the right side up when he raises his arm in a salute!

  2. Maybe, Julia, though it might spoil the effect if everyone else is rolling on the floor laughing.

  3. What a delightful shop - I'll have to pop down there soon.

  4. JH, would that be for tattoos, tarot reading, a haircut, jewellery or Botox? Do tell!

  5. Julia, your comment reminded me of something and I've just worked it out - it's from Discworld('Feet of Clay').

    Nobby Nobbs has a tattoo on his arm saying "WUM." It was supposed to be "MUM" but he drank so much to numb the pain that he passed out and Needle Ned didn't spot that he was upside-down.


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