Saturday 1 October 2016

Comment: 'I'm happy to approach the rest of my life with the belief that anyone with a tattoo should be avoided if at all possible'

John Masterson

Published 12/09/2016 | 02:30

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Facebook is one of those things I dabble in. I might look at it once a day and am firmly of the belief that if I am not careful I have all of the characteristics that would turn me into a 24/7 addict.

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When you see a talented twenty-something about to do something stupid on Facebook, what should you do? The appropriate reaction is probably not to panic and phone the highly educated self-supporting mature adult's parents to tell them the light of their lives is about to get a tattoo.

What could we do? The days of stopping pocket money are long gone and sadly it is illegal to put a mature adult in a straitjacket.

I do not have many prejudices about appearance but I will never accept inking one's skin. I know I would never employ anyone with a visible tattoo. Fashions come and go, but it is easy to throw out a pair of bell-bottomed jeans.

Recently, I made my way up through the traffic to place self and bike at the lights ready for an unobstructed take-off. I was feeling smug. Out of nowhere, a miniscule Nissan approached from the left and practically cut my nose off. I felt the wind of the car and thought 'what an idiot'.

The image of the man driving is etched in my mind. Thirtyish, fat, unfit and both arms were tattooed. Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, I usually suspect that anyone heavily tattooed is as thick as two short planks and this man fitted my stereotype.

This was the road that this smart young Facebook woman was intending to travel. Who knows where it would end? Over a meal with her parents, she threatened me with all sorts of things I did not understand but amounted to banning me from ever seeing anything she ever posted again. The parents took the sensible approach of realising there was nothing they could do about it.

Try as I might, I never got close to understanding why she was doing it. Did she think it attractive? Was it part of being a musician? Was it her artistic side? Or a rebellious side? I never got past knowing that there was a generation gap and there were no bridges.

There is one flaw in my prejudice and it is the fact that many bikers appear to have fallen foul of the tattoo artist. Bikers tend to be fun, bright, considerate, interesting and these are positive attributes in my book. I remain quite happy to approach the rest of my life with the useful belief that anyone with a tattoo, who does not own a motorbike, should be avoided if at all possible.

Sunday Independent

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