Skin Deep 229

Skin Deep 229
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There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to tell this story, but, because of the comedy value of it, I’ll put any reticence I have to one side and go for it.

Over the last few years, I’ve been emailed dozens of stories (probably approaching the hundreds if I counted properly) about how some of you out there have felt persecuted because of your tattoos.

So, without saying where I was when this event happened (because I guess I might have to go back there at some point, and also because I don’t really believe its indicative of the other fine people that live there), let me spin you a vapid tale of persecution I experienced first-hand that has precious little to do with tattooing. Perhaps.

See, I happened to be out in a bar with close on 150 tattoo artists on this particular Saturday night and some guy of the non-ink variety comes over to me—butchered out of his face and looking for some kind of confrontation—jabs a finger straight in my chest and says: “Hey Hagrid, who the fuck do you think you are?

Which is funny right? I’ll give him that much. The only response I could pull out of the hat was: “Just passing through on my way to Diagon Alley…” which confused him a lot and he walked away without me having to explain it any further—it was only later that I thought a much better response would have been:


But that would have gone even further over his head.

Ten minutes later, here comes another spear: “Oi, Geldof—what’s it like being a fucking superstar then?”

That was delivered with a fair old bit of aggression behind it, but as if by magic, I understood the ways of this place. Tattoos… they are fine. Long hair… not so fine. Apparently it makes people think off kilter things about you. My best response to this was:

“You’re confusing me with a homeless person mate.”

Which he though was quite humourous too and we managed to progress to an extended four sentence conversation about the Boomtown Rats. Sadly, all four sentences belonged to me and because his knowledge of pop culture didn’t extend much further than his arse. That makes it two-nil to me, and I have a whole page where I can tell 40,000 other people what an arse you are, which makes it game, set and match I believe.

I guess more than anything I was surprised that you could still be singled out for having long hair—particularly in a room full of massively tattooed and pierced people, but wonders will never cease. I kind of thought the long hair thing was over in about 1978, but the root of it boils down to an amoeba’s innate ability to hone in on what’s perceived to be the lowest common denominator to make themselves feel better about failing miserably to meet the standard requirements of being human.

I know without a fraction of doubt that this is but a drop in the ocean when it comes to prejudice. Be you disabled, fat, black, short, have one eye that doesn’t work properly, unemployed, or drive a Rover… whatever… you will more than likely have been on the shit end of the stick at some point in your life.

There are movements all over the internet (not so much in the real world) where others are trying to make the world a better place (Facebook isn’t one them, people—remember that), but for all prejudice to be put in its place, all we need is one person at a time to quit being a dick and that’s got to start at home.

Yeah, I can be as guilty as the next man. I hate Rovers, but at least they don’t have feelings.

Be cool to each other.