Body Art and Coathangers Through the Knee

Written by Dr Farquar

Tuesday, 3 January 2017


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I can remember when Body Art was peculiar to muggers and people that wear string vests and smell of diesel. Tattoos have been with us since before Scottish people could play bagpipes. This took ages to learn and that's why most of them went South because of the din to warm themselves around a roaring candle and put on some porridge.

Oh, you mean skin tattoos? Well, once again, from the earliest indigenous tribes, North American Indians, Aborigine, Inca, Aztec (and even today the ancient Briton can be found at Budget holiday camps) and ever since mud could be mixed with water, people have daubed themselves with markings. Why? Some believe it to be a ritual enjoyed by humans to resemble animals in the wild that have natural markings like the cat family, reptiles and Ozzy Osbourne. He has a lot of tattoos that would never get him a job at MacDonalds? He was lucky to survive his quad-bike crash simply because surgeons could paint by numbers. His daughter was not involved in the crash. She always looks like that.

Did you know Zebras have natural tattoos or vertical stripes to create an optical illusion? Think about it! The largest Zebra crossing in the world is in the African plains or the Savannah. There is nothing to hide behind because it is a flat wilderness. Animals that look like an oversized liquorice all-sort, stick out like a sore thumb. In the rising heat of this vast blistered landscape the temperature soars and the ground shimmers in that 'mirage-like' fashion giving the appearance of 'wiggly air'. Put some Zebras in the wiggly air and, presto, perfect camouflage. Zebras are a protected species and may look like they each sport their own bar code, but just because they are named after a safe route across the high street doesn't mean we can walk all over them.

Camouflage is difficult for humans. So we go to Army and Navy Surplus stores to buy jungle clothes to hide in the garden when we want a day off work. People who don't work anyway tend to wear Khaki trousers to disguise the fact they might have a trouser indiscretion if they were ever offered a job. Commandos use shoe polish to black their faces in case they scuff their chins crawling under barbed wire.

Lots of mariners of sea faring history had tattoos for all kinds of superstitious reasons. Christ on the cross was a popular one for roguish or errant deckhands. They wore the crucifix on their back to encourage the Bosun to be lenient with the 'cat' during a flogging. Tattoos were a 'swabs' way to guarantee protection of the perils of the deep.

Yes, years ago, if you had a tattoo you were instantly stereotyped as a boozing prize-fighter. Now all you have to do is be on social security or be car booter.

If you walked into a job interview with 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse' on your legs then you would probably not get the job. The fact you were naked, wouldn't do you any favours either.

Lots of famous people have permanent tattoos. 'Gorby' has one on his bonce that looks a cross between 'The Americas' mapped during the days of the Old British Empire, or that he was perhaps the victim of a ketchup accident, or the evacuation of a crows intestines with a penchant for damsons. He has recently had this natural 'splash of colour' insured.

Why? Is it going to wash off in the shower?

Nowadays, you don't have to live in a mobile home, have sex with barmaids, or watch the 'Trisha show' to have a tattoo. It has evolved into an, 'Art-form' we are told. Eastern Art originated this idea. For instance the Japanese as long as 10,000 years before Christ were using very sophisticated means to paint skin permanently.

In one sense, I'm glad there is no longer a stigma with wearing a tattoo. Anyway, they look far nicer than scars and hide stretch-marks effectively. Old people have them without asking. They are called liver spots.

Just because you have a trendy tattoo does not mean it is acceptable to show off the saggy underarm it's attached too. Tattoos don't look that great on some people, to be fair. Like jodhpurs do on horsewomen. But that doesn't mean you would put Oprah Winfrey in a pair, would you?

Body Piercing on the Hole

Rings and studs through cheeks, eyebrows, or the tongue. Chunks, of steel in ears, lips, noses, and other, less obvious places. It must be like kissing a roof-tiler's nailbag. Isn't some responsibility to be taken by health and security authorities for possible delays at airports because passengers with dozens of holes other than the ones God already gave them, have to dismantle themselves, before they can enter metal detector?

What if they 'snagged' each other, en-masse, at Charing Cross? Like some giant magic trick using, linking metal rings, that went horribly wrong, while trying to get on a tube?

Some of these people must sneeze like a crop-sprayer. Drinking soup must be like trying to catch rain in a colander.

This is primeval, tribal, warlord behaviour. It's done to make others feel threatened by wearing 'war paint' and body armour. To make people who don't sound like a chain-link fence when they walk, intimidated. The only metal I want in my body is a hip and I won't be wearing that on the outside of my body until I'm cremated.

The only cold steel attached to my body right now is cutlery.

How would you feel if your neuro-surgeon and had "Death and Glory" up his arms when he scrubbed up? Or your gynaecologist had 'Sex and drugs and Rock and Roll' across his first four fingers?

What if your babysitter had a machete through her tongue?

Another reason not to have a tattoo or piercing is ….it hurts! Tattoos and Body piercing is the result of a personality disorder. If you did it to yourself without a local anaesthetic it would be called self-harming and they would probably section you.

If people want to make themselves into human shish kebabs, that's up to them. The British punk era really started something.

I guess body art has been around long before we were here and will remain with us long after we are gone. I did think I was going to have my nipples pierced once. Instead I just handed over my wallet and vowed never to take a short-cut home through a particularly depressed neighbourhood again and pass the time with drug crazed street gangs wielding Bowie knives.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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