We have all made bad choice purchases on Ebay. It’s nothing unusual. But there was one particular item which I am sure a couple of people wish I’d never parted with £99 (plus delivery from China) for...a ‘professional’ tattoo kit.
It came in small silver lockable case, although you wouldn’t have to be a master thief to break through the teenage diary style security system. Inside it held all that was needed to cause some proper permanent make you look like you’ve just spent five years banged up in Pentonville damage. Well, everything other than instructions on how to use it and these were missed out, I was informed, as a safety measure. Makes sense.
So without an owner’s manual available I went for the next best thing and checked out a few You Tube videos – looked simple enough. Watched some fella in America assemble the gun and on the second watch assembled mine along with him. The gist was got and I was off. I had a vibrating, ready for action tattoo gun in my hands.
It came with all sorts of different needles, some with six individual needles attached to one rod – it looked like a torture tool and given the location of its origin it very well may have been. All of the components, or ‘bits’ as they called them, were fully sterilised I was reassuringly informed on the same slip of badly photocopied paper which had also alerted to me the ‘no instructions safety measure’. I had no reason to worry here. Plus I’d only purchased it to mess about with on a few grapefruits. My American You Tube teacher had informed me that the skin of a grapefruit was the closet likeness to human skin and makes perfect practice surface. Perfect in the way that it’s not a human.
As with all toys it was a fad. I’d tattooed my name on a few pieces of fruit and even gave one classy looking piece a red rose; you know the kind you’d seen on a 50 year old woman’s shoulder. But it wasn’t as easy or as fun as they make out on Miami Ink, so after a few days it was sat collecting dust alongside Learn Japanese and Let’s Get Knitting.
That was until one ill-fated drinking session.
My mate and I had been out on quite the all day session. Arriving back at my place about 4am we were fucked. The Sambuca had started about midday and I can’t recall when it had stopped, not to mention the usual coke and the pills. It was, as I said, a worthy session. I do recall it being light outside when she asked “What’s in that silver box?” I answered and her response was “No fucking way. You got to do me one NOW! Do me a fucking tattoo, Shell!”
And with that the artwork was decided, an anchor on the underside on the forearm. So I found a Bic biro, got it scribbled away on the badly photocopied bit of paper to get it working and drew the five inch anchor which I reassured would be “a piece of piss”.
Then a bit of in the moment sanity kicked in “Hang on, hang on! Firstly I better have a quick practice and secondly what music do you want on whilst I tatt you?” I’ll have probably used the word ‘tatt’ being completely cock sure of myself. She requested that I “put fucking Oasis on”. Oasis were already on. She was obviously completely with it, and I had a quick practice run at tattooing an anchor onto my wooden coffee table.
In all honestly I cannot recall doing the actual tattoo. But I did. There were some screams I think and lots of drugged up post-tatting statements like “This is fucking friendship! This is what proper friendship is ALL about....oh I love you, mate” And then we must have passed out. But, not before uploading a few photos to Facebook.
Waking up the next afternoon, I had that really shit painful “what the fuck happened?” head.
Noticed that my mate had left and I was on the kitchen floor. Without really being able to open my eyes I searched around the floor on all fours looking for my phone. Ok, lots of missed calls and a lot of texts. At this point I really didn’t know what had happened, until I read the first one:
‘THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY GIRLFRIEND LOOK LIKE A FUCKING DRUNK SAILOR’
Uh?! Oh fuck.
She still does have the forearm of a drunk sailor. I don’t however have the coffee table or the tattoo kit.
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