September 13th 2013 | Comments

Should a gentleman get a tattoo?

One of our finest actresses – Elizabeth Taylor, we think – once remarked: “Once upon a time you had to go to the circus and pay to see the fat man and the tattooed lady. Now they’re everywhere.”

In a sense, Ms Taylor is correct, there are times – especially when we are out on the town on a Friday night, enjoying a meal at a local eaterie before going on to a number of local public houses – that we firmly believe that we are the only people in the whole world who doesn’t have a tattoo.

We suspect that our erstwhile Prime Minister, Eton-educated that he is, has a list of conquests tattooed onto his left buttock. But then, we might be getting him mixed up with Harry Styles of the popular beat combo One Direction.

bad tattoo

So, we ask: Should a gentleman get a tattoo? While we are firmly in the “no” camp, we are more than aware that gentlemen up and down the country have turned to the medium of ink and red-hot needles to make a statement about what’s important in their lives.

First and foremost, it’s a decision that you’ve got to live with for the rest of your natural life. There will dawn the day when you look down on the Spongebob Squarepants inked across your chest and ask yourself what possessed you to get such a thing made. So, our first guideline is to keep your tat non-visible. This is par for the course for any job that involves a uniform, mainly because police officers with “I heart Bieber” across their foreheads are never taken seriously.

Secondly: Think carefully about what you’re doing. If you’re going to have writing, for the love of all that is holy get it spell-checked first. If it’s foreign writing, you’re on your own. If you think you’re getting the Chinese character for YOLO, you’re probably getting “This man touches goats” and you’ve only got yourself to blame.

Gentlemen, keep it small and unobtrusive. If you’re in the Armed Forces, your regimental crest will suffice. If you’re a postman, consider a picture of a stamp, so people can post you home if you get drunk. And never on the face. No gentleman gets tattooed on the face.

Having said that, anybody who gets “Socked: Sock subscriptions for gentlemen” inked on their forehead gets free socks for life.