Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…


There Be Dragons

[I wrote this for a friend. I hope he won’t mind that I recycled it for my blog]

I got my first tattoo when they were quite unfashionable. I was in the Navy and even there no one was getting tattoos. OK. A couple of people had them and everyone laughed at them — especially the kid who got the enormous Homeward-Bound-ship-in-a-sunset tattoo. The captain of my sub had one — which seemed rather scandalous because officers never got them. But I had always been fascinated by the idea of a tattoo and, one day, I happened to drive past a tattoo parlour and felt a tremendous urge to pull over and go inside.

The walls were covered with the most delightful sketches I had ever seen.  Every now and again an attractive lady came out to ask if I was OK and if I saw anything I liked. From the magazine clippings on the wall, I knew that she was — according to the Guinness Book of Records — the World’s Most Beautiful Tattooed Lady two years in a row. That’s “was” as in “used to be”. Her Most Beautiful days had passed but she was still quite striking. And very tattooed.

I stared and stared (at the sketches, not the lady) for maybe a couple of hours and resolved to get one. But not today. I wanted to sleep on it first.

I went back to the parlour (does “parlour” sound dirty to you? It does to me.) a couple more times.

“Oh hi! It’s you again! Made up your mind yet? Take your time it’s an important decision.”

On the third trip, I picked out an enchanting-looking dragon for my calf and ask “How much for the dragon?”.

“I charge for the bigger ones by how long they take. £30 for each hour. That’ll take me about an hour.”

I wanted one more night to sleep on it before I was sure.

“I’ll be back tomorrow.”

“I’ll be waiting. See you tomorrow.”

[to be continued… I have to go to work now]