Smallman Syndrome - 194

Published: 25 March, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 194, November, 2010

One man’s tragic obsession with the sillier side of tattooing...

Hello once again, dear tattooed friends. Is me, Jim Smallman, stand-up comedian and seeker of the daftest ink known to man.

This month I’ve had two small revelations concerning tattoos of my own.  The first concerned my frankly ridiculous and now infamous Ron Burgundy ink.  When I’m onstage I do a slow reveal of my tattoos, starting with the sensible Oscar Wilde quote, through the slightly sillier Blinky (the red pacman ghost) and finally onto Ron, usually to howls of laughter and if I’m lucky, some applause.  However at a gig in Nuneaton just the other night, I did my teasing unveiling and after the laughter over Mr Burgundy’s moustachioed face had subsided a small voice rang out from the back of the room.

“I’ve got that as well.”

Oh yes.  A young chap called Kieran had Ron etched into the top of his foot – taken from the same initial portrait as mine.  I dragged him up onstage to verify this to a standing ovation (which was more for him than me. Curses!).  Of course, we’re now best friends for life – even if I do look at my Ron tattoo in a slightly less excited way now, knowing he’s not the one and only.  Dammit.

As with most months, another design has been etched into me since we last spoke.  This was on the suggestion of my agent who jokingly said that I should have something that signified that I never turn work down or have a day off.  To surprise him I got my mate Shay at Kazbah in Leicester to knock together something for me – a power switch that was permanently set to on.  I’m most pleased with it so spent the next couple of days showing it off to my mates, as you do.

It was then that I realised the other meaning of this design and had my second revelation  – that away from the retro-tech cool and a point that is known only to me and my agent – it pretty much says that I’m permanently turned on.  Which may explain why so many girls have been avoiding me or checking out my crotch for verification...

It isn’t true, by the way.  That’s my keys.

Don’t forget to send me your interesting ink, contact details below as usual.  This month: a cracker in the shape of Nicholas Murphy of Portadown and his awesome Father Jack tattoo.  I received his email as I was about to go onstage and couldn’t stop smiling.  Or saying “feck”.  Design was by Aaron Lyons of Banbridge, Northern Ireland.

More from me next month.  And if you’re going to Tattoo Freeze come and say hi and show off your daft ink to me in person!

Twitter: @jimsmallman


Text: Jim Smallman