Smallman Syndrome - 201

Published: 25 July, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 201, July, 2011

One man's obsession with the sillier side of tattooing...

By the time you read this I’ll be in Edinburgh performing at the Fringe Festival.  Is all very exciting, especially as I get to talk about tattoos for an hour (mainly mine).  Over the past month I’ve done a load of interviews about my show, including getting the chance to go on Radio One and talk to Nick Grimshaw.  I think the end result of that interview was that he’d get tattooed with me when he is up in Edinburgh during August.

I’ve entered into a bet with the fabulously tattooed and very funny Martin “Bigpig” Mor during the Fringe: Basically, whoever sells the least tickets has to get the other one tattooed on him.  I wouldn’t mind having a tattoo of him, he’s got an excellent beard.

This month I’ve been tattooed yet again by the wonderful Miss Gemma Osborn. As a reformed alcoholic I wanted to have something that shows that side of my personality with the bad side, so she created two girls: One good, holding the can of coke that straight-edge me is often seen drinking; The other with a bottle of whiskey.  She’s clearly bad – not just because of the booze, but also because she is clad in very little. The slattern. I think they look very good the either side of my Mr Halbstark heart, especially as they could be fighting over it.

You may remember I asked a couple of months back if tattoos started hurting more the older you get.  Georgina Roberts from Worcestershire has emailed me telling me that she is 27, her Dad is 60.  For his sixtieth her dad designed a tattoo of his life and had it on his bicep.  Georgina – who started getting tattoos at 18 – was in the process of having a sleeve completed.  They were both tattooed at the same time and whilst Georgina was in agony, her Dad barely even noticed.

It gets better: Valerie from Valonia Tattoos in South Shields got in touch to tell me all about Kathy, who is 74 years young.  She turned up at their studio on a mobility scooter and demanded her first ever tattoo of a troll that she’d seen on the internet.  She sat fine through it and was then back a couple of days later to add to it with a picture of a witch for her other forearm.  I salute you, Kathy.  Apparently she sat with no bother at all, the only drawback was that she wouldn’t accept the nice redrawing of the pictures that Valerie came up with... what Kathy wanted, she got. I bet she’s the coolest granny ever.

So then, it seems that my theory has been firmly disproved. Curses. Still, I know now that I can rely on all of you wonderful Skin Deep readers to answer any tattoo related questions that I may have.

Feel free to drop me an email this month to suggest something comical for me to have inked onto myself to celebrate another Fringe Festival completed.  Last time it was Ron Burgundy, lets try and outdo that.  I’ll have the most foolish etched onto my skin somewhere, I promise...

And if you’re in Edinburgh during August, do come see my show “Tattooligan” at the Gilded Balloon, 7.45pm from the 3rd to the 28th (excluding the 17th).  Make sure you stick around for a chat after if you do!

Twitter: @jimsmallman  


Text: Jim Smallman


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