Skin Deep 245

Skin Deep 245 9 December 2014 245

How do I begin to tell this story without being mean to the person involved? Maybe I can’t. Maybe I shouldn’t care. Let’s see how much I can navigate of it before I need to drop the curtain.

A few weeks back, I got a phone call from a public relations consultant who had been employed to promote a certain product that was tattoo related - I’ll just leave it right there at the moment and see how we get along with it.

There was much talk about giving away lots of ‘things’ associated with this product in exchange for some news coverage in the magazine. That’s not really how things work around here - news is news is news and there’s no bartering system attached, but I’m always ears wide open if I think there’s something in it for you guys.

It was kind of going well for her up until the point that she called the magazine “Deep Skin” and told me - more than once - how she had read it for years. More than likely, I frowned at the first mention of this new magazine and let it roll, but by the end of the (very one sided) conversation about exactly how great the company she represented was, she had mentioned “Deep Skin” many, many times. So many times in fact that even I began to doubt the name of our own magazine. Perhaps I should have corrected her but I wanted to see how far the lie would go and exactly how big the hole could get before she fell in. There was even a point at which I mentioned the correct name of the magazine but it fell on deaf ears because in the very next breath, there it was again. “Deep Skin”.

I don’t know about deep, but a thick skin is something you definitely develop fast working around here.

There came a point in this conversation where I questioned why she wanted to give so much away and maybe she should go back and ask the client if that’s really what the company wanted to do.

No - it would be fine - the client had left the whole promotional idea up to her and they would be fine with it. The more she talked, the more information started to surface that was just plain wrong. Swearing blind that they were the purveyor of one of only three of these things in the country, when I could name at least twelve without thinking about it, was the last straw.

I let her carry on digging a hole because I found it amusing to do so - it reminded me of the time I made up a band that didn’t exist to A: impress a girl (not very successful) and B: to see if I could get into the papers (shockingly successful) and some months later, sure as eggs is eggs, a guy I met in a bar told me that he had been at our first gig - and even went to the extent of telling me the things I had said. Which was weird. Really it was.

Anyway, I didn’t hear from her again after that. Maybe somebody corrected her and she was too red-faced to call me back. There should probably be a point to this story but I can’t think what it might be.

I guess sometimes people want to be on the inside of something so badly, they will say anything to get there and I also guess, if the person you’re telling all of this to is kind of heart and hasn’t been up all night with a dog who is afraid of fireworks, you might get a different answer, but the fact remains: in some businesses, you can’t simply blag your way in because you’ll be found out.

You’ll be found out if you tell the world you’re a multi-award winning artist and you’re not. You’ll be found out if you’re hunting for an apprenticeship and announce that you draw every night but there are only six items in your portfolio. Tattooing is an art form in which it’s extremely hard to hide any short-comings you might have.

And that my dear friends, is exactly what makes everything about it so damn great.


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