Smallman Syndrome - 202

Published: 22 August, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 202, August, 2011

It's Edinburgh Fringe time and Mr Smallman is stacked to the nines (where on earth does that saying come from?) with back to back shows. Normal service will resume next issue, in the meantime...

As I write this, Tattoo Jam finished yesterday evening. Fact of the matter is, I'm putting this together as the rest of the magazine has gone to the printers. Jim, God love him, is out battling the forces of evil hecklers. So what can I tell you? 

Not 24 hours ago, in the greatest of Smallman traditions, Paul Sweeney who had valiantly/stupidly stood in for Jim this year, got himself two classy lightning bolts on his middle fingers. We didn't so much stand around laughing at him as the needles came up to the bottom of his finger nails but… sorry, that's exactly what we did. I'll leave it to Jim and Paul to compare notes on that one, but man it looked rough! 

Meanwhile, not so far away, the very “handsome” James (staff bloke/works on Skin Shots with me. I use the word handsome loosely because you never know when you might need a favour in the future) was loving every minute of his time with Xoil. A simple design had been turned into a work of art by the man and as one would expect, he put in some serious blue ‘brush strokes’ through it to complete the effect – I gotta say, I’ve seen James sit for hours and hours at a time but he turned into a squirmer when it got down to the tendons by his wrist that afternoon.

Most insanely though – and this wasn’t done at the show, but was in one of the portfolio’s – I came across a snap of somebody who had gotten an eyeball put onto their testicle. Not a bare testicle obviously. Jim, mate – I got his number! If you can top that, I’ll buy you a Big Mac, large fries and might even throw in a McFlurry for your trouble.

Talking of testicles, without doubt, the funniest thing any of us saw all weekend was Cookie from the Ink Spot blasting out a killer rendition of Wuthering Heights in full on falsetto mode at the Tattoo Masters Ball. I guess the beer helped but the man is a genius – of a sort. I reckon we should get him on X-Factor next year, so we’ll kindly download some application forms and fill them in for him. He’ll be pleased with that. Honest he will.

Totally off subject, back in January at Tattoo Freeze, I seem to recall Jim mentioning that he had always wanted to learn how to wrestle so had taken a buddy up on the offer of some free lessons. Stupidly, I said it was a great idea and maybe me and him could do an exhibition match somewhere along the line. I had forgotten all about that and must resurrect the idea. File under  “total humiliation” for a future date.

That’s your lot from me. Jim sends his apologies for his absence but did promise to buy every single reader that was disappointed a nice cake to make up for it. Don’t forget to send your stories of pain and funny ink to Jim at the addresses just to the side of this... just over there in the small print. See it? Good. Later...

Twitter: @jimsmallman


Text: Sion Smith