Paul Sweeney - 209

Published: 05 March, 2012 - Featured in Skin Deep 209, March, 2012

With Mr Smallman being busier than ever, it is with much sadness that we have had to part ways for the time being. We wish Jim only the very best in everything he does. He leaves behind a big hole, one that can only be filled by The Flying Squad. That’s right… it’s The Sweeney.

Before I get started, for those of you still brave enough to be reading beyond the obvious Tina Turner title wordplay, this might be an appropriate opportunity to take a minute and succumb to the overwhelming temptation to scream “WHAT’S LOVE GOT TATTOO, GOT TATTOO WITH IT!”

Come on, be honest, that did feel good! Don’t feel ashamed, I bet some of you even had yourselves a little Private Dance(r). Ok, I’m done now. No seriously, I’m Turner(ing) over a new leaf! Ok, ok I’m genuinely done now… I promise…

So, apart from being a catchy title for my very first column, and clearly encapsulating my newly found fondness for Tina Turner puns, what has love got tattoo with it? Sitting in the front room of my male-dominated South West London abode, the day after valentines day (LOVE or HATE, it affects us all), I can’t help but be distracted by the presence of a single red rose in a half full (optimist) pint glass (classy). I hasten to add, this isn’t my rose, this anonymous offering is sadly not from one of my admirers, or even more believably, my Mum. Regardless, I still recognise this solitary rose as a thing of beauty, but it won’t last forever.

So if you really like someone, get tattooed you pussy! Obviously, if you’re not at 18 notches on the old life post yet, stick to flowers and chocolates for now. And whatever you do, no matter how much you love them, never – NEVER – get your first, second, or for that matter, any girlfriend/boyfriend name tattooed anywhere on your body. EVER! The only exception to this rule is if it’s the 1940s, you’re going off to fight the Nazis in WWII (yep, I mentioned the war and Nazis in my first/ maybe last article) and you’re not sure if you’ll return.

You’ve not known the woman you’re in love with for long enough to propose, but you promise when you return a hero you will make an honest woman of her. As a symbol of your undying love, you have her first name tattooed upon the left side of your chest, as an eternal reminder that your heart will always belong to her. But, it’s not the 1940s anymore. So unless you build a time machine, travel back in time, fall in love with a woman who could be your grandma, timing your call to arms conveniently before you get to know your lover well enough to propose, and then risk your life in a war you already know the result of… I guess it’s never going to happen?

Plus, it’s a lot of effort just for a tattoo.


Text: Paul Sweeney