A Body of Text

The human body isn’t generally thought of as a print medium, but it can be. Take tattoos. I heard today that a man in the U.S. had the text of Leviticus 18:22 tattooed on his arm; it forbids male homosexuality (photo here). Presumably he’s not aware that Leviticus 19:28 forbids tattoos.

I know of a man who had “R.I.P. Mum” tattooed on his arm even though Mum was alive and well – he thought Rest In Peace meant, like, Peace Man. On an airport bus a few years ago, I overheard a woman asking an elderly couple about their matching tattoos. They had each other’s names etched on their arms. They said they’d been together for 50 years so reckoned they would probably not split up, and they no longer had parents telling them they couldn’t have them. I thought that was kinda cool.

Even though I spent 10 years in the Navy, I don’t have any tattoos and I’d have to be very drunk indeed to have one now. I really dislike heavily tattooed bodies but I don’t mind the odd discrete etching. Once, in the back of a Hong Kong taxi, a mate’s girlfriend flashed me the little dolphin on her buttock. It was over 20 years ago but still strikes me as a rather erotic moment, which probably makes me sound a bit of a saddo.

If being jabbed with a needle hundreds of times doesn’t appeal, you could wear a witty t-shirt instead. And, unlike a tattoo, you can change it easily when you get bored. A Facebook friend-of-a-friend in the U.S. wrote this on her page today:

“Just saw a young man at the gym wearing a shirt that said, “I heart bush” and thought, “I really hope he means p*ssy”.”

Other t-shirt captions I’ve seen and liked recently include:

Dyslexics Untie

I’m not a complete idiot; some parts are missing.

“The trouble with being punctual is that no-one’s there to appreciate it.” Franklin P. Jones.

Bomb disposal expert. If you see me running, try to keep up.

Men and women are from Earth. Deal with it.

Practice safe food; use condiments.

Please send me your favourites (that’s a request not a t-shirt slogan).

What would you have tattooed on yourself? On your worst enemy?


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog featuring the self-deprecating humour of James Blunt. An article about him in the Sunday Times Magazine this week talked about exactly that (among other things about him) and gave some of the same examples. You read it here first, free! (I’d be flattered if they’re reading my blog to get ideas but it seems unlikely).


2 Responses to “A Body of Text”

  1. I bought a litre of tippex yesterday. Big mistake.

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