I always remember walking into a tattoo parlour and seeing the tattoo artist drinking a can of Jim Beam bourbon and coke as he worked on the near naked girl under his inky needles. I thought to myself, what a classy fella. Definitely a professional industry with high standards of hygiene and public health. But of course it is not; it is an industry predicated on social rebellion and so bears the look and feel of the criminal and outsider. The bikie, the Russian mafia gang member, the prostitute, the porn film starlet. All the fun of the fair: psychics, tattoo artists and bearded ladies. Well, two of those categories both now employ the services of laser therapy.

Has your tattoo turned you into a kind of circus freak? Foolish late-night drunk tattoo impulses can leave you with idiotic and amateur facial tattoos for starters. Or maybe you’re pining over a lost loved one, and do you get a tattoo of him or her on your back or genitals – and then two weeks later meet someone perfect for you? Tattoos like diamonds are forever, but they don’t use that line in their marketing, because they want you to forget about that and focus on the moment. Your mates may be egging you on, go on Julie; go on Charlie, what’s the matter you bottling it? Peer group pressure abounds; tattoos are, after all, terribly tribal.

All the Fun Of The Fair: Psychics, Tattoo Artists and Bearded Ladies

Dumb things are done with the aid of drugs and alcohol; your hangover will wear off your tattoo won’t. When you are young lots of things seem exciting, especially rebellion from the wishes of your parents and social elders. Will you be stained with the imprint of your rebellion forever, even when you are old and your skin is wrinkled? Imagine, taking home your date, after your second divorce and a couple of years on the shelf, and you have put on a few pounds. You are removing your clothes for the first time in front of this stranger and he catches a gander at your lurid blue and green tattoo of a naked princess fighting a dragon, which is emblazoned across your torso. The years have not been kind to this image, as they have not been to your weight and skin folds; stretchmarks blur the dragon’s scaly skin and create an out of focus effect. All the fun of the fair: psychics, tattoo artists and bearded ladies; god love them all.