Tattoo cool for school: when drunken decisions go horribly right | Jack Marshall's column

The saying has it that nothing good happens after midnight, or 2am for any How I Met Your Mother fans out there. This is a silly saying and I have proof.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 4:55 am
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The proof is literally tattooed on me right now.

Some context: both my sisters were at a recent family barbecue and, because they’re both responsible mothers, when given the chance to enjoy themselves, they go hard. Much harder than me and my brothers.

You’ll know this from your own experience; it’s not the single and childless ones you need to be wary of on a night out, it’s parents given sweet release from responsibility. The rowdiest blokes on a stag do? Dads in their 40s.

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As a result of this undeniable paradigm, me and my brothers were helplessly dragged into their boozy orbit over the course of the day. Beer became wine, wine became tequila shots at 2am. We were thoroughly tipsy.

Swept up by it all, myself and one brother decided to get matching tattoos. Ideas were floated and waved away with drunkenly sloppy hand gestures before we finally settled on a consensus and toasted our democratic process with a shot of Midori.

Spurred on by a sense of duty and, frankly, an overpowering lack of reason not to follow through, we did just that and took the artistic plunge last week. And I know it’s not a particularly heady plunge - people have had tattoos for millennia - but still...

Rarely do drunken ideas work out so nicely.

For one, it didn’t hurt nearly as much as anticipated - one of my sisters had accurately described it as having a bit of warm glass scraped across you, but in a weirdly non-threatening way. Which oddly makes perfect sense having now gone through the process myself.

For two, we were united in thinking the design we settled on looked pretty good and, more importantly, was fundamentally silly. This was the vital criteria: it has to be the right combination of stupid and funny and amusing. Which I think we nailed, to be honest.

One stipulation was that we couldn’t get the tattoo in the same place - we’re idiots, but we’re not complete neeks. I settled on the bottom of my thigh just above my kneecap and my brother went for the right bicep.

It took about an hour to do us both and we walked out with stupid grins on our faces. Twenty-four hours after getting them done, we peeled off the plastic and have been pleased as punch ever since.

Alls I can say is roll on the next boozy barbecue and our next tipsy design meeting.