THE MUSIC MAKER
A frozen wind whips in off the wild Atlantic and cuts through the historic granite streets of Aberdeen, and one thirty-five-year-old resident of the town decides that this would be the perfect time to pop a light jacket on and head down to her local tattoo parlour. There she asks a man with a beard the size of Loch Lomond for a new bit of skin decoration to make her infinite selfies more interesting or something.
So far, so hipster. Except this particular tattoo is about to propel the woman in question into the Guinness book of records. It's only her fifty-second effort, so it's not because she has the greatest number of tattoos (that dubious honour goes to a chap from New Zealand called Lucky Diamond Rich - well, of course he is - who is officially recognised as having his whole body tattooed, including - stop reading here if you're having breakfast - the inside of his eyelids).
No, our Aberdonian friend is about to adorn her relatively young flesh with a twenty-eighth portrayal of her favourite musician, Eminem. Poor, poor thing - Eminem, I mean. Just imagine knowing that somebody somewhere on the face of the planet has got your ugly mug indelibly etched into her skin. Twenty-eight times. It's bad enough if your ex-girlfriend still keeps your photo in her purse years after you last saw each other, so what psychological damage this must being doing to the ageing white rapper is anyone's guess.
I've never understood the concept of tattoos. Well, for a sailor in Thailand in 1963, I suppose I can see the attraction, but not for a barmaid from Barnsley in the twenty-first century. Some faux wisdom - 'the mountain is lowest when it's at its highest' or something - written in Sanskrit on your left thigh doesn't strike me as money well spent, particularly when there's a pub next door. Mind you, I was ginger when I was younger and everyone knows that tattoos on ginger freckly people look sad and sinister at the same time. So, perhaps I'm biased.
Maybe when I'm older and sense that it won't be long before I snuff it, I'll get a tattoo just to see what all the fuss is about and if I like it, I might get twenty-nine of one my favourite musicians just to be able to get in the Guinness book of records. Probably Paul Simon or Bruce Springsteen, then - Van Morrison's hat wouldn't fit.