What did you do in the war, Granddad?

Reading the trending on Twitter about the enormous rose tattoo on Cheryl Cole’s backside, or was that a rose tattoo on her enormous ars…. No I think it was right the first time!  This got me thinking about tattoos and as is my narcissist wont, thinking about my own tattoo and a tale I have told before.

When I was but a lad I was convinced that real sailors had a tattoo, so early on in my maritime career I decided that a tattoo I should have.  My tattoo was done in Durban, South Africa by a genuine Zulu warrior.  At least he was dressed like one complete with tribal scars and an ostrich feather headdress.  The tattoo is of a springbok in front of the flag of the old Republic of South Africa.  He carried out the operation using a piece of sharpened bamboo which he tapped with a piece of wood that looked like a tribal club. . . . . . . . .Ouch!!

One afternoon I was sweating it out at the gym and had remarked to my personal trainer that I couldn’t wait for my body to tell me that I was too old for this lark.  I staggered down to the changing room and after a shower was towelling myself dry when a lad in his twenties who had ‘new age’ tattoos on his arms, legs, shoulders and back was looking at me in a way that made me uncomfortable.

I breathed a sigh of relief when he pointed to the fading design on my forearm and said “Nice ink matey, what is it?”  I told him it was a springbok that I had done a long time ago.  “It was done in South Africa by a Zulu tribesman who wore full tribal regalia.”  The lad said “Cool! Were you in the Boer War.?” My Lord I must look even older than I feel.  When I thought about the cheek of the youth of today, how dare he address me as Matey!

Going back to that Geordie Chav with her tattooed arse, can you imagine what she is going to look when she is my age and her tattoos are faded and her backside has sagged and wrinkled?  OMG


About Jake

Long retired travel writer, author and freelance journalist. Educated at Wolverton Grammar and Greenwich Naval College. Happily married since 1958, with a married son and daughter, a married granddaughter and an adult grandson. Hobbies rock-climbing, dinghy racing and ocean racing. Still regularly working out in the gym.
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