SO FAR so good where my two offspring aged 21 and 19 are concerned. No criminal convictions – not that I’m aware of at least – and no obvious signs of drug habits.
Both their cars are still in one piece (a scrape here or there excepted), he’s never smoked, she’s been on one of those vape thingies for a good while, and joy of all joys for this moderately fuddy-duddy daddy, neither of them have walked through the door with half a gallon of navy blue ink daubed up and down their arms. Or worse.
I don’t think he’s that way inclined. I do worry slightly about her though – and I find it depressing that beautiful young women especially are defacing themselves wholesale, in the name of ‘fashion’.
Listen kids, high-waister baggy pants and platform shoes were ‘fashion’ once upon a time. Any idea why we old fogeys aren’t still wearing them? Exactly.
You can give once-fashionable kipper ties to the charity shop. When they’re tattooed to your chest, you’re a bit on the stuck side of things.
Now I am fully aware that I stand to insult a very large proportion of my readership today, a number of members of my immediate family and several of my very own employees.
Tough titties. I think you (mostly) look ridiculous and I think you’ll grow up to realise it. There will be one inevitable morning in front of the mirror, or while putting on a beautiful dress for a wedding – quite possibly your own – when reality dawns: You look like something the cat’s dragged in.
You will wonder whatever possessed you to have dragons and flags and flowers and Marilyn Monroe clutching a snake, indelibly scrawled up and down what were once taut teenage arms, but now have bingo wings you could float a baby elephant on.
Marilyn’s once gorgeous face will resemble Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream. And with the dawning, your very own face will make a perfect match.
“What have I done …. oh no, it’s toooo laaaaate!”
Those hand-inked anchors that former Royal Navy men sported on their forearms? Ok, just about. They were of their time.
‘Mum’ or ‘Mavis’ or maybe even a Yorkshire Rose on a bicep? Well, they certainly told anyone seeing them that no, funnily enough, you actually hadn’t been to Oxford, Cambridge or even Dabtac (younger readers can ask their parents). With a bit of luck at least the spellings were usually correct – but not always).
After a fashion – and I am stretching my tattoo tolerances to their limits here – I can even kind of get those artwork sleeves sported originally and ironically by black athletes – you can’t even see what they’re meant to be.
It might have had the desired effect of attracting attention to their muscle-bound arms – but it also suggested that if brains were on the outside, you could colour theirs in 30 seconds.
But they’ve now transmuted onto the arms, chests, backs, necks and legs of half of the under-30s in Christendom.
What I really don’t understand, and which seems incredibly popular right now amongst young women, are sporadic, unrelated dabs of ‘body art’ here, there and everywhere, up and down the nearest limb that comes to hand.
I have a serious question – who and what are they for?
To express undying love for that cad you had a knee trembler round back of the nightclub with, but who hasn’t rung you for a few weeks? Oops on that one, eh!
This is especially so of those ubiquitous ‘tramp stamps’ across the top of women’s buttocks.
At the risk of being a tad indelicate, is it to distract your chap from the acne on your upper back girls? Or the fact you may have nits?
Most of these odd symbols dotted on arms, shoulders and calves are beyond cryptic anyway but who, really, meets a young lady on a night out and says: “Hi, my name is Justin, I really like that rose, motorbike and map of Africa on your arm, while that tarantula on your lower belly is so cool.
"Sorry? That’s not Africa it’s a birthmark? And that isn’t a tarantula, you just need a trim?”
Before you’ve even told her – or noticed – that she has lovely eyes and a nice smile, she’s run off in floods of tears to console herself with a bad drawing of Justin Bieber on her right thigh (she already has Taylor Swift on the left).
And what I really, really can’t understand, is why someone hasn’t invented authentic-looking tats that can be removed painlessly after a month or year or two, without requiring half your body to be burnt away.
There’s nothing in our lives from cars, houses and clothes, to even family, friends and favourite foreign holidays, that we don’t change our mind on.
So sorry, I just don’t get this most permanent of passions for disfigurement.
And before any smart alecs remind me, at least my legacy of youthful idiocy is located somewhere the sun never shines…
THANK goodness our bumbling Keystone Kops didn’t literally go in with all guns blazing when they carried out an armed drugs/firearms raid in Dewsbury last week.
It was bad enough that, oops, they had the wrong house and suspect, although I had a wry smile upon reading that the poor resident was named Zaffar Iqbal.
Give yourself a laugh and Google both that spelling plus the more common Zafar Iqbal. You could possibly read about a cricketer taking seven wickets in the Huddersfield League.
Or you could add ‘jail’ to your search and take your pick from Zafar Iqbal the armed robber and Zafar Iqbal the heroin dealer (both from Bradford), the three Zafar Iqbal sex beasts (one from Leeds and two from London), Zafar Iqbal the boy racer, Zafar Iqbal the stolen goods villain, Zafar Iqbal the honour killing victim or closer to home, Zafar Iqbal the Batley and Dewsbury drug dealer.
Oh, and there’s also a Zafar Iqbal caught drink driving in Savile Town.
Bless ‘em, no wonder the redoubtable Keystones came all over confused.com and called up John Wayne and the Seventh cavalry – they were spoiled for choice.
They probably thought they were clearing up West Yorkshire’s top 10 most wanted in one fell swoop. But imagine the mess if they’d come over all trigger happy into the bargain when poor Mrs Iqbal decided no, you’re not coming in and I’m ringing my hubby.
It doesn’t bear thinking about and thankfully they regrouped, went doorknocking elsewhere and, sure enough, ended up with drugs, firearms and a van full of suspects.
I’d like to think they got the right intelligence that time, but knowing some parts of Dewsbury it could just have been any old crime den they stumbled upon.
Sorry, but when a police spokesman tells the world this was part of a planned, intel-led operation in the Ravensthorpe area, you have to wonder. The last time I looked Quarry Road (where the mistaken raid took place) was still in Westtown and a lot closer to Dewsbury town centre than it is to Ravy.
And I’m not sure where any of it leaves adjacent Scout Hill, where eye-witness reports of a recent late night shooting remain unsolved or uncommented upon. Move along folks, nothing to see here…