Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beer and Tattoos

Beer and tattoos - twin symbols of the British summer. I was struck by this thought the other day when - in the midst of this spring heatwave we're currently enjoying - I drove past and individual dressed - if that's the word - in shorts and sleeveless t-shirt, proudly displaying his tattoos as he nonchalantly swigged from a can of strong lager. That's one of the drawbacks of sunny weather, it encourages men of a certain age to start taking their clothes off and showing us all their beer bellies and awful tattoos. Not to mention body piercings. They also seem to think that once the temperature climbs above seventeen Celsius, it's OK to wander around in public swilling alcohol from the can. Now, I know that I'm sounding like a Daily Mail reader here, and maybe it's an age thing, but standards of public behaviour really do seem to be declining alarmingly.

Trust me, I'm not calling for a return to the days when men all wandered around in suits and ties, regardless of the weather, but I feel that we should take some pride in our appearances when in public. If not for the sake of your own self-respect, then simply for the benefit of anyone else you might encounter. I can't be alone, surely, in having no desire to see other people's grossly obese wobbling bellies and grotesquely fatty thighs on public display? As for tattoos, well, I've never understood why anyone would want to mutilate their skin in such a way. I remember the days when only sailors had tattoos. Which, I suppose, was understandable - once you've exhausted the possibilities of rum, buggery and the lash, you have to find something to entertain yourself with on those long sea voyages. What happened to the days when tattoos and body piercings were seen as the sign of savagery? Isn't it about time we started to reassert some civilised values? (Jesus, at this rate I'm going to be writing Daily Mail editorials before the month is out...)



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