Terry Prone: My appearance is so startling, I could close down the Dublin portal all on my own

20th May 2024
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Originally published in the Irish Examiner

One piece of advice for Leo, now that he’s announced that freedom from high office has put the longing on him for a tattoo.

Just as you shouldn’t drink and drive, you should always be sober when addressing the acquisition of a tattoo.

This axiom comes from my American friend Angi, a tattoo artist.

The sign on her clinic talks of permanent make-up, since she does eyebrows, eyeliners, and forever lipstick rather than Beckham-type sleeves or ankle butterflies.

She also tattoos over pre-existing tattoos to remove them, in which area one of her best customers is a lad who about once a year goes on a bender, which results in him sporting a new tattoo the next day.

Sober, he has no tattoo-lust. Intoxicated, nothing will keep him away from the tattoo artist.

While hangovers are common, post-drinking-factum, not many people find themselves swallowing paracetamol while looking at a heart on their biceps with the caption “Mother” or a quote from Khalil Gibran running down the back of their leg.

As soon as he recovers, though, that’s this guy’s experience.

He suffers severe buyers’ remorse and contacts Angi for help. Money no object.

She confesses that on one occasion, when she was out to dinner with her husband, she spotted the drunk/tattoo guy at the bar and had to resist the temptation to go up to him and suggest he finish his drink and go home before getting inked.

Which brings us to one of the other limitations of tattoos, which relates to eyebrows.

Getting eyebrows tattooed on you is great if you’ve been through chemo and have lost your natural brows.

Not so great as an ageing action.

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