Tattoos

Randy Marsh and a Crying Drake: People Talk About Their Most Ridiculous Tattoos

Spur of the moment decisions that last a lifetime.

by Chris Bethell
Feb 20 2017, 1:42pm

(All photos: Chris Bethell)

This article originally appeared on VICE UK

The good thing about tattoos is that you get to keep them forever. They're not like gloves – you're never going to lose one and have to buy a whole new set. Once they're there, they're there to stay. Of course, this also means that you have decades for what seemed like a good idea at the time to morph into what now seems like an absolutely terrible idea. Like getting "SIT HERE" tattooed on your upper lip, or a tribal tattoo literally anywhere on your body.

Because Needles & Pins – a new Grace Neutral-hosted show about body modification – premieres on VICELAND in the UK this week, we thought we'd go along to the Tattoo Collective convention at the Truman Brewery, east London this weekend to ask people about their most ridiculous tattoos.

Mark, 39

VICE: What's your tattoo?
Mark: The tattoo is a Friday the 13th owl, which I got for £50. The guy stuck it on me the wrong way around and tattooed it back to front. I didn't realise until I looked into the mirror six months later.

When did you get it?
About five or six years ago.

Is there any meaning behind the owl?
It's just off one of those Friday the 13th flash sheets. So it's got the number 13 written in the owl, but it's the wrong way around.

Max, 28

What's the tattoo?
Max: I've got "FUCK LIFE" tattooed on my arm.

Okay, and why did you get that?
I don't know, I just kind of hated life at the time. I was pretty heavily into drugs, kind of miserable, kind of on a downer, got "FUCK LIFE" tattooed on me. And then a little while later I met my lovely girlfriend, sorted myself out, and now I don't really hate life any more. Life's pretty good.

Any regrets about it?
I don't know. I don't really regret getting it, because at the time I did hate life. I maybe regret getting it on my arm because it's so visible there, but it's black on black so you can't really see it.
Max's girlfriend, Penelope: I guess it's a reminder of how times have changed. Things are better now.
Max: Yeah, so it's still got a certain charm to it.

Collette, 21

What's the tattoo?
Colette: 30 Seconds to Mars – the band with Jared Leto in. They have these four symbols. The first is meant to be a three and a zero put together. The second symbol is meant to be a clock going backwards. The third symbol – the gaps in it mean two. The last one is Mars with its moons. I've been a fan of them since I was 12, and I saw a girl on Facebook put up that she had a tattoo gun and asked if anyone wanted tattoos doing. I thought 'fuck it' and went to get a tattoo from her. Unfortunately it's done really badly. I hate Jared Leto, but I still like the band. If the placement was fine I'd get it done over, but the placement is terrible, so I'll probably get it covered up.

Hannah, 25

What's the tattoo?
Hannah: Peanut butter and jelly on my leg. I have no idea why I got it.

What was going through your mind at the time?
You know what? It was just a really random, spur of the moment kind of thing. I don't even like toast. That's the best thing about it. I don't even like peanut butter and I don't like jelly. I just thought it was funny.

Any regrets?
No. The sillier the better.

Sophie, 27

What's your most ridiculous tattoo?
Sophie: It's my Randy Marsh tattoo. My friend and I both have his face from the South Park episode "Crème Fraîche".

Why?
We love Randy Marsh. We just love him.

How long ago did you get it?
About three years ago.

Any regrets?
Absolutely not. He's my favourite tattoo.

Natalie, 25

What's the tattoo?
Natalie: It's the signature of the Cigarette Smoking Man from the X Files.

How did this come about?
I met him at Comic Con. He was quite frightened because he's quite old. He had a lovely young 20-year-old Polish wife. He signed my ankle and I ran straight to a tattooist to get it permanently on me.

What do your friends think of it?
Everyone thinks it's silly, but I love the Cigarette Smoking Man so much. I have a doll of him, I have a signed autograph, I have lots of X Files memorabilia and I think it's great! No regrets.

Sam, 27

So what's your tattoo?
Sam: It's Drake crying. Yeah.

And why did you get Drake crying permanently etched into your skin?
Because it was drawn up in the tattoo shop and I thought it was pretty funny.

How long ago did you get it?
Last year, at the Brighton tattoo convention. I just saw it in the flash book and thought I needed it.

Do you reckon Drake would like it?
Yeah, I reckon so. Why not?

Luke, 28

What's the tattoo?
Luke: It's a chicken soup. Noodle flavour, I think. I don't know.

And does it mean anything?
No, not really – it was just a spur of the moment convention tattoo.

How long have you had it?
Two to three years now.

Any regrets?
Yeah, I hate it. I want it blacked out.

Thanks, Luke.

'Needles & Pins' airs on VICELAND UK, Sky channel 153, every Wednesday at 10PM, from the 22nd of February. Watch the trailer here.

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