I might not be 42 today when this blog actually makes it to the blogspot page but as I write this it is still my birthday. So it’s my birthday blog.
So 42, and as I sit here thinking about it I am wondering what words of wisdom, what key golden nuggets of advice I could offer, in essence what the hell have I learned in 2,184 weeks? You would think in 15,288 days one would have learned a lot of lessons, good and bad?
366,912 hours is a lot of time to learn something useful other than how to divide numbers on a calculator.
Actually I have learned a lot.
I have a lot of strong opinions on most things, I know a lot of useless facts, can name some pretty obscure capital cities and could if I tried hard bullshit my way through a few specific disciplines without embarrassing myself horribly. I am also old enough to have no issues with stealing other people’s ideas or opinions if they are better than mine (and there are quite a few) and repackaging them as my own.
Most of the things I have learned though if I think about it I could have figured out a long time ago. Its not like I have learned how to split an atom or find the lost Arc of the Covenant or anything. Mostly its common sense.
If I had thought about it, for example, when I was 20 what’s the correct response when a guy in a bar asks me what I am looking at it probably wouldn’t have been ‘your missus’s tits you monkey-arse-faced twat’. If I had actually given it some thought at the time that is.
Problem is at the age of 20 phrases like monkey-arse-faced twat just run off the tongue faster than the thought process which should normally precede them.
So a quick list of things I have learned, purely off the top of my head would run something like:
- Do what you say you will.
- Only take the bus if you really have to.
- Don’t spill red wine on the bride.
- Do travel, a lot.
- Don’t care what other people think.
- Be nosy.
- Double check after using Google translate.
- If you are a man, don’t have long hair.
- Don’t be a gay.
- Don’t wear pink, Lycra or shave your legs; male specific again.
- Don’t write things in sms speak, ever.
- Avoid wankers, they are.
- Don’t stray from the path if you are starring in An American Werewolf in London.
- Give it a go.
- Don’t cycle drunk on the motorway then tell someone about it.
- Befriend spiders; the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
- If you are unhappy with it, don’t whine about it, change it.
- Don’t bullet point lists.
If I was to write this list tomorrow, it would probably be different so I guess this isn’t really a list of the wisdom learned over 40 years its more like a whimsical list of things which I can think of just now.
I have little regrets, plenty of mistakes but regrets no. I do have a tattoo, not that I regret it, its just there, not a lot I can do about it now anyhow and it was this which got me thinking about this blog in the first place.
To be clear my tattoo isn’t an embarrassing one, it’s not a cool one either, its one which I am neither proud of nor embarrassed about it, it just is. It was needled into my upper arm 25 years ago when I was 17, alcohol was involved and also the strange rule which used to exist in England which had pubs closing for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Something to do with WW1 I am lead to believe so I won’t complain too loudly about it, its so low on collateral impact from that conflict it would be obscene to even consider drawing a cause and effect line.
Youth, alcohol, time to kill and a plethora of tattoo parlours were, and probably still are, a bad combination. I ended up with a small colourful smudge on my upper arm and found myself in the shower the following morning trying to rub it off.
That was 1987 and since then tattoos seem to have increased in popularity exponentially. In 1987 tattoos were the sole preserve of rock stars, African tribe members or drunken 17-year-old sailors. Now everyone has a tattoo and I was thinking about that, I have an excuse of sorts, what’s yours?
I don’t know what you think, but I can tell you what I think.
I think if you are Latino, muscular (male) or deliciously curvacious (female) then an appropriate tattoo looks good, you should have one. If you are an African tribe member with a plate in your lip and a neck stretched like a giraffe then a tattoo is the least of your aesthetic worries so you might as well. If you are a German skinhead it’s expected and equally so if you are a porn star.
Tramp Stamp according to the Urban Dictionary (yes I do research my topic thoroughly before posting) is the name for the horizontal tattoo normally found just above a woman’s backside and of all the tattoos I have come across I dislike these the most.
I am, of course, discounting here the really stupid facial tattoos or the badly drawn lines of the homemade variety.
As a brief aside I knew a man once who had a penis, with wings on his forearm and Scotland written above the flying member. I had and still have no idea why, nor the significance of the penis. I don’t know if it was a demonstration of patriotism (he was Scottish) or the exact opposite. In any event I remember him being a dense man of few syllables so it probably was a misguided attempt at the former.
Yes, tramp stamp, when I see one, and strangely the women who have them seem to want to show them off a lot, I am not sure if I should mention it and compliment her on her arse art or simply ignore it.
It not like a nice dress or something where you can get away with ‘you look fantastic’, it’s a specific thing and I think a sexual specific thing so I tend to opt for the ignoring it reaction.
Art works well on a nice canvas. When its painted onto a bulging, bloated, pasty skinned canvas with a fag sticking out of a hairy lip its not going to look good regardless of the talent or the design employed.
I see them everywhere and shudder, if you look this bad now what on earth are you going to look like in 40 years from now?
Anyway, who am I to criticise, I already have at tattoo and it’s their body to do with as they wish.
So after 42 years of living I have a number of things to be proud of, a head full of mostly useless knowledge, a few lines on my face, the odd mark and a piece of body art which wont wash off.
That’s ok isn’t it?
I think so – Happy Birthday to me.