“It’s ancient Mesopotamian Cuneiform!...It means ‘Great noble humble warrior of light'”
The group of assembled journalists and photographers stood in silence as the half naked body of Harry Styles turned to reveal, what to many present, appeared to be a crude diagram of basic flag semaphore scrawled painfully across his chest.
“John’s a Hells Angel and the best fuckin tattooist in Dean Street Yeah!”
At the mention of his name, John shuffled out of his tattoo booth and immediately tried to correct Harry’s assertion that he was a member of a violent motorcycle gang.
“Actually Harry, with the rise in congestion charge and the price of parking my wife and I thought a Vespa might save us some mon..”
“Respect John yeah?”
The humble tattooist’s protestations were immediately silenced, by the offer of a fist bump from One Direction’s Harry Styles.
John had known Harry for several weeks and in that brief time he had covered almost the entire surface area of the young mans body in an alarming mixture of Russian prison tattoos, glib sayings from esoteric languages, and bizarre alchemical instructions. Having spent three happy years at Camberwell fine arts college, John was no stranger to objective criticism of his work, and his private summary of Harry’s body art read thus: It’s like blending the graffiti'd walls of a public toilet with Michelangelo’s David.
“Just keep the tattoo clean and use a good moisturiser to help with the healing process..”
John’s sensible words of advice were entirely drowned out by the hysterical screams of fans as Harry stepped bare chested into the grimy streets of Soho outside.
Having a celebrity client base had certainly helped raise the profile of John’s previously struggling business, but as he watched his latest chest tattoo hang out of a large limousine surrounded by hyperventilating children, John suddenly felt a pang of nostalgia for his old suburban premises in Kent.
It took several cups of tea and half a packet of Jaffa cakes before John’s equilibrium returned after the excitement of the morning’s celebrity tattooing.
“I’ve got Louis Walsh’s ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ in ancient Nordic rune symbols tomorrow, and Sinnita’s ‘Don’t stop till you get enough’ in Mayan hieroglyphics next week, then I’m completely free of these famous mentalists” smiled John as he thumbed through his works diary.
Unhappily, John’s brief joie de vivre was shattered by the tinny sound of Harry’s 24 carat gold iphone bursting into life with the horrible whine of Olly Murs featuring Rizzle Kicks. Everyone present was immediately notified that not only did Harry have terrible taste in music, but clearly his misplaced iphone had just received a text message.
With the benefit of hindsight, it is likely that John would have perhaps ignored the young starlet’s gadget and returned his focus to his Jaffa Cakes. Unfortunately for John he did what we all would do when faced with the opportunity to snoop on One Direction: John snatched up the phone and immediately opened Harry’s text message.
“Mephistopstyles, I’ve already seen your new tatt on twitter yeah, and I have to say I’m totally underwhelmed. Cuneiform is sooo 2012 series it’s fucking ancient. Come and see me in my hotel. It’s the public vote tonight and I have work for you..”
The text message was written under the header ‘Simon Son of the Morning’
Wiping crumbs from his mouth a chill ran down John’s spine as he struggled re-digest both Jaffa Cake and Harry Style’s personal text message correspondence.
“Lillith! Get me a copy of today’s 3am girls now!!”
Rising from her perch on reception, Lilith looked annoyed at the interruption to her facebook updating schedule, her appearance was like a young Edith from “Allo Allo” with added yakuza tattoos.
“Do one” was her pithy response.
John knew better than to attempt to force work upon his beloved employee so he sort a tactical retreat..
“I’m just nipping down to the newsagents, back in a bit yeah?”