Friday, 16 June 2017

End of Season Roller Round-Up 2016/17

I've only told a few close friends this up until now, but I think it's about time a few more of you were made aware of my plans for this coming autumn...

I've decided to change my field of work. Enough of barely scraping by working for The Man. I'm striking out on my own. It's the only way I'm ever going to have a chance of getting rich. Enough of the crushing clockwatching tick-tock-tedium of 9 to 5. My dreams are going to become real!

In September, I shall be opening a new tattoo parlour on Shirley High Street. I'm going to call it "I TA-TA-TATTOO Ü". To this end, I've been interviewing potential tattooists. This afternoon, a lad called Ryan called in. I asked him to show me what he could do by giving me a temporary tattoo on my forearm. I drew a roller in my notebook and instructed him to add a wolf to the face of the roller. I sat back, closed my eyes, and let him get on with it.

I must have dozed off, because an hour later, I opened my eyes, glanced down, and this is what I saw:

Is that a toilet roll?!
I couldn't believe it! Not only had Ryan copied my notebook drawing EXACTLY, but he'd also used permanent ink! I now have the world's worst tattoo...

But life goes on, and my next task before the grand opening of I TA-TA-TATTOO Ü is to create an online catalogue of potential tattoos for my future customers. The market for mystical beasts, tribal symbols, messages of love, English roses, upside-down crosses, burning skulls, etc, is well saturated, especially in Shirley, so I needed an original angle.

I decided to try and create a new market for football club groundsmen. Wouldn't they just love a "sleeve" full of rusty rollers, turf prodders and line-marking equipment? I decided to look through my photos from the second half of last season for inspiration for the catalogue, and I think I've come up with a few winners.

Firstly, the life model for my own forearm mistake was Whitchurch United's fairly standard, but effective roller. I've called it KRUSHA! in the catalogue. It's a simple, classic design. For a few quid extra, we can add a wolf to the face of the roller...

If you already have a reasonably full sleeve, we can add a small (but perfectly formed) roller in to a suitable gap on your arm. The life model for this is what we've christened the Cockalorum from Hamble Club. I think the Cockalorum would look good with a cartoon wizard drawn on its smooth surface, but as the customer rules, we can add anything you like - perhaps a scorpion or a snorting bull or a pair of fish, inspired by your personal zodiac sign? Or would you prefer something a little more niche, like Jose Salomon Rondon's face superimposed on a crisp?

If you want a roller design running the length of your forearm, we'll be recommending Banstead Athletic's rusty beast. I wanted to call this one Mr Sausage, but I was dissuaded from using this name, as my business partners considered it a bit risqué. We settled on Saucy Boy in the end. We can do the handles on this one in your own club's colours if you like, although we will insist that the main body is half grey, half rust, just like the original roller.

If you fancy something a little different from our regular roller designs, perhaps you'd like us to tattoo a rope-rolling machine on to your right shoulder blade? We found this one out in the Hampshire countryside at Upham. Our thought process for naming this one went something like this: Countryside > Country Music > Glen Campbell > Wichita Lineman > Wichita Ropeman. So, Wichita Ropeman it is...

It's a fairly complicated design, so it will be one of our more expensive tattoos. However, if you love both rope roller-uppers and country music, we're absolutely sure you'll love this!

The roller we found at Cowes Sports on the Isle of Wight was seemingly used to flatten cow pats. It looked filthy, so we called it Dirty Den. East Enders fans will appreciate this one. But only because it's called Dirty Den. Although, come to think of it, if you'd like us to add actor Leslie Grantham's face to the cow pat, I'm sure we can do that for you.

The saddest roller I've seen this past half-season was at Selsey in West Sussex. Not only is Selsey likely to be one of the UK's first casualties of extreme sea level rise...not only is Selsey the most likely place in England to be struck by a tornado...but this poor roller appeared broken in two. Perhaps its heart was rent in half due to a recent romantic break-up? And now it's the only roller in its social group who doesn't have a boyfriend / girlfriend. We've called this one The Gooseberry in our catalogue. You'll probably want to have this one tattooed somewhere difficult to see, such as between your shoulders, because you'll invariably feel miserable every time you catch sight of it.

Another roller spotted in Sussex was this curious fellow at Arundel. It reminded us of a gigantic woodlouse, so we called it The Crunchy Bat (an Olde English name for our tiny friends from the compost heap). We're working on further creepy-crawly-inspired designs. Look out for the Scary Spider and the Surprising Earwig in the New Year.

Finally in our catalogue, we present our pièce de resistance, the mighty double-barrelled Richter Predator 65 from Fordingbridge Turks. The most incredible roller design we've ever seen, with the super-heavyweight one tonne barrel at the back, and the lighter, more nimble barrel at the front. Filled to the brim with accessories, such as the two-storey drinks holders, the car tyre safety bumpers, the fine adjustment wheely thing. Quite frankly, you'll never be able to afford this as a tattoo, so don't even think about it. I'd stick with the Cockalorum if I were you.

And in case you were wondering...No, Ryan didn't get the job.

If you'd like to see more rusty roller pictures, follow this link: Rollers etc.