Alan Dee: Isn’t it time to tackle this hot issue and introduce a tattoo tax?
Once upon a time the biggest moan that people came up with as the weather warmed up was the sudden preponderance of knobbly knees, pasty white thighs and sandals being worn with socks as clueless men committed fashion faux pas.
Now those thighs pale into insignificance in comparison to the most upsetting manifestation of summer.
I’m talking about tattoos, people.
While I have no doubt that body art has a long and glorious cultural history, I think we can all agree that you need to have a bit of a bod to carry it off.
David Beckham may look a right state to my eyes, but at least he has the canvas on which to display the finest inking that money can buy.
But even he is going to slip and sag in years to come, and when that happens people will not be quite so keen to see him posing in his pants.
And let’s be honest, most of us don’t start off with his advantages.
Time was when having a tattoo meant you’d either been in the forces or been inside – nobody else would have been seen dead with pictures, proverbs, bits of Chinese script and Maori designs dotted about their bodies.
If that’s what floats your boat, it’s your body and you’re entitled to decide whether or not to make permanent changes to it, I guess.
But that doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to be subjected to the results of your misguided venture, does it?
I doubt anyone in the fashion world ever designed their shorts, swimsuits, strappy tops and other items of hot weather wear with tattoos in mind.
But there’s no way that they would be able to second guess the daft places that some people decide to get inked.
So when the sun comes out we have intricate designs half in and half out of clothing, stretched from their original shape by the passage of the years, or just sitting sadly on pasty patches of flesh. Ugh.
If it’s not practical to stop people decorating themselves in this way, then the least the government can do is try and put the odd obstacle in the way. I propose an immediate tattoo tax, to be paid at the point of the needle, to bring in some welcome revenue to a hard-pressed exchequer.
And for those who already have enough ink on their body for their needs, there should also be an annual tattoo licence to be paid by anyone who wants to display them in public, whether there’s a heatwave or not.
And while we’re at it, a sandals and socks tax might be something to be considered, too...